Dong Zhi - Winter Festival

The Winter Festival, Dong Zhi as in Mandarin, is the last celebration in a year before the arrival of Lunar New Year. Dong Zhi means the 'extreme of winter'. Usually falls on the 21st or 22nd of December, It is also the shortest day of the year, for those in countries with 4 seasons. It symbolises the cold winter will be coming to an end soon then the beginning of a new spring. Like Christmas, this is the season to celebrate home-coming.

The festive food that represents this day is Tang Yuan. 'Tang' means 'soup' and 'yuan' means 'round' or 'ball', and the phrase also share a similar sound with 'reuniting' (tuan yuan). Tang yuan is made of glutinous rice flour rolled into little balls, and served in either savoury soup or sweet pasty soups such as Palm Sugar Tang Yuan in Syrup and Tang Yuan with Ground Peanut in Ginger Syrup. It is also part of the offering in the year-end Chinese prayer ritual. A lot of Chinese also serve Tang Yuan on the 15th day of the Chinese New Year celebration, and call it Yuan Xiao (the same sound as the celebration itself in Mandarin).