Happy Winter Solstice Festival! It’s Dong Zhi (冬至, or the ‘arrival of winter’) today and, for as long as I can remember, I have always eaten dumplings on this day. We usually have plain pink or white tang yuan (汤圆, a type of dumpling) made from glutinous rice flour and served in a sweet soup. I’m always very supportive of festivals that involve food even if I don’t exactly know why certain food items have to be eaten!
Apparently, the dumplings eaten for Dong Zhi symbolise reunion. My mum says the dumplings also represent growing up/ getting older so the number of dumplings eaten have to correspond with your age. Since it’s hard for the older folks to eat so many dumplings, the pink ones represent 5 years while the white ones represent 1 year. I just eat as many as I possibly can!
I thought it would be fun for the kids to make dumplings this year, so we did! We used about 300g of glutinous rice flour and 300ml of water. Anya did a really good job with the pink ones while Adam spent his time flattening the ones we made so we had to reshape them again. I had my dumplings in a hot ginger soup which was perfect for the rainy weather. You can easily get frozen ready-made dumplings from the supermarket but homemade tang yuan are a lot more meaningful. :)