China Elevator Stories

“You Shouldn’t Eat Too Many Tangyuan When Pregnant”

Eating sweet glutinous rice balls is a Lantern Festival tradition.


Ruth Silbermayr
Ruth Silbermayr


Yesterday was Yuanxiaojie (元宵节), Chinese Lantern Festival. The festival is celebrated on the day of the first full moon in the Chinese New Year, and marks the end of Chinese new year celebrations. My company prepares Tangyuan (汤圆), sweet glutinous rice balls filled with sesame paste. Eating Tangyuan, which come in the shape of the full moon, is a Lantern Festival tradition in China.

tangyuan (illustration) - Ruth Silbermayr

When my co-worker comes into the kitchen and sees me with a bowl of Tangyuan, she says: “You shouldn’t eat too many of these. They are hard to digest when you’re pregnant – you know, with all the glutinous rice and such.”

Has anyone ever told you what to eat?

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