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Submited by : 贵
Submited by : 贵

Dong Zhi / Winter Solstice / 冬至

Dong Zhi / Winter Solstice / 冬至.

Dong Zhi (winter solstice) will soon arrive. and during this time, chinese family members would sit down together to consume Tang Yuan / 湯圓. Tang Yuan which symbolise reunion is made from glutinous flour which are roll into the shape of a small rice ball about half an inch or larger. They are then cook and serve in bowls along with sweet soup. Sometimes colouring is also added during the making process. This makes the cooked glutinous rice balls looks more attractive to Kids.

Commonly known as the Winter Solstice Festival, it is the 22nd term of the 24 solar terms in the Chinese calendar. It falls on 21st or 22nd December each year and it is a Festival celebrated all over the world by many culture. On the day of winter solstice, the chinese would get up early in the morning to prepare rice balls or dumpling, fruits, joss offering to worship the house hold deity. On this day, they would also perform cultural ceremonies, offering to heaven, offering to their ancestor, giving donations, celebrating the end of harvest festival and also gather for reunion. This is also a day to perform prayers to prevent diseases and to drive out evil spirits. In the olden times, Chinese emperors would visit the Temple of Heaven to worship and offer sacrifices to Heaven on this day.

Recorded in ancient books, it is said that on this day, the Yin energy will be very strong while the Yang energy will be growing and begins its new cycle. It will have the shortest daylight and the longest night of the year. After this day, sunlight will become longer, Yang energy will become stronger while yin energy becomes weaker.

The winter festival is a traditional chinese festival. Historically, the Winter solstice I can be trace back to the time of Xia dynasty. The culture was follow during through the Zhou dynasty. During this time, the Zhou’s would consider the winter solstice as a new year. This practice was follow by the Qin dynasty till the Han dynasty. It was then that the Han’s Winter Solstice became a Winter Festival. Government officials and commoners would have an official holiday to celebrate this day. People during the Southern and Northern Dynasties still consider the Winter solstice as the first date of a new year. During the Tang and Song dynasty, the winter solstice has became a day for remembering ancestors and offer sacrifice to Heaven. And on this day, the emperor would visit the Temple of Heaven to worship and offer sacrifice to Heaven. Records from the Qing Dynasty has stated that Winter Solstice is significantly as important as the Spring festival aka Li Chun.

The custom varies in china, The northerners would also consume dumplings on this day while the majority of the local people would just consume rice ball aka Tang Yuan / 湯圓.
There is also traditional custom to take the rice ball after offering to the house altar and paste it on the front and back door of the house. This is said to serve as a talisman to protect the family members for evil and disease.

Other activities done during winter festival includes the custom of “sending/giving winter clothing” and also to visit ancestors grave to perform offering. The meaning of “sending/giving winter clothing” has two representation. One for the human on earth and another for the Spirits of the otherworld. Sending/giving a friend or loved one some winter clothing would mean that you care for them as it is cold during this time of the year (China).

For the Spirits of the otherworld, Paper winter clothing would be offer to ancestors/spirits. There is a believe that the human lives in the human world while the dead lives parallel on the otherworld. It is said that when a person dies, its spirit/soul would leave the body and it would exist in the otherworld. These spirits would have different needs during different seasons. So during the Winter solstice, the spirits would be cold. To visit the grave this time is also a show of respect/filial to the ancestors.

A Legend from Henan says that on winter solstice, King Yama would allow spirits free to roam earth for a day. And when the time arrive he would send them back to the otherworld. So people on this day would pray to King Yama to request him to move all the spirits/ghost back to the otherworld so earth will be tranquil and peaceful. Offerings are also burned for the spirits to use when they return to the otherworld.

In certain part of Jiangnan, China, a special customs is followed where people take the opportunity to arrange a second burial for their ancestor from a coffin burial to an urn burial.
They would exhume their ancestors coffin and burn the coffin’s wood in the night. The remains of their ancestors are then place into an Urn. The Urn is then reburied. This custom is known as Dang Tian Wei / 當天為 also known as Guan Cai Tian / 棺材天.

During DongZhi, there is a game that uses rice ball for divination. This divination is to determine the gender of a future baby. The person who wish to enquire would first have make some glutinous rice balls. A fire in then build. The rice balls is then thrown into the fire. If the rice ball expand without any crack then it is predicted a baby boy is on the way and if the ball expand but cracked then a coming baby girl is predicted.

Do view my other post on “Auspicious Dates for Chinese New Year” which is posted yearly to get the date and time of the annual Dong Zhi / Winter Solstice / 冬至.



俗稱的冬至節。大约每年英歴12月21日至22日之间,在冬至這天一大清早起身,准備湯圓、水果和祭品. 祭天、祭祖先、慶团圆、駆邪防災的節日. 很久以前古代皇帝会在冬至那天前往天坛聖殿祭天仪式祀求平安。






Below:- Tang Yuan / 湯圓 ready to be serve.

Dong Zhi /  Winter Solstice / 冬至

My Time – – A web blog cataloging chinese temples in malaysia / 記錄馬來西亞廟宇文化.

