Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Winter Solstice welcome

Known in Chinese as the Dong Zhi Festival,
Winter Solstice is the second most important festival
of the Chinese calendar

Celebrated on the longest night of the year,
Dong Zhi is the day
when sunshine is weakest and daylight shortest
 The coming of winter is celebrated by families
and is traditionally the time
when farmers and fishermen gather food
in preparation for the coming cold season
 It is also a time for family reunions

This celebration can be traced to
the Chinese belief in yin and yang,
which represent balance and harmony in life
 It is believed that
the yin qualities of darkness and cold are
at their most powerful at this time,
but it is also the turning point,
giving way to the light and warmth of yang
 For this reason, the Dong Zhi Festival
is a time for optimism and promise of life renewed

After dinner, we savour the tang yuan (glutinous rice balls)
that we made ourselves

These home-made coloured glutinous rice balls 
are made from mixing rice flour with red bean paste
and black sesame fillings

A sweet syrup is then cooked by boiling water, pandan leaves, sugar and ginger

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