Green rice balls. [Photo/WeChat account: city8m]
Qingtuan, or green rice balls, usually hit the market in Yangzhou in East China's Jiangsu province after the Spring Festival holiday. They are a popular spring snack in the city.
In the past, people living in Jiangnan, regions south of the Yangtze River, would make green rice balls on Tomb Sweeping Day in April as gifts to their ancestors.
The green color of the rice balls come from the juice of green plants such as green vegetables, mugwort or green wheat being mixed into the glutinous rice flour.
Nowadays, green rice balls are often filled with sugary red bean paste, sesame, salted egg yolk, shredded shepherd's purse, dried meat floss, bamboo shoots, durian, jujube paste, or even chocolate.