Winter Solstice

Winter Solstice {or 1st day of winter if you’re a 1st grade teacher!}

I’ve never really thought much about it, it’s cold, it’s near Christmas, it’s the shortest day of the year, there’s lots of cold days after it….I mean, let’s be honest, does it really have any meaning to any of us?!?!

Cue in: Taiwan & the Asian culture & Dongzhi Festival!

I’ve been notified several times this week that winter solstice was coming (December 22 this year!) as well as assuring people that I have eaten the traditional foods for this important lunar calendar festival! Last week at Fu Long, Josh and I were able to help the students make the traditional rice balls that are cooked into soup and eaten during this festival. These rice balls, tang yuan, or are made from a glutinous rice paste and then boiled before being added to either a sweet or savory soup. Although the balls can come in many colors, it is very traditional to make them in pink and white {I believe this stems in some way back to the idea and symbol of the ying & the yang}.

Students making rice balls for lunch

It is considered good luck (and fertility lol) to eat these rice balls in even numbers, but with my loving relationship with food I don’t have time to count what I’m eating!

Though I’m sure there’s a million & one family recipes for these soups the ones I’ve tried have been rice balls in a sweet red bean soup & the rice balls in a salty veggie soup. Although the red bean one was my favorite, they were both quite delicious!

The finished product ready to be cooked