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twohands
22-12-2005, 11:27 AM
happy winter solstice :)

i understand from some research that this festival is even bigger than the chinese new year.

this is the time when the whole clan gets together and have a meal to celebrate the harvest for the year (the chinese harvest in china).

an important item on the menu would the the dessert "tong yuen".

dunno if i got the facts right, but i guess we the younger generation have lost touch with the "less glamourous" festivals.

CCY
22-12-2005, 11:32 AM
happy winter solstice :)

i understand from some research that this festival is even bigger than the chinese new year.

this is the time when the whole clan gets together and have a meal to celebrate the harvest for the year (the chinese harvest in china).

an important item on the menu would the the dessert "tong yuen".

dunno if i got the facts right, but i guess we the younger generation have lost touch with the "less glamourous" festivals.

Oh gosh......another step taken n another step nearer......another year..

JackRyan1975
22-12-2005, 11:33 AM
dunno if i got the facts right, but i guess we the younger generation have lost touch with the "less glamourous" festivals.

Come to think of it, festivals nowadays seem to thrive only when propped up by commercialisation. Probably the winter solstice festival got no commercial value (the only product being the relatively inexpensive "tong yuen") and hence not exploited. End result: younger generation (not all) don't find it glamorous and so don't celebrate.

Another example: How many actually celebrate Christmas for it's true meaning i.e. the birth of Jesus Christ? It's now turned into X'mas and a time to celebrate by shopping (whatever happened to good stewardship), partying, drinking etc.

Anyway, happy Winter Solstice to you and may you have never ending servings of tong yuens! :D

pcyeoh
22-12-2005, 12:04 PM
Another example: How many actually celebrate Christmas for it's true meaning i.e. the birth of Jesus Christ? It's now turned into X'mas and a time to celebrate by shopping (whatever happened to good stewardship), partying, drinking etc.

As a Christian, I hate to see the word Christ in Christmas being butchered by the commercialist who replaced it with the alphabet X. Everyone knows that X stands for the unknown. But in the case of Christmas, the festival has everything to do with CHRIST. It is not the unknown person's birthday that we Christian are celebrating. We are celebrating Christ's birthday. But frankly speaking just like the winter solstice where it has no commercial value, Good Friday suffers from the same fate. But I would place Good Friday to be more meaningful than Christmas but since I cannot preach here, I shall stop at that. Those who are Christians will understand why I say that.

Now you have to excuse me for I shall have to continue to eat/drink my "tong yuen" which my wife cooks every year without fail as she wants me to grow older every year. The Chinese says that you put on another year everytime you eat this "tong yuen." I guess it has to do with the Lunar Calendar. You see if you can eat this "tong yuen" that means you are already existing before the Chinese New Year which means you are one year older straight away compared to you counterpart who is born on or after the CNY thus the saying "add one more year after eating your tong yuen." There is also a catch at the end of your life. When you die, they add another three more years to your age. So, if there is any Chinese who have held the Guinness World of Records for oldest person, please inform the record keeper to deduct 4 years from him/her. Likewise when you read the obituary of a Chinese, you do the same thing when you look at his age.

Happy Winter Solstice (also known as the Chinese Christmas) and a MERRY REAL CHRISTMAS.

KH EE
22-12-2005, 02:58 PM
it rained this afternoon in usj, circa 1pm... so will it rained at about the same time on the 1st day of CNY2006 (29 jan)?

GreyShadow
22-12-2005, 03:31 PM
my family is in town at this moment, any suggestion where can I bring the whole family for a nice tong yuen?
Can't remember when was the last time I spend winter solstice together with my parent... everytime wasn't at home with them... :(

cannot cook also... my house kitchen not ready yet :(

evelynlim
22-12-2005, 03:51 PM
my family is in town at this moment, any suggestion where can I bring the whole family for a nice tong yuen?
cannot cook also... my house kitchen not ready yet :(

