Happy Winter Solstice! and Happy Holidays!

Happy Winter Solstice!

Today is the winter solstice – the time when the position of the Sun is farthest south of the celestial equator as seen against the background stars in the constellation of Sagittarius.

It is widely recognise as the beginning of winter in the Northern Hemisphere and summer in the Southern Hemisphere. However, to us at the equator, many people will not notice any different; it’s summer all year long.

To the Chinese, however, there is a festival to celebrate – the DongZhi Festival 冬至. Traditionally, the Dongzhi Festival is also a time for the family to get together. One activity during these get together is the making and eating of “tangyuan” 汤圆 or balls of glutinous rice, which symbolise reunion.

This is the time of the year when people will take long vacation. The usual reason is to “clear leaves” because most companies do not allow leaves to carry forward to the next year. Just last Friday, most of the colleagues I met said this to me: “Goodbye, Merry Christmas and see you next year!”.

Within these two weeks, there are a number of festivals to celebrate. The DongZhi Festival for the Chinese on the 21st, Merry Christmas for the Christians on the 25th, Awal Muharam (new year of the Islamic calendar) for the Muslims on the 29th, and Happy 2009 Year for everybody.

It’s good to have long vacation, especially during school holiday season. You can spend more time with your children and family, go back hometown and visit your parents, go somewhere for holidays, and throw away all your work until next year.

Unfortunately for me, I’d spent almost all of my annual leaves and there are heaps of stuffs waiting to be done. No long holidays for me this season :-( . But with all the public holidays, I still have time to go back home and visit my parents, which is great!

So, to everyone out there: Happy Winter Solstice! 冬至快乐! Merry Christmas! Happy New Year! Happy Holidays! and Clear Skies!

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~ by thChieh on December 21, 2008.

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