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2012 Ampang Nine Emperor Festival / 安邦南天宫九皇大帝誕

2012 Ampang Nine Emperor Festival / 安邦南天宫九皇大帝誕

Location: Nan Tian Gong, Ampang New Village, Selangor / 南天宫, 安邦, 雪蘭莪.
GPS Coordinate: 3.141057, 101.764539

Photos of Street Parade, Fire walking and bridge crossing ceremony taken on 14th,16th,22nd,23rd October of the Nine Emperor God / Jiu Huang Da Di / 九皇大帝 festival held by Nan Tian Gong / 南天宫 temple in Ampang, Selangor.

2012 九月初一,初二,初八,初九 安邦南天宫九皇大帝誕.

Photos courtesy of Ms SY Lim and Steven Ong. Total of 63 image.

My Time – – A web blog cataloging chinese temples in malaysia / 記錄馬來西亞廟宇文化.

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2012-Ipoh Nine Emperor Festival / 怡保斗母宮九皇大帝誕

2012-Ipoh Nine Emperor Festival / 怡保斗母宮九皇大帝誕.

Location: Tow Boo Keong, Ipoh, Perak / 斗母宮, 怡保, 霹雳.
GPS Coordinate: 4.584981, 101.084164

These photos were taken on 20th October 2012 of the Nine Emperor God / Jiu Huang Da Di / 九皇大帝 festival held by Dou Mu Gong / 斗母宮 temple each year in Ipoh, Perak. The whole festival would usually last for 10 days.

2012 九月初六霹雳怡保斗母宮九皇大帝.

Photos contibuted by Mr Foo.
Anybody who wishes to contribute to this gallery are most welcome. Do use the contact menu above.

My Time – – A web blog cataloging chinese temples in malaysia / 記錄馬來西亞廟宇文化.

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Wen Wu Sheng Di Miao-Bukit Tinggi / 文武聖帝廟-武吉丁宜

Wen Wu Sheng Di Miao-Bukit Tinggi / 文武聖帝廟-武吉丁宜

Location: Kampung Bukit Tinggi, Bentong, Pahang / 武吉丁宜, 文冬, 彭亨.

I’ve always enjoy going for road trips whenever my schedule permits. Today, we decided to travel along the federal route 68, an old road linking Gombak and Bentong, Pahang. Its definitely a good ride thought the hilly greens. Enjoying the fresh air and magnificent views till we arrive this small village with many restaurants known as Kampung Bukit Tinggi. Upon entering the village, we saw a Pai Lou / 牌樓 leading to this temple. I have seen this temple for many time by the side of the karak highway but had never stop over till this very day. This temple would be hard to miss as it has a miniature replica of the Great Wall of China for its surrounding fence. The first thing that really amaze me when we arrive was the size of its property along with the beautiful view of it hilly surrounding. There is just so much space for future expansion and yet they maintain the temple structure as a simple place of worship with a community hall and an opera stage for its festival/community purposes. Luckily for us, a few committee member along with the medium of the temple was around when we visited. They were kind enough to explain bits of the place and also about the patron deity of this temple.

Based on what was told to me, this temple was establish in 1965 by the chinese community living around this area. It has a administrative area where they have black and white pictures of festival done in 1970 and street parade photos taken in 1996 hanging by the wall. From what i can make out, it was a grand festival with devotees carrying banners, flags and its patron deity on a palanquin parading through the small town here. Bits of written history can also be found in this area.

In the main hall, the altar on the centre is devoted to the God of War, Guan Di / 關帝 and one riding a horse known as SanTai Wei Guan / 三太尉官. The altar to the left of it is dedicated to Deng Gong Sheng Ye / 鄧公聖爺. It was mention that this deity was invited over from 广西 / GuangSi, China. The altar on the right is dedicated to Guan Yin Fo Mu / 觀音佛母 and Xian Tai Fu Ren / 冼太夫人 (a famous historic heroine figure during the Sui dynasty). A smaller altar on the side is devoted to the Eight immortal / Ba Xian / 八仙.

Two altars in front of the temple houses its huge statues of Si Da Tian Wang / The four heavenly kings / 四大天王 follow by long steps leading down the temple. According to its members, the concept of the long steps is said to be from a temple in china where they’ve invited one of their patron deity. It is said that the number of steps is symbolically auspicious.

Wen Wu Sheng Di Miao-Bukit Tinggi / 文武聖帝廟-武吉丁宜1

Wen Wu Sheng Di Miao-Bukit Tinggi / 文武聖帝廟-武吉丁宜2

Wen Wu Sheng Di Miao-Bukit Tinggi / 文武聖帝廟-武吉丁宜3

Wen Wu Sheng Di Miao-Bukit Tinggi / 文武聖帝廟-武吉丁宜4Wen Wu Sheng Di Miao-Bukit Tinggi / 文武聖帝廟-武吉丁宜5

Wen Wu Sheng Di Miao-Bukit Tinggi / 文武聖帝廟-武吉丁宜6

Wen Wu Sheng Di Miao-Bukit Tinggi / 文武聖帝廟-武吉丁宜7Wen Wu Sheng Di Miao-Bukit Tinggi / 文武聖帝廟-武吉丁宜8

Wen Wu Sheng Di Miao-Bukit Tinggi / 文武聖帝廟-武吉丁宜9

Location Map / 神廟地圖

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My Time – – A web blog cataloging chinese temples in malaysia / 記錄馬來西亞廟宇文化.

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