If you have no time to make tong yuen and your hse kitchen is not ready yet,you may buy those ready made frozen tong yuen which has ingredients inside like red beans, black sesame/peanuts from the Hypermarket. Boiled one pot of hot water using the electric rice cooker with some pandan leaves, ginger and sugar. When water boiled, put all the tong yuen inside and it is ready to eat when all tong yuen are floating around :p My colleagues cook tong yuen for us using this method in the office :D It's nice too! I have lots of tong yuen today from 4 different person, have grown old by so many years alreay :D
Happy Winter Solstice and Happy New Year to all. :)

hmckl
22-12-2005, 04:18 PM
it rained this afternoon in usj, circa 1pm... so will it rained at about the same time on the 1st day of CNY2006 (29 jan)?
My parents were both born and grew up in mainland China; and they strongly believe that. But the one I know is opposite ...... if it rains today, it will not rain on CNY :-) When I was young, on most occasions they were spot on ...... But one or two times they were wrong

VeeJay
22-12-2005, 04:22 PM
As a Christian, I hate to see the word Christ in Christmas being butchered by the commercialist who replaced it with the alphabet X. Everyone knows that X stands for the unknown.

I think you have got it wrong, the X in the word Xmas has been in use for ages! and in many religious writings Many seem not aware of it, though!. X represents Chi of the Greek letter, which is also the first letter of Christ, if its written in Greek and as in the New Testament.

Read further here…
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Xmas

JackRyan1975
22-12-2005, 04:36 PM
If it's Christmas to be celebrated by Christians, then CHRISTMAS it should be, not some supposedly hip and mysterious version of the name decided by non-believers.

kwchang
22-12-2005, 04:59 PM
Hello, this thread is on winter solstice and I believe it is not religious.

This is one day amongst the Chinese celebrations that is NOt based on the lunar calendar but based on the solar calendar. My mother could never figure it out. You want to know why it is a solar event?

The name (solstice) says it all. On 22 December, every year, the northern hemisphere reaches its longest night (and shortest day). The Earth's axis reaches the point where the north pole begins to tilt towards the sun, and thus bring longer days. Hence winter solstice is celebrated because it is literally the end of winter because the path of the Earth will move towards Summer. Hence the rejoice that the weather will get warmer and brighter.

It is not significant for us in the equatorial zone because we experience very small changes in daylength unlike the temperate zones. But tradition dies hard and there is always room for an excuse to have a family meal. We are having one tonight. :) Cultural traditions are great. And this is one event, I guess, carries no real religious constraints.

hmckl
22-12-2005, 08:04 PM
Hence winter solstice is celebrated because it is literally the end of winter because the path of the Earth will move towards Summer. Hence the rejoice that the weather will get warmer and brighter. (Quote)

Very funny :-) the festival in Mandarin means 'the arrival of winter' and that is what I always believe ..... So, is is the end or the arrival of winter?

aRwEn
22-12-2005, 08:58 PM
i found an interestin article n recipe 4 tong yuen here.

tong yuen article n recipe (http://www.tourismpenang.gov.my/page.cfm?name=lc09j)

i've oso posted another recipe by amy beh in d
recipez thread (http://www.usj.com.my/bulletin/upload/showthread.php?p=102985#post102985)

isarahim
23-12-2005, 01:03 AM
Another example: How many actually celebrate Christmas for it's true meaning i.e. the birth of Jesus Christ? It's now turned into X'mas and a time to celebrate by shopping (whatever happened to good stewardship), partying, drinking etc.

Jesus was born between mid May to early June. The exact date is not known.

The idea that Christmas should be celebrating the birth of Jesus was introduced several hundred years after his lifetime by the Bishopry of Rome to usurp the Roman Saturnalia and Sol Invictus holidays. Later on this was expanded to the Germanic mid winter feast a.k.a. Yule. The strategem so pursued was to infiltrate those holidays by superimposing Christian elements on them and thereby weakening the competing religions. And it succeeded, at least for a millennium.

It is not strange therefore that Christmas has become first and foremost feast of plenty since that's really how it originally started. It's simply returning to its roots.

Christmas, despite its name, has nothing to do with the historical Jesus.

kwchang
23-12-2005, 01:14 AM
... So, is is the end or the arrival of winter?
Actually it is the Mid Winter Festival

Check out these websites -

The following explains the Mandarin word = Winter's Extreme
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Winter_solstice
hence wouldn't it be the most extreme point in Winter and it only gets better after this day? This wikipedia also tells that the start of winter is around 7 November hence winter solstice is certainly not the "arrival of winter"

Something on the culture
http://www.china.org.cn/english/features/Festivals/78308.htm
http://chineseculture.about.com/library/weekly/aa122200a.htm

Since this festival also celebrates the arrival of the Yang element you can read about the Yin-Yang symbol here - http://www.chinesefortunecalendar.com/YinYang2.htm

pcyeoh
23-12-2005, 12:42 PM
Jesus was born between mid May to early June. The exact date is not known.

