I’m not 100% sure if it’s really Winter Solstice Festival today but since the Queen prepared all the mini glutinous rice balls (which I still prefer calling them dumpling..aka Tang Yuan) last night and woke up this morning to boil them so that we could bring to work…I assume it’s the right day. I’m not very familiar with the history of the 冬至 (pronounce as Dong Zhi) but it’s kinda tradition celebrated by the Chinese during the coldest day of the winter (apparently). The culture & tradition believes that on this day, all family members must gather for a reunion (which is why the dumplings are round in shape to signify unity) and this day is considered a very important time together. Also, it is made believe that when you have taken the dumplings, you are officially a year older. I guess back in those days, people just wants to be known as wiser and this festival kinda officiates the fact that a person has grown up and yaddaa yaddaa yadaaa. Who in the right mind wants to be considered older??!!
Some of the dumplings burst and the fillings mixed into my sweet syrup 😦
Until today, I still sometimes joke that each dumpling you eat, it signifies 1 year extra in your age. But the truth is..no one really knows how the formula works! 😛 Anyways, the dumplings are sometimes made in different colors (i dont think it signifies anything..just for aesthetic reasons..i bet i’m rite!) and these days, you can easily get dumplings with fillings such as ground peanuts, black sesame, etc. The dumplings are boiled in sweet soup (brown sugar) with some ginger to spice it up. It is afterall…a winter food.
So…for those who celebrate the tradition… Happy 冬至!!
Update: Yes it’s today 😛