Shandong greets Chinese New Year with pretty handmade flower cakes

Gao Yu, an artisan in Shandong province, does the final touching up for a flower cake. PHOTOS: VCG
Gao transforms a dough into a carp figurine with a few simple tools. PHOTOS: VCG
The decorative features of the cake are handmade. PHOTOS: VCG
Prepared cakes are cooked in food steamers. PHOTOS: VCG
The finished cakes. PHOTOS: VCG

(CHINA DAILY/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - Making flower cake, or huagao, is a New Year tradition in the western region of Shandong province. Using mainly flour, red dates, some simple moulds and vegetable juice to colour the dough, local artisans are able to create a variety of vivid images.

The Chinese character for cake is gao, whose homophonic means growth, improvement or greater accomplishment. So huagao usually embodies people's best wishes for their family and friends.

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