Solstice Festival Celebration In GeorgeTown, Penang
The Winter Solstice (Dong Zhi) is a
festival observed by most of the ethnic Chinese, particularly in
high Chinese population countries like China, Hong Kong, Taiwan,
Malaysia, Singapore and major China towns in other foreign countries
like USA, Australia and europe.
||According to the traditional
culture inherited from the early Chinese immigrants who came
from China, 'Dong Zhi' is being celebrated to mark the beginning
of winter and also a reminder that another year has gone by.
This festival day will follow the Lunar calendar date and falls
around Christmas season every year.
It has been an annual tradition to prepare brightly colored
glutinous rice balls (tang yuen) which are served in savoury
soup. The purpose of adding color to the glutinous rice ball is
for blessings of good fortune, prosperity, longevity, joy and
wealth. The soup is sweetened with sugar and flavored with
ginger or pandan leaf.
Traditionally it was believed that one
grows a year older after taking 'tang yuan' on the festive day. The
rounded shape of 'tang yuen' is meant for completeness like family
reunion. It is a happy occasion when family members can gather
together on that day and share the joy of eating 'tang yuen'
On the eve of Winter
Soltice celebration, Glutinous flour dough are sold in
the market place where housewives buy them home to make 'tang yuen'. While some will just buy and take home the readily cooked
and packed 'tang yuen' for convenience.