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Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Winter Solstice 2010

On this day today I will celebrate the Winter Solstice Festival or Dōng Zhì (冬至). The first Chinese character, Dōng (冬) means 'winter while the second character Zhì (至) means 'festival' .

Today is ABC Wednesday
W is for .....
Winter Solstice!

According to Chinese culture and custom, I shall offer prayers to the gods and thank them for the protection given and blessings bestowed upon our family throughout the whole year.

During this day of Dōng Zhì Festival, families members get together and eat tāng yuán (湯圓) signifying 'togetherness'. Tang yuan is a sweet soup made of glutinous rice balls. Even though it is not a public holiday here,  those who are working will also make it a point to come home to have dinner together. This is symbolic of family unity and harmony. I am sure many of us will remember our grandparents who used to tell us that today everyone becomes one year older. This is a time we look forward to the next major spring Festival,  i.e. the Lunar New Year. After today we shall be busy spring cleaning our homes and making preparations for the Lunar New Year.

Elsewhere around the world and according to the Western calendar, the Winter Solstice  exact time falls on 23:38pm Universal Time on December 21st, 2010. In Malaysia it is December 22nd, 7:30am (this morning). This year is special in the sense that it comes with a total lunar eclipse at the same time and it is also a full moon day.  It also coincides with the Ursids Meteo shower which occurs from Dec 16th - 26th. The winter solstice lunar eclipse is a rare event, a first time in 372 years. As for me I will not be witnessing this phenomenon.

ABC Wednesday, Round 7 hosted by Mrs. Denise Nesbitt and the ABC Team of Denise, Roger, Jay, Troy, Barb, Gattina, Sylvia, Annelie, Linda and Helen. To participate and view what others have in mind, please log on to this site.


  1. it's an obvious choice that never occurred to me!
    ROG, ABC Wednesday team

  2. Terrific post for the day! I would have loved to see the winter solstice lunar eclipse, but we've had such a heavy cloud cover for the past few days I'm afraid there's no chance! Hope your week is going well!


  3. your Tang Yuan so colouirful. How you do the blue color ones? Use the flower color?

  4. Blue colored soup balls... not commonly seen.

  5. Lovely tradition. Colorful soup. Soup's the best part of winter, I think.

  6. I didn't realize how 'universal' the recognition of the winter solstice was. I loved learning about your traditions.
    I was also curious as to what kind of 'soup' that was.

  7. Even though I'm not a Chinese, I love eating the glutinous rice ball especially with the red bean filling.

  8. Very colourful Tang Yuan, happy winter solstice to you and family!^-^

  9. I managed to get a full viewing of the eclipse - and it was wonderful.

    Your soup looks interesting and colourful.

  10. My dear friends, thank you very much for the nice comments.

    The soup is made of boiling sugar or rock sugar in water. Some fragrant pandan leaves and ginger are added. Ginger is good for keeping the body warm. Permitted food colouring is added for colour. Some people use the juice extract of the dragon fruit for the pink colour, yam for purple and pandan leaves for green.

  11. Great post! We are celebrating today in Vancouver. We are having a hot pot dinner and then the tang yuen - frozen, store bought but I am making the syrup with ginger.

    Merry Christmas.


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