Celebrating Dong Zhi 冬至 Festival
Today we celebrated Dong Zhi 冬至 Festival which in Mandarin means "Literally meaning the "arrival (至) of winter (冬)”, Dong Zhi 冬至 ". (also known as Winter Solstice festival) is the second most important festival of the Chinese calendar, and is considered the thanksgiving of the Chinese calendar. Dong Zhi 冬至 is the last festival of the year, being celebrated during on the 22nd of eleventh moon (December). Coinciding with the winter solstice, it is a time for the entire family to get together to celebrate the past good year. Glutinous rice balls known as Tang Yuan 汤圆 are cooked and eaten to signify unity and harmony within the family.
Dong Zhi 冬至 usually falls on the 22nd of eleventh moon(December). In Singapore where most Chinese descended from Southern Chinese, we celebrate Dong Zhi 冬至 eating tang yuan 汤圆 which are glutinous rice balls in a sweet syrup. Chinese fesitval dishes usually have auspicious and meaningful names and the tang yuan 汤圆 is no different. The Chinese word tang (meaning 'soup') sounds like tuan which means reunion, while yuan means round, signifying "yuan man" (complete / 圆满 ). The entire phrase tang yuan 汤圆 therefore symbolises "tuan yuan" (family reunion / 团圆 ), and eating tang yuan on Dong Zhi 冬至 represents family reunion and harmony, and also signifies family unity and family prosperity. We celebrate by paying respect to ancestor with foods prepared at my in-law place.