Chimaki is made of glutinous rice and wrapped in bamboo, reed or other large flat leaves. It originally came from China and there are various types available throughout Asia.
Chimaki is traditionally eaten on 5th of May, Children’s day. The reason of this actually goes back to a story that happened in China 2300 years ago. It is said that Chimaki was invented to send a grief to a famous poet who drowned himself into the river on this day. The reason why they wrapped it with leaves is to protects from being stolen by the dragon that lives in the river. It has now become a tradition to wish Children’s heath and protection.
Chimaki is now recognised as one of Kyogashi (traditional Japanese sweets that is particularly made in Kyoto). If you are traveling to other Asian countries, it could be interesting to compare it in different regions.
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