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The Yin and Yang of Winter Solstice

Winter solstice to most of us means making and eating 'tong yuen' or also known as Dongzhi Festival, the traditional Chinese way of marking the shortest day albeit the longest night of the year. There are a lot of scientific and meteorological explanations for this and you can refer to Wikipedia for the world's interpretations for this. It ranges from time for some animal species to mate to major astronomical events.

But to the kids, it means rolling those colorful dough balls and eating them with a ginger, pandan, sugary concoction.
Worldwide, interpretation of the event has varied across cultures, but many have held a recognition of rebirth, involving holidays, festivals, gatherings, rituals or other celebrations around that time - Wikipedia
The Winter Solstice Sky on my side of the world, Malaysia
The origins of this festival can be traced back to the yin and yang philosophy of balance and harmony in the cosmos
The kids are no longer little...they're nearing adult age, with some stretching their wings across in another region, which serves as a constant reminder that there's really no time like the present.

Kids gather to make colorful tong yuens
Any time they get to come together is precious not only for them but for us parents too. We've watched them grow up together since the time they were born. They've fought, cried about, bit each other, made jokes and ganged up on one another the way cousins and siblings would.

I suspect the tong yuen days for these kids will become rarer and rarer.

Making naturally-colored tong yuens
Call me sentimental or whatever but I truly appreciate the fact that they still get the chance to have these small little gatherings, no matter how rare. One day, when we're all old and rickety, we will remember these numbered days of coming together under one roof and making these.
The festive food is also a reminder that celebrators are now a year older and should behave better in the coming year
Some less traditional families don't always celebrate the festival and honestly, most old folks do it for the sake of the young ones. So, don't feel bad if you don't celebrate it. You can always try to make your own with this tang yuen recipe (AllRecipes) and invite your friends or colleagues over for some drinks!

If you don't like the unnatural food coloring, you can make the green with pandan, blue with clitoria ternatea (butterfly pea flowers), red/pink with mashed up dragon fruit, and yellow/orange with mushed pumpkin. At least, that's what I saw being made here. You can share your own recipe if you have another way to making the colors naturally.

As you can see below, everyone or every family is a little different. You do you.

Muaks and Love,

Merry Christmas to everyone who is celebrating and Happy Holidays to those who are just enjoying the days off!

A post shared by Marsha Maung (@marshamaung) on

A post shared by Rebecca Wu (@rebecca2la) on

p.p.s. If you find some pictures or words offensive, would like your pictures removed or find grammatical errors, please forgive me. Me human. Please feel free to let me know and I will remove or edit said offensive stuff as immediately as I can get my ass to my computer or, if possible, on my phone. 


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