Tomorrow is Chinese Christmas so go roll some balls tonight, ok?

Tomorrow is December 22nd which is the Winter Solstice or Dong Zhi. It is a Chinese tradition to roll tiny glutinous rice balls and eat it with syrup. It is a tradition and not related to faith so any Chinese can do it.

tang yuen

But I remember how as kids, we used to string tiny, colourful ones on joss-sticks and placed it at the doors. My mom said it is for the door god. Anyway, when the rice balls dried up and hardened, they look beautiful like beads.

Talking about tang yuen, it serves me many, many memories. Long, long time ago, we used to have this nyonya neighbour who wears embroidered kebaya-type top and sarong. She insisted that all the rice balls must be perfectly round. All must be of the same size and only one or three or five colours to be used. So, she never allowed us children to touch them like they are so sacred like that.


Now? I let my kids make a gazillion colours rice balls. And they can be shaped like tortoises, hand grenade, the earth etc etc. I haven’t told them yet that we can roll rice balls tonight. They would love it but will make my whole house messy with flours on the floor, dough on the wall and colours on each other’s faces.

December 22nd is also a day when the children are supposed to return home to their parents for a meal. The roundness of the balls signifies the completeness of a family. So, make it a point to be home for your Chinese Christmas!

11 thoughts on “Tomorrow is Chinese Christmas so go roll some balls tonight, ok?

  1. Oh, so THAT’s what tomorrow’s celebration is.. I kept on asking my Chinese friends; they just said got big family dinner so won’t be free.. Some explanation huh! So thanks for CLEARLY explaining it Lilian! 🙂

  2. I absolutely love eating “tang yuen”! Mum used to say that “Eat one ball only – so you grow one year older” but the naughty me will eat up all the left overs.. macam pacman.kekeekkk……

  3. So fast, Dong Zhi alredi? hehe…I am going back to KL tomorrow, so in time to eat “tang yuen”. I love making it, somemore can roll two balls at one go.
    Ahya…one year older but hopefully one year wiser.hehe

  4. Now you remind me that i have to make my tong yuen lor. Aiyoh!!!! Sudah old ady. LOL

    Mine got 7 or 8 colours. Like rainbow.

  5. Tong Yuen time liau…….. Remind me that I have to start making them later. Mind got 7 or 8 colours. Like rainbow. LOL

    Btw, how is ur fruit cake doing?

  6. budokid – I think I have the recipe somewhere but can’t remember which of the 3 blogs. 😛 Just add some water to the glutinous rice flour (tepung pulut) and a spoonfull of sugar to make it softer. Mix enuff water so that you can roll it without breaking or too sticky it sticks to your palm. Agak-agak lah. About 300 gms will do. Add colour if you like. Or pandan juice to make it green. Then, leave those balls to air dry for a while, like 1 hour likedat. Boil a big pot of water, throw them in and when it floats, it is cooked. I love the floating part. Hehehe. Then, in separate pot, make sugar syrup with pandan. Slrrruppp. remember it is glutinous rice flour and NOT rice flour, ok? Or else it will turned hard instead of soft.

    maR – Tks!

    tehsee – Wuah, back from Japan, right?

    terence – Like dat you come to my niece pre-wedding night ‘cos the brides must swallow the kueh-ee whole. Did your wife did that? My mom fed it to me somemore, wearing new red pajamas, after pai thnee kong. Lucky never choked to death. LOL. It is the tradition including comb hair three times. Aiyer…I sound like old grandma only.

    Susila – LOL, that’s so funny. The pacman thing. Make yours all yellow.

    JACQ – I think back in China, they celebrate it that way. Got pray-pray ancestors also. Of course, not the Christians Chinese lah. Usually, our ex-parish Chinese priest reminded us to have a meal with the family.

  7. Erina – Panic!!!! I got no mood to bake yet. Hehehe. But I had been soaking the brandy and raisin for days already. I am going to my hubby’s eldest sister’s home for dinner so no worries about no fruit cake. I will sendiri makan it later on. Maybe I will bake a lemon poppy seed cake and a roast turkey to bring there only.

  8. You still can bake it on the eve mah. The next day lagi can eat. Still got time. No worry. Bake it on 24th night . Bila keluar,brush lots of brandy – the next day sure hoh yeh one……. make sure Matthew don’t take too much. Otherwise, he will go yum sengggggggg………………….. lol

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