Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Winter Traditions and Holidays Part 18 - Dongzhi Festival

汤圆 Cooked Tang Yuan (329781165).jpgText Box: Tangyuan, a traditional Dongzhi Festival foodDongzhi Festival (Solstice - Chinese, Japanese, Koreans, Vietnamese)
  • Celebrated on the winter solstice
  • The origins of this festival can be traced back to the yin and yang philosophy of balance and harmony in the cosmos. After this celebration, there will be days with longer daylight hours and therefore an increase in positive energy flowing in.
  • A time for the family to get together.
  • One activity that occurs during these get-togethers is the making and eating of tangyuan (湯圓) or balls of glutinous rice, which symbolize reunion. Tangyuan are made of glutinous rice flour and sometimes brightly colored.
  • Old traditions also require people with the same surname or from the same clan to gather at their ancestral temples to worship on this day. There is always a grand reunion dinner following the sacrificial ceremony.
  • In accordance with ancient Taiwanese history, many people take some of the tangyuan and stick them on the back of the door or on windows and tables and chairs. These "empowered" tangyuan supposedly serve as protective talismans to keep evil spirits from coming close to children.
We put ours out in the front yard and they are always gone in the morning.

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