China, Hong Kong, Taiwan
22nd December 2014
The famous festival dates back to the yin and yang philosophy of balance and harmony in the cosmos. This day is the mark of upcoming days of longer daylight hours and positive flow of energy. Ancient scriptures tell us that during the Han Dynasty, a physician, appalled by the weak health of the poor, had dumplings filled with meat and fortifying ingredients, and had them distributed to the people. Ever since, this day is celebrated for the health and happiness of loved ones.
The Dongzhi Festival is a day for families to visit each other, offer incense at temples, and take the day off from work. Large meals were accompanied with laughter. Tāngyuán is eaten every year because their roundness is believed to symbolize family unity and harmony. They are sweet, round dumplings made with glutinous rice flour and filled with sweet sesame, peanut or red bean paste and served in a clear, hot, syrup or soup. Normally eaten as a side dish, snack, or dessert on the festival day can also be enjoyed all year, due to cold weather.
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