February 4 of this year marks China’s traditional solar term Lichun (Beginning of Spring). On that day, Chinese people usually eat spring rolls, which are known as “biting spring.” This a traditional Chinese custom.
On the day of Lichun, people also eat some fresh spring vegetables to prevent disease and usher in the new spring.
In northern China, it is a tradition to eat spring pancakes on Lichun. The earliest spring pancakes were baked or steamed thin cake of wheat flour. People ate the pancakes together with fried bean spouts, spinach, yellow chives and rice noodles. Pancakes can also be used to wrap the vegetables into spring rolls. It is said that the vegetables wrapped in spring pancakes can bring prosperous crops and livestock. In some regions, people believe eating spring pancakes with celery and leeks can make people diligent and live longer, and bring prosperity to their families, as “celery” has similar pronunciation with “diligence” in Chinese, and “leek” is pronounced like “long.”
As time passes by, Chinese people have spring roll and spring pancake. They are actually two kinds of dough slices made in different methods. Though they are different in thickness, they are served similarly. People eat them with various vegetables and meats. But people in north China prefer spring pancakes while people in regions south of the Yangtze Rivers like spring rolls better.