The northern province of Phu Tho held its first Chung cake and Giay cake making contest on March 31, beginning a wide range of activities to commemorate the death anniversary of the Hung Kings and celebrate the 2013 Hung Kings Temple Festival.
Ten competing teams came from Viet Tri city, Phu Tho town and eight districts of Ha Hoa, Cam Khe, Lam Thao, Thanh Son, Yen Lap, Phu Ninh, Tam Nong and Thanh Ba.
Four top-list teams will compete with others from cities and provinces nationwide at a contest during the Hung Kings Temple Festival (the tenth day of the third lunar month).
According to the legend, Chung cake was first made by Prince Lang Lieu, a son of Hung King, who is said to have worn the crown some 3,000 to 4,000 years ago.
The Prince made Chung cakes (glutinous rice cakes) in square shape and Giay cakes (glutinous rice dumpling) in round shape to symbolise the earth and the sky respectively, and offered them to the king to express his respect and gratitude for parents, as well as to thank the Gods for the year’s good harvest.
The tradition has been well preserved by the Vietnamese people nationwide, especially in the lunar New Year festival although the way they make the cakes differ from region to region.
Northern Vietnamese make the Chung cake in square shape, while the southerners or ethnic people in mountainous areas wrap the cakes in a round shape.
Making Chung cake requires simple materials and ingredients which can be found in every market in Vietnam: glutinous rice, green bean, fatty pork spiced with salt, onion, and pepper, which are all wrapped in phrynium leaves before being boiled for at least 10 hours.
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