We often see Chinese people celebrate birthdays with Longevity Peach Buns, also known as Birthday Buns.
Yet many of us aren’t sure what’s inside these peach-shaped fluffy steam buns and what they signify.
Read on to find out why these birthday buns are so popular in Singapore.
Who knows? You might even have them instead of cake at your next celebration.
What Are Longevity Peach Buns?
A longevity peach, or shoutao (寿桃), is a type of lotus seed bun, filled with smooth red bean paste or lotus paste.
The soft and fluffy steamed bun is made of wheat flour and has a signature bouncy and soft texture.
The buns also have a pink hue, thanks to the food colouring, and a crease along the side to mimic a peach’s shape.
Some may add more decorations like leaves to increase the similarities with the fruit.
But despite its name, no peaches, or even fruits are used in these buns.
What Do Longevity Peach Buns Signify?
Longevity peaches represent the Peaches of Immortality, grown in the Queen Mother of the West’s garden.
According to Chinese legends, these peaches ripen every thousands of years, and grant immortality when consumed.
Hence, these peach buns symbolizes longevity & long-life, and is a classic dish enjoyed during birthday celebrations.
Many in Singapore often order them at Chinese restaurants for their parents or grandparents to wish them a long life and the opportunity to celebrate more birthdays, believing this would help them live forever.
They are also eaten to celebrate the elderly reaching old age.
Sometimes, all guests might even receive a longevity peach bun as part of their dinner.
History Of Longevity Peach Buns
This birthday delight is a Cantonese dish originating from the southeast Chinese province of Guang Dong.
The peach is an icon for long life that comes from the folklore of Shou Xing Gong.
Shou Xing Gong was known to have lived a very long life despite being a sick boy growing up and the peach he wears is a symbol of immortality, which was how the Longevity Peach Bun came about.
Other Common Symbolic Dishes Enjoyed During Birthdays
Longevity Noodles (寿面 – Shòu Miàn)
Many believe that the longer the noodles, the greater the wish for a long life.
Unlike the ordinary noodles, we eat Longevity Noodles in a special way, bit by bit—without breaking it into pieces.
This is due to an old superstition that there will be bad luck by cutting them.
Chinese Red Eggs (红鸡蛋 – Hóng Jī Dàn)
Chinese red eggs are bright pink coloured cooked chicken eggs.
In Chinese culture, these eggs symbolize joy and renewed life.
They are usually consumed at a baby’s first-year birthday, where his/her name would be announced to everyone.
Sometimes, these red eggs are also given to adults for their birthdays too.
Where To Get Longevity Peach Buns in Singapore?
Longevity Peach Buns are usually available at Chinese / Cantonese restaurants such as Ju Signatures, which also sells traditional Dim Sum for you and your loved ones to have a birthday meal.
A bigger portion, with multiple buns are also available for pre-order, (with 2 days notice)!
So hurry, pre-order now for your loved ones’ birthday and show them how much they mean to you!