It's hard not to be sucked into the hype of the end-of-the-world thingy.
A company a friend works for is holding a company party this Thursday. I asked him what's the occasion. He said simply - to celebrate before the "end of the world" happens the following day, Dec 21. See what I mean? Perhaps all this is just much ado about nothing or on a lighter side, end of the world is being postponed?
Dongzhi festival was celebrated on December 22.
It is the day we celebrate the Winter Solstice festival where family members get together. In the old days, this festival is to give thanks for a bountiful year but these days, the family just get together for a feast and offerings are made to deities and deceased ancestors at the shrines at home. This is a normal scenario at a Taoist/Buddhist home.
The Winter Solstice festival is known as the Dongzhi festival in Mandarin. The specialty food associated with this festival in this part of the world is the tangyuan (glutinous rice balls cooked in syrup). These glutinous rice balls (used to be in white and pink now come in more colors) can be plain or filled. They symbolise reunion, togetherness and completeness. In northern China the tradition of eating dumplings is still practised.
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