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Dumpling festival and culture fair in Jiading
By Fei Lai

ENJOYING tender xiaolong dumplings, strolling in old gardens and streets and enjoy tranquil ancient temples - autumn in Shanghai's Jiading District has a lot to offer.

The 5th Nanxiang Xiaolong Festival kicks off today and is underway through October 18 in the district considered the birthplace of Shanghai-style dim sum.

The celebration titled "Xiaolong Makes Life Delicious" is kicked off by a traditional banquet in which 1,000 people devoured xiaolong at the same time.

The festival features a xiaolong-making TV contest, a folk culture festival and the Nanxiang Investment Forum. It offers a temple fair, a painting exhibition and a cultural festival at Guyi Garden, emphasizing the appeal of ancient Nanxiang Town. Legends about the old town, its streets and personalities are told.

The forum will draw experts, scholars, entrepreneurs and town officials to discuss building Nanxiang into a central business area in the suburbs and developing a modern service industry.

Comparing with earlier events, this one is more interactive. Visitors can log onto the official Sina weibo of the festival and select their favorite xiaolong restaurant. They can also design posters and souvenirs for the event.

With a history of more than 100 years, Nanxiang xiaolong are little steamed buns famous for their thin skin and big juicy fillings. Making the dumplings is considered part of Shanghai's intangible cultural heritage.

Eating Nanxiang xiaolong dates back to 1871 during the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911). Their taste has stood the test of time and the dumplings are a China Time-Honored Brand.

Nanxiang Town dates back nearly 1,500 years. It was a trading town and magnet for merchants and businessmen. It used to be known as Silver Nanxiang, since it was filled with silver coins used for trade.

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