November 11 has become famous in China not only because it’s a day for discounted shopping (similar to Black Friday in America) but also because it marks the Cangqian Lamb Hot Pot Festival. Usually held every year on November, 11 this year, however, the festival has had to move from Gexiang Village to Majia Village due to the construction of line 5 of the Hangzhou subway and has, therefore, been delayed until Nov. 18.
The tradition of “Taoyangguo (having lamb hot pot)” in Cangqian can be traced back to over a hundred years ago. In the olden times, and for a source of income, peasants residing in Gexiang Village of Cangqian relied on selling lamb that they had purchased from nearby villages. Most often the lamb was sold out but the remains, which nobody wanted, such as the sheep’s head, feet, and entrails, were kept and consumed by the peasants themselves. Sometimes, when there was more than they could possibly eat, they would invite their neighbours, relatives and friends to hover over the steaming hot pot while they drank and chatted.
The traditional “Taoyangguo” is cooked with water from a well which is then heated in a wooden pot. The ingredients, stewed underneath a stone for two hours, are then seasoned with fennel, cinnamon, ginger and yellow wine. The tradition of eating this kind of hot pot has become a unique farm-flavored food culture.
In 2006, Cangqian Town hosted the first ever “Cangqian Lamb Festival” which saw folk lamb hot pot cooking experts satisfying a number of taste buds, and art and culture activities entertaining all. The event was a huge success and which is why on November 11 every year the Cangqian Lamb Hot Pot Festival continues to sizzle with success.
Compared with the old Yangguo (Lamb Hot Pot) Village, Majia Village can accommodate 100 vehicles in its car park and is home to approximately 18 households, 12 of which offer lamb hot pot. The village, characterized by villas that are nestled in and amongst luscious green paddy fields and grape gardens, is a warm choice for sampling this famous steaming sensation.
For a sizzling time with friends and family there are various sized portions to choose from. A small portion includes six liang of lamb (1 liang equals to 50 g of lamb), two liang weight of lamb leg, one bowl of lamb blood and four portions of vegetables, as well as other ingredients such as lamb bone, lamb liver, lamb lung, lamb stomach, lamb intestine.
Small portion (suitable for two to four people): 280 RMB;
Medium portion (suitable for six to eight people): 480 RMB;
Large portion (suitable for 10 to 12 people): 660 RMB.
How to get there:
Take bus No. 450 to the bus stop of Tiaoxi Village (tiao xi cun: 苕溪村) or Wushanqian Village (wu shan qian cun: 吴山前村)
Tel: 86- 571-88619197
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