The idea that Christmas should be celebrating the birth of Jesus was introduced several hundred years after his lifetime by the Bishopry of Rome to usurp the Roman Saturnalia and Sol Invictus holidays. Later on this was expanded to the Germanic mid winter feast a.k.a. Yule. The strategem so pursued was to infiltrate those holidays by superimposing Christian elements on them and thereby weakening the competing religions. And it succeeded, at least for a millennium.

It is not strange therefore that Christmas has become first and foremost feast of plenty since that's really how it originally started. It's simply returning to its roots.

Christmas, despite its name, has nothing to do with the historical Jesus.
Thank you isarahim on the above information and as a Muslim you are indeed very learned. How I wish all the religious leaders in our country are well verse in the major religions' teachings so that we can declare that we are truly religious tolerant. The information you share here is an eye opener for many including those Christians who are not aware that Christmas is not the real birth date of Christ though it is the day all Christians will remember as His coming into this world when the host of angels first sang "Joy to the world, the Lord has come." For those who attend Bible Studies ( I was one of them) this is one of the first thing we were taught. We were not so fortunate to have wikipedia to help us. I am afraid that there will come one day, Wikipedia will replace all the places of worship of all faiths when people start surfing there for information and do not see the need to attend churches, temples and mosques anymore. But sadly these people will miss the fellowship of being there and that is the ONLY reason that that one day will not arrive.

isarahim
24-12-2005, 12:18 AM
Thanks PC. Sometimes I upset my Christian friends by saying these things which is of course not my intention.

Well you know, ever since my teens I've had a profound interest in the religious and historical events which led to one religion ('classic Judaism') splitting up and becoming three religions (Islam, Christianity and 'modern Judaism' or 'Rabbinism') as well as a number of variants of those three main ones.

I always think that by understanding the events which led to the split ups one can more easily understand the reasons why there are so much miscommunication between them and why people tend to become so polarised. It might even be possible fathom the future events which might bring them together again. After all, we pray to the same God.

I have read the new testament several times. I've also read most of the non-canonical gospels, including the gospels of Thomas, Peter, Infant and Magdalene.

I recommend that every Muslim and Christian should read those books and I recommend that every Christian should read the Qu'ran, all with open, unprejudiced and unbiased minds.

Of historical interest common to Muslims, Christians and Jews are also the Dead Sea Scrolls. It is my belief that by reading, in particular the Essene community related material, one can get a very good insight in how Jesus and the desciples and other followers were organised.

In addition, Jesus is my namesake.

pcyeoh
24-12-2005, 01:24 AM
Thanks PC. Sometimes I upset my Christian friends by saying these things which is of course not my intention.

I recommend that every Muslim and Christian should read those books and I recommend that every Christian should read the Qu'ran, all with open, unprejudiced and unbiased minds.
In my line of work with my previous employer, I had to attend to end users' complaints which my reseller could not handle. On one occasion some years ago, I had to visit the Saudi Arabian Embassy to attend to one complaint made by one of the senior embassy officials. After having successfuly attended to his complaint, the embassy staff was very grateful to me and he presented to me the Holy Koran. I told him since I am a Christian and also I do not understand Arabic, I was unable to accept his kind gesture. He then said to me what our isarahim said above. I replied that I didn't mind to read the Holy Book but the problem was I couldn't read Arabic so how would I understand. It suddenly dawned on him that I was assuming all the time that the Holy Quran in my hand was printed in Arabic. He said, "Mr Yeoh, I am sure you do read English." I replied, "Yes I do." He then said that the book he presented to me was the English version. So since I have no reason or excuse to turn down his sincere gift, I brought it back to the office and showed it to my Muslim colleagues. They were shocked that I had their Holy Quran and more shock when they discovered that it was the English version. They then told me the strangest thing I ever came across. They told me that there isn't supposed to be any other version except the Arabic and the Bahasa version. The question I want to ask here is "Is it true that our government bans the non Arabic and non Bahasa version of the Quran just like they banned the Bahasa version of the Holy Bible??

