Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Happy Dong Zhi (aka Winter Solstice) Festival

Today, 22nd of December, marks the Dong Zhi Festival a.k.a. Winter Solstice! So have you and your family been busy making those Tang Yuan last night? My whole family was busy making this Chinese delicacies, which is made from glutinous rice flour. After offering these Tang Yuan to the Gods and our ancestors, each of us in the family will then savour a bowl of it. It is believed that the number of Tang Yuan we can eat is equally to our age. Is it true? I'm not sure about it. But we Chinese believe that after consuming the Tang Yuang, all of us are officially one year older. So later I'm going to have mine. :)

During our forefathers' day, the advent of winter meant that the farmers would lay down their farming tools and celebrate their harvest by returning home. A feast would be held to mark the special occasion. Although nowadays (modern era), Dong Zhi is still a very important cultural day for all the Chinese. It is the time when those Chinese families who still hold dear to the old, golden traditions, to make an effort to get together as a family and enjoy tang yuan as a family. :)

Let's start rolling!

Ta~da! Our simple red and white tang yuang.

And do you know that this special celebration can be traced to the Chinese belief in yin and yang? Yin and Yang represent the balance and harmony in our life. It is believed that Yin (darkness and cold) are at their most powerful during the Winter Solstice, BUT it also marks the pivotal point where yang arrives (light and warmth). Hence Dong Zhi festival is the time where all Chinese will feel very optimistic!

I am already feeling very sanguine! :p So don't forget to have a bowl of this tang yuan today ok folks. Again! Happy Dong Zhi everyone. Don't forget to go back to your hometown and celebrate this special day with your loved ones.

Let's eat Tang Yuang!