Zongzi stores struggle to meet demand

Two stores in Sijing ancient town were busy during the Dragon Boat Festival making zongzi round the clock or delivering to customers far from home.

Jiang Huihui / Ti Gong

A steel basket full of zongzi

Two stores in Sijing ancient town were busy during the Dragon Boat Festival making zongzi round the clock or delivering to customers far from home.

It’s a tradition to eat zongzi, glutinous rice dumplings with various fillings wrapped in bamboo or reed leaves during the festival, which fell on June 18 this year.

Zhang Xiaomei Zongzi Store and Guangli Zongzi Store sit next to each other on Jiangchuan Road N.

“We became so busy that we turned cautious about accepting customer orders as early as half a month ago. We have three cauldrons taking turns to boil zongzi round the clock. But still supply can’t meet demand,” said a member of staff at Zhang Xiaomei Zongzi Store.

The store, which usually has around 10 staff, hired another 10 employees to cope with the demand. Each day, staff make more than 6,000 zongzi for orders and another batch of 1,000 to 2,000 for walk-in customers.

The store next door, opened more than 120 years ago, had its Guangli zongzi brand named as Songjiang intangible cultural heritage in 2015.

Wang Peihua, owner since 1996, came back to work during the festival in spite of the fact she had transferred the business to her daughter-in-law to manage.

Chinese eat zongzi to commemorate the death of Qu Yuan (340-278 BC), a poet living during the Warring States Period (475-221 BC) who drowned himself after his motherland was invaded. According to legend, packets of rice were thrown into the river to prevent fish from eating the poet’s body.



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