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Dec 22, 2010

இ Happy Dōng Zhì (冬至) or Winter Solstice Festival

Image courtesy of Wikipedia
A bowl of tāng yuán 湯圓
The Dōng Zhì (冬至) lit. *winter arrive* (quite mouthful for me to pronounce zzzzhiiii) is one of the most significant festivals celebrated by the Chinese and many other East Asian nations. Thought Bananaz would not wanna touch on the subject of I-Ching after so much confusion then again somehow it relates back to the concept of Yin and Yang philosophy of balance and harmony, significantly symbolized by the I-Ching hexagram fù (復), "Returning".  Dōng Zhì (冬至) solar term (winter solstice) corresponds to the 22nd of the 24 solar terms 二十四節氣 where the sunshine is usually at its weakest and the daylight shortest, falls on or around December 22. After the celebration there will be an increase of positive flow of energy due to longer daylight hours.

It is mandatory in celebrating the Dōng Zhì (冬至) Festival, making and eating tāng yuán 湯圓 lit. *soup round*, the glutinous rice flour balls, is inevitably indispensable during this festival. Traditionally coloured in pink and white however over time more colours are added to make it much more 'prettier' to swallow. Anyway no matter what colour used, it has no impact on the taste except to for the kids to have more fun with the rice balls. Most importantly the festival is also an encouragement for the family to spent time together thus eating tāng yuán 湯圓 is symbolic of family unity and family prosperity.

Here is an abstract from Wikipedia about other similarity to the tāng yuán 湯圓 found in southern Vietnam, a similar dish, called chè xôi nước, is served in a mild, sweet liquid flavored with grated ginger root. In northern Vietnam, bánh trôi (also called bánh trôi nước) and bánh chay are also very similar, with the latter being served with coconut milk. In the Philippines, the dish ginataang bilo-bilo is also served in coconut milk, and sometimes local produce such as plantains (saba), tapioca, and/or sweet potatoes are cooked in. Gulab jamun is an Indian dessert that is made of fried dairy dough balls served in a bowl of syrup.


Of course when comes to tāng yuán 湯圓 and the Dōng Zhì (冬至) festival this song is part of the ingredient and must go hand in hand blending with the festival just like jingle bells jingle all the way with X'mas. The lyrics are not in pinyin but in Roman spelling nevertheless would be quite close if you wanna sing along. Hopefully one day Jay Chou周杰倫 or Namewee黄明志 would come out with a rap version of the new tāng yuán song. Keeping fingers and toes crossed yo! yo! yo!.

When was the last time you made or ate tāng yuán 湯圓? Bananaz could not remember the very last bowl probably many many years ago. Last year, bloggers CH Voon posted how to make tāng yuán 湯圓 with style, Tekkaus with his Malaccan way and lastly Jam and his Fuzhou Snack. Sorry cannot recollect the rest if I have missed out any its non-intentional. Maybe you can give me a buzz and say "hey what about me?" ~;)

" HAPPY Dōng Zhì 冬至快乐 "


EM Christmas tree dancing

51 Bunchesஇ:

Lily Riani said...

i like thongyuein... but i like loh sang even more.

cHrIstInA_YY said...

冬至快乐! I just made colorful "tang yuan" for supper just now ;)

bluedreamer27 said...

never had a chance to taste it but i wonder how great would it be
it looks creamy

Pete said...

Aiya, one day older liao!

Merryn said...

Happy 'kuih ee' to u Bananaz.. well.. dat is what we call them at home lah :D

Tekkaus said...

Great post bro. Wow...didn't know the history is so damn long. :p So will you make any?

Mariuca said...

Hi Bananaz! I don't think I've ever tried this dish, but it looks yummy! :)

Mariuca said...

" HAPPY Dōng Zhì 冬至快乐 " to you!! :)

Alice Law said...

Happy Winter Solstice to you and family!^-^

p/s: I prefer my tang yuan to eat with 'tong shui'(sweet soup)!;D

suituapui said...

Happy whatever-you-call-it Festival to you. Don't really like those balls...may eat at my parents' place - just to keep the tradition alive.

khengsiong said...

