Fête Chinoise 2016: The Modern Birthday
At every Chinese birthday banquet, one important dessert is a mandatory custom: the longevity buns, adorably shaped as peaches. These scrumptious bite-sized baked goods are often filled with lotus paste and sometimes red bean paste for added flavour. Gently brushed with some pink food colouring and ornamented green leaves made also of flour, the buns are pleasant both to look at and to taste.
The peach represents longevity, which is considered one of the three most important goals in life in traditional Chinese thought: happiness (fú), professional success or prosperity (lù), and longevity (shòu). These are visually represented by the three “star gods” of the same names (Fú, Lù, Shòu), commonly depicted as three male figures interpreted into porcelain figurines in the home, each bearing distinct garments and holding symbolic objects. Shòu is always holding firmly to a long staff attached to a gourd and scroll, and a large peach in his hand.
Green is the colour of living plants and also jadeite stones, another celebrated colour in the Chinese culture, representing youth and life. Paired with the inspiration of the peach and symbolism of longevity, and a touch of gold, Kim Miyama Events and Marta Urbanowicz of Artam Design Inc. created a contemporary aesthetic to transform old traditions into a fantastic display of design and culture.