Oh by the way, I did not manage to read the Holy Quran as one of my Malay colleagues wanted my English version of the Quran as he said he loved to keep it and as for me, I would stick to my Holy Bible.

kwchang
24-12-2005, 01:39 AM
...I did not manage to read the Holy Quran as one of my Malay colleagues wanted my Bahasa version of the Quran as he said he loved to keep me and for me, I would stick to my Holy Bible.
PC, I see you are stumbling with your words here. Firstly was it not an English Quran? And why did your colleague wanted to "keep you"

Jokes aside, I think no one should reject a holy book regardless. No matter what your faith is, I believe a holy book is sacred and itself carries high value.

isarahim
24-12-2005, 02:36 PM
I'm as surprised as you are. I didn't know there was such a rule.

But I think many of our top hotels have a copy in the writing desk of every room. I seem to remember that's an English version, usually Mohd Pickthall's or Shafie's translations (to be really accurate they should be called 'interpretations' not 'translations'). Some hotels have both the Bible and the Qur'an.

evelynlim
12-01-2006, 12:08 PM
my family is in town at this moment, any suggestion where can I bring the whole family for a nice tong yuen?
(
I went to Onking electrical shop in Taipan yesterday night and discover this shop which is next to it is selling all sorts of Tong Sui and desserts. The amazing part is they are selling Thong Yuen all year round :p The Thong Yuen is so cute in size with a few colours and is soft & tender but a bit sweet. Better mention "kurang manis" if you were to try it next time. It's RM2.50 per bowl. The shop is Restoran LYG Dessert, 41G, Jln USJ10/1A,SJ.

evelynlim
21-12-2006, 03:54 PM
Tomorrow will be the day for Tung Yuen :) I just had mine at my mom's place as we celebrated the Winter Solstice one day earlier.
Happy Winter Solstice to you & your family.

hmckl
21-12-2006, 04:43 PM
Tomorrow will be the day for Tung Yuen :) I just had mine at my mom's place as we celebrated the Winter Solstice one day earlier.
Happy Winter Solstice to you & your family.

'My, My' I remember reading this thread last year and now one year gone :-(
Since I left the house 23 years ago, has been missing mom's 'tung yuen' ......
crying again :-(
anyway happy winter solstice

ginaphan
22-12-2006, 10:19 AM
As a Christian, I hate to see the word Christ in Christmas being butchered by the commercialist who replaced it with the alphabet X

The abbreviation of "Xmas" for Christmas, long reviled by many conservative and Low Church Christians, is not nearly as blasphemous as many contend. Rather than a sacrilegious removal of "Christ" from Christmas and replacing him with an unknown, as some claim, the "Xmas" abbreviation has a long history in the church. In Greek, the language in which the New Testament was first written, "chi" (c or C), which is almost identical to the Roman alphabet "X," is the first letter of the word "Christ" (cristoV, or as it would be written in older manuscripts, CRISTOS). In fact, the symbol of the fish in the early church came from using the first letter of several titles used for Jesus (Jesus Christ Son of God Savior) that when combined spelled the Greek word for fish (icquV, ichthus).

In the early days of printing when typesetting was done by hand and was very tedious and expensive, abbreviations were common. The church began to use the abbreviation "X" for the word "Christ" in religious publications. From there, the abbreviation moved into general use in newspapers and other publications, and "Xmas" became an accepted way of printing "Christmas."


Excerpted from http://www.cresourcei.org/cyxmas.html

(Gina's addition: In other words, the use of 'X' is similar to our sms language in today's times - man's need for economy of words).

Please also see link above on the origin of Christmas and Epiphany which will add to what Isarahim has mentioned. Christians are aware that December 25th is not the real date of the first coming of Christ. We are not blind to historical facts. It been many centuries that we have been celebrating this date but the reason for celebrating it remains the same, regardless the date. We cannot look at just one day in the year. The entire Christian calendar and season must be taken in consideration so that our observance of special days makes sense.

Chang, sorry to hijack this thread but I felt I needed to add to what has been said.