My family also makes soup balls during CNY.

Bengbeng said...

this year i have no choice but to skip

Monica said...

Happy Winter Solstice Festival! :) i wanna eat tang yuan too :D

Monica said...

but i'm far from home, so no tang yuan for me..huhuhu..

Small Kucing said...

LOng time never heard this song already. Happy Winter Solstice festival to you

Bananazஇ said...

Lily Riani இ not my kinda soup loh sang can tahan. haha

cHrIstInA_YY இ 冬至快乐 to you too, that's was fast had them for supper last night. When as a kid can't open up eyes & often missed supper as it was always past my bedtime and love to eat them cook with pork meat and salty style.

blue இ would it be almost the same like ginataang bilo-bilo as per wikipedia?

Bananazஇ said...

Pete இ aiya lau liao one more added year. They say if you didnt eat any tangyuan your age not added woh..haha

Merryn இ great learned new word today 'kuih ee'. tQ

Tekkaus இ stopped making them after left home for higher studies and stopped eating as well maybe occasionally. Have linked your last year's post on making Tangyuan.

Bananazஇ said...

Mariuca இ tQ its rather mostly served in sweet soup boiled with ginger and rubbery at times to chew. Some would have nuts inside.

Alice Law இ Happy Winter Solstice to you and family too. So you like sweet stuff.

suituapui இ Happy whatever-you-call-it Festival to you and family haha. Me no likey as well can tahan but tradition stays.

Bananazஇ said...

khengsiong இ yeah some friends of mine prepare them during CNY more for prayers purposes.

Bengbeng இ next year eat double haha

Monica இ Happy DongZhi! you like them and now you miss them when you are far away. Have a pleasant holiday.

Small kucing இ Hope you better learn up this traditional song version before you they changed to rap haha. Happy DongZhi to you and family too.

Gratitude said...

This season of festivities is a wonderful way to increase our spiritual consciousness. Please use this period of joy to add light to the world with our thoughts, words, feelings, actions, beliefs and attitudes....and we will hear the presence our divine guidance, without the interference of our selfish human egos. I wish you peace and joy this festive season. Have a Blessed Winter Solstice, Christmas and New Year...my dear blogger friend ^_^

eugene said...

You too,,,,,

cleffairy said...

Dun exactly fancy all these Chinese festivals... reminds me of the impending CNy that I'm gonna have to endure. but happy Winter Solstice festival to you, bananaz. *roll eyes... if only there's winter in Msia!*

Bananazஇ said...

+Ant+ இ tQ let there be light to shine away the darkness. You have a merry holiday too.

eugene இ you have lots of beer this coming festive holidays.

cleffairy இ yeah remember your experiences every CNY and understand your feelings cheer up OK!Eeh how come over my place its snowing leh no joke if you watch carefully and patiently its snowing endlessly. Aiyo its Chinese tradition gotta follow haha tQ.

wenn said...

I love tang yuan..

Kelvin said...

I am eating 湯圓 now while commenting ^_^

Life Ramblings said...

Happy Winter Solstice festival. enjoy your tang yuan.

Bananazஇ said...

wenn இ oh yeah you like em.

Kelvin இ gotta be careful not to feed your computer as well haha.

Life Ramblings இ Happy Dong Zhi to you too. Nope not eating tangyuan..

Casendra said...

湯圓 lit. *soup round* this is the best translation ever! hahaha.. .wish you a good year aheaad! :)

CH Voon said...

Happy Dong Zhi to you!

Wish you and your family happy forever.

I have nt eat any Dong zhi today, can you send some for me to eat?

Faisal Admar said...

i've tried once and i don't think i can try it this year as my colleague accidentally drop the whole thing on her shirt and shoes! pity her :(

but i was happy for her thought.

Happy Winter Solstice festival to you!

Bananazஇ said...

Casendra இ soup round eh? should be rice balls soup eh haha.

CH Voon இ what's your address in Russia can immediately courier to you from Malaisiya with love.

