The Winter Solstice is a traditional celebration for people of Chinese ancestry in Malaysia. This day falls on 22 or 23 December on the Gregorian Calendar and corresponds to the day with the shortest amount of daylight in the whole year in the Northern Hemisphere. The observance is not a public holiday, but it is widely observed by many across the country.
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Traditionally, the Winter Solstice in China was seen as an important turning point in the year, since days will grow longer from then on and the winter will gradually fade away. The winter is thought of as “Yin”, symbolising negativity, while the longer days are considered “Yang”, which stands for the positive.
In Malaysia, where the weather is much the same throughout the year except for a wet season and a dry season, the Winter Solstice has less meaning from an agricultural perspective. However, the centuries-old traditions associated with the Winter Solstice are still observed and considered an important remembrance of the passing of time.
Many get together as a family to celebrate on Winter Solstice in Malaysia. And they may eat a dessert called “tang yuan”, which is an extra sweet kind of rice ball.