Saturday, December 23, 2006

Dong Zhi

As many of you may know, last friday was Dong Zhi. In english, Dong Zhi actually means the Winter Solstice Festival which marks the arrival of winter.

With the power of google, I found out that the meaning behind the festival can be traced back to the Yin and Yang philosophy of balance and harmony. After Dong Zhi, there will be days with longer daylight hours, which symbolize positive energy flowing in which means there will be Yang from then on for a long time (Yang = good, bright, warm). Partly of the Yin and Yang philosophy I learned through the Complimentary Medicine Module in my studies. Well, Yin and Yang is also an important element in traditional chinese medicines.

Dong Zhi is also the time for the family to get together to make "tong yuen". Tong yuen are sweet, round dumplings made of rice flour which are boiled in sweet syrup. Literally, "tong yuen" means roundness and so the dumplings symbolize reunion, especially family reunion, as well as smooth relations among family members. The syrup is symbolic of sweetening speech and action towards one another. Eating tong yuen is also supposed to protect yourself from bad luck.

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Posted by Chi Fei at 11:20 PM |