Winter solstice is an astronomical phenomenon which for the Northern Hemisphere occurs in December and which for the Southern Hemisphere occurs in June.
For the Northern Hemisphere, the moment of winter solstice is when the sun’s elevation with respect to the North Pole is at its most negative value since the previous December. (The elevation with respect to the South Pole is at its greatest since the previous December). The hemisphere has its longest night and shortest day around the moment of solstice with the night within the Arctic being 24 hours long. The origin of this festival starts from Yin Yang Philosophy, the balance and harmony in universe.
In particular, according to tradition, the Winter solstice festival is considered the time for family reunion. One of the important activities during this time is that family members gather together, make and enjoy stuffed sticky rice cakes. This is a dish made from molded sticky flour, form ball-shape and cooked with sugar water. This dish also symbolizes the union of family members, hence Winter solstice holiday is usually known as a reunion holiday.
Each family member will receive at least a large cake and some smaller ones. According to ancient tradition, they also used this kind of cake and stacked them up on the front door or window and furniture to wish their family all good luck and happiness.
In Ho Chi Minh city, the Winter solstice holiday is an important holiday of the year, especially to Chinese people living in Ho Chi Minh, it is more important than annually New year holiday.
On this day, the Chinese often worship their ancestors and grandparents, and the special and indispensable dish in this day is still traditional stuffed sticky rice cakes symbolizing the reunion of family member.
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