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Sunday, 21 December 2008

HAPPY DONG ZHI (WINTER SOLSTICE FESTIVAL)





Its the time of the year again. Dong Zhi ( 冬至 ) is the second most important festival of the Chinese calendar, after Chinese New Year.

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.

One thing is that Dong Zhi is always celebrated approximately between 21-13 December every year.


I like mine serve chilled

One important things that is not to be missed is eating TONG YUEN, where various colours gloutinous rice balls are cooked in a syrup flavoured in ginger. Here is a step by step guide on how to make a good TONG YUEN. Eating Tang Yuen is important in the Chinese tradition as it also signifies that we are a year older after eating this. Also Tang Yuen sounds similarto " Tuen Yuen " which literally means family reunion in Mandarin. Thats why traditional chinese makes it a tradition to be back and have a reunion dinner together on this day.


On this day also we use to pray and offerings are made to our ancestors. We've cooked spring rool, Chicken soup with abalone and dried scallops , fried vegetabeles, fried prawns , fish and steamed chicken. And what I like best is the roast pork which is a must on a special occasion or during festivals.
I like mine served warm with chilli sauce dipping.


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