Contributor: Ho Siew Loon
How time flies and we will be ushering 2010 in about 2 weeks.
December has always been my favorite month with so many festivals like Christmas, New Year and Dong Zhi (冬至) festival. Dong Zhi or winter solstice has always been a very important event in the Chinese custom. It is also known as Tang Check by the Peranakan which means the arrival of winter. It signifies the longest night in the year. Tang Check is a very important day in the Chinese calender and some people celebrate it on a bigger scale than Chinese New Year. On this day, the Chinese will make Tang Yuan (汤圆) or Kuih Ee to signifies the arrival of winter and by eating this we will be a year older. In Chinese custom, this round shaped rice ball symbolizes togetherness and completeness of the family. This year Tang Check will be celebrated on 21 December…(get Tang Yuan recipe after the jump)
Tang Yuan is also known as glutinous rice balls. This dessert (check out other Nyonya desserts such as bubur cha cha and bee koh moy) is made during the Dong Zi festival and it comes in different colors like white, pink, green, yellow, blue and orange. This little rices balls are then served with syrup but these days people are getting more creative and Tang Yuan comes with different types of filling like peanut, black sesame, red bean etc. There are savoury ones as well. However, the traditional ones are still my favorite.