Winter Solstice/ Tung Cheh/ Dongzhi Ceremony at Kew Leong Tong Lim Kongsi, Penang   Leave a comment

Winter Solstice or Tung Cheh/ Dongzhi Ceremony at Kew Leong Tong Lim Kongsi, Penang this morning of December 22, 2015…
Winter solstice is an astronomical phenomenon marking the shortest day and the longest night of the year. In the Northern Hemisphere this is the December solstice and in the Southern Hemisphere this is the June solstice.

The traditional East Asian calendars divide a year into 24 solar terms (節氣). Dōngzhì (pīnyīn) or Tōji (rōmaji) (Chinese and Japanese: 冬至; Korean: 동지; Vietnamese: Đông chí; literally: “winter’s extreme”) is the 22nd solar term, and marks the winter solstice. It begins when the Sun reaches the celestial longitude of 270° and ends when it reaches the longitude of 285°. It more often refers in particular to the day when the Sun is exactly at the celestial longitude of 270°. In the Gregorian calendar, it usually begins around 21 December (22 December East Asia time) and ends around 5 January.
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Along with equinoxes, solstices (traditional Chinese: 至點; simplified Chinese: 至日; literally: “extreme sun”) mark the middle of East Asian calendar seasons. Thus, in “冬至”, the Chinese character “至” means “extreme” and the term for the winter solstice directly signifies the summit of winter, as “midwinter” is used in English.
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In China, Dongzhi was originally celebrated as an end-of-harvest festival. Today, it is observed with a family reunion over the long night, when pink and white tangyuan are eaten in sweet broth to symbolise family unity and prosperity.
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The Dōngzhì Festival or Winter Solstice Festival (Chinese: 冬至; pinyin: Dōngzhì; literally: “the extreme of Winter”) is one of the most important festivals celebrated by the Chinese and other East Asians during the Dongzhi solar term (winter solstice) on or around December 22 (according to East Asia time).[1] In 2015, the festival falls on Tuesday, December 22.
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The origins of this festival can be traced back to the yin and yang philosophy of balance and harmony in the cosmos.[2] After this celebration, there will be days with longer daylight hours and therefore an increase in positive energy flowing in. The philosophical significance of this is symbolized by the I Ching hexagram fù (復, “Returning”).
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