Faisal இ Oh oh poor thing hope its not boiling hot and she did not kena burn can try it next year. tQ

goldflower86 said...

happy dongzhi to u!
hope you enjoy it.
hehehe
take care~

Autumn Belle @ KDP said...

Happy Dong Zhi! This is the first time I hear this song. I wanna learn how to sing. Very nice melody. Many pretty girls here, no need for Jay Chou or Namawe.

Autumn Belle @ KDP said...

Also Merry Christmas!

[SK] said...

yeah, the winter solstice.. i can only related this to tāng yuán but you are relating this back to I-Ching?? wow, that's cool and proves that you did some "homework" yeah??

[SK] said...

oh i didn't know that this day the daylight is shortest, and after Dōng Zhì there will be an increase in daylight hours?? hmmmm, this is interesting.. can we see the significance here in KL??

[SK] said...

yeah, it's a tradition we have tāng yuán every year on this day, as well as a big nice dinner with family.. i remember there must be steam chicken to eat, hahaha~~ very true, now that there are many flavours and innovative tāng yuán around, but i think the closer to the original the better.. :)

[SK] said...

haha!! tāng yuán song by 周杰倫 and 黄明志?? maybe that would be a very cool collaboration huh?? why not you write to their fans club and make the suggestion?? :D

Bananazஇ said...

goldflower86 இ sama sama, nope no likey eat tangyuan very rubbery haha.

Autumn Belle @ KDP இ Glad you liked the song and it's your first time. No need Jay Chou or Namewee to do the rap? haha.

Bananazஇ said...

[SK] இ i.Yeah did lots of homework checked and rechecked over the internet from different sources on the I-Ching for confirmation.

ii. Think it applies to East Asian so KL or whole of Malaisiya should have the same effect.

iii. Yeah steam chicken is always served on the table and I go for the kai ning *chicken breast* first thing first oops its kai hung haha. Easier to eat no bones mah and plenty of meat. In overseas the chicken breast meat is much more expensive but locally here my parents said Bananaz dunno how to eat chicken where kai hung is not popular :(

iv. Yes maybe a sequel of Jay Chou's 'yeh yeh pow der char' perhaps to name the song 'grandma rolling yuan?' hehe.

MODERN ROBINSON CRUSOE said...

I GIVE you credit for keeping the tradition alive via this posting - Bananaz is true to his roots!!

Wai Kitt said...

Thanks for pay a visit to my blog.
This is the first time i read your blog,so many interesting and funny things to see,I like these.Will visit often.
Wish you have a nice day.

Bananazஇ said...

MRC இ tQ for your encouragement will 加油 jiāyóu *add oil* haha.

Wai Kitt இ tQ for dropping by and with your kind words. Do 'slip' by often need your kind assistance to correct Bananaz who is learning Chinese the hear say way. 請多多指教 qǐng duōduō zhǐjiào. Xiexie

CH Voon said...

i at malaysia now.... but have you keep the tang yuan in good condition? i scare lawsang oh..

Bananazஇ said...

CH Voon இ Great you are back Vanessa & mummy must be very pleased oh how much they missed you just like us we missing you. One confession got no tangyuan woh, have stopped eating them many many years ago. They say eat tangyuan already add one more year so skip eating no addition loh...haha. Not a fan of sweet tangyuan except the salty ones with pork.

Shingo T said...

Hey Bananaz, me no big fan of tang yuan. Haha, any flour based food soaked in water makes me feel a little nauseous. =p

Bananazஇ said...

Shingo T இ Me no fan either too thought its tasteless other than the sweet soup unless cooked with meat & salty..Got a friend cant take certain flour based noodles too.

Netster said...

When I got married in september we suppose to have a bowl of this but we didn't :) not really following the tradition after all.

I love the taste and if the flour was good the chewy feeling is so tantalizing!

Cheers

p/s cHrIstInA_YY, I was about to ask why no tung yuen photos on your site :) look like you did have some hehehehe

foongpc said...

Thanks for sharing about this festival. I love eating tang yuan!

Bananazஇ said...

Netster இ During your wedding time in a hurry cant afford to chew. oh likey them eh?

foongpc இ too much chewy chewy for me haha

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