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' .
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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.