GreyShadow
22-12-2006, 11:52 AM
Ermm... here's a one year late reply, OT again :p
FYI, there's are English version of Quran in M'sia, and BM version of Bible too.
You can find the BM version of Bible easily in East M'sia, and it's available for a long long time liaw. But here ar... dunno la... I remember years back Pak Lah was commenting there shall be no BM version of Bible without knowing us east M'sian already had it for decades :rolleyes:

For English version of Quran, I did flip a few pages before, and found out the content are more or less similiar to the Bible, since both of them are actually originated from the same source ages ago. Oh ya, the hotel I'm working in has the English version of the Quran in the rooms, but not all has the Quran in the room, some has Bible in it only, and some room have both also... I guess some of the guest might be helping themselves with the English Quran/Bible as souvenir when they check out. :rolleyes:


Okie... back to topics. Happy Winter Solstice to everyone!!! :D
Tonight will have our tong yuen which we self made last night :D
As the old folks says, "You grew one year older after having your tong yuen" ;)

ginaphan
22-12-2006, 03:17 PM
Made my tong yuen last night and boiled it this morning. We had it for breakfast. Yummy.

It's strange as it actually is nothing much - glutinous rice flour, water, coloring, sugar and water (and pandan somtimes). But since we only take once a year, it becomes so special.

GreyShadow
23-12-2006, 10:47 AM
we made our own tong yuen for the first time, boiled it last night using rice cooker (kitchen stove not ready yet ;))
but the tong yuen just won't float up even after boiling it for 1 hour plus!! we scoop out a few and found out the inner part are still uncooked and hard. 1st we thought the size might be too big, then we make smaller ones, yet it the same.
Any idea what went wrong here? :confused:

ginaphan
23-12-2006, 03:26 PM
See http://www.usj.com.my/bulletin/upload/showthread.php?t=10707&highlight=tong+yuen
for the recipe

bugbear
24-12-2006, 01:51 AM
Jesus was born between mid May to early June. The exact date is not known.

The idea that Christmas should be celebrating the birth of Jesus was introduced several hundred years after his lifetime by the Bishopry of Rome to usurp the Roman Saturnalia and Sol Invictus holidays. Later on this was expanded to the Germanic mid winter feast a.k.a. Yule. The strategem so pursued was to infiltrate those holidays by superimposing Christian elements on them and thereby weakening the competing religions. And it succeeded, at least for a millennium.

It is not strange therefore that Christmas has become first and foremost feast of plenty since that's really how it originally started. It's simply returning to its roots.

Christmas, despite its name, has nothing to do with the historical Jesus.
You are spot on there isa. This coming from a muslim is indeed refreshing. :D Christmas as many know it is a great sham by the power that be foisting pagan ritual onto unsuspecting christians. I know this is not easy for most christian to stomach but that is the cold hard truth. ;)

bugbear
24-12-2006, 01:58 AM
Thanks PC. Sometimes I upset my Christian friends by saying these things which is of course not my intention.

Well you know, ever since my teens I've had a profound interest in the religious and historical events which led to one religion ('classic Judaism') splitting up and becoming three religions (Islam, Christianity and 'modern Judaism' or 'Rabbinism') as well as a number of variants of those three main ones.

I always think that by understanding the events which led to the split ups one can more easily understand the reasons why there are so much miscommunication between them and why people tend to become so polarised. It might even be possible fathom the future events which might bring them together again. After all, we pray to the same God.

I have read the new testament several times. I've also read most of the non-canonical gospels, including the gospels of Thomas, Peter, Infant and Magdalene.

I recommend that every Muslim and Christian should read those books and I recommend that every Christian should read the Qu'ran, all with open, unprejudiced and unbiased minds.

Of historical interest common to Muslims, Christians and Jews are also the Dead Sea Scrolls. It is my belief that by reading, in particular the Essene community related material, one can get a very good insight in how Jesus and the desciples and other followers were organised.

In addition, Jesus is my namesake.
Err...saudara Isa. I beg to differ with you that we pray to the same God. That is the misconception the world have that Jehovah and Allah is one and the same. You see, Jehovah has a son by the name Jesus but not so for Allah. How can they be the same? :confused:

isarahim
30-12-2006, 11:23 PM
Err...saudara Isa. I beg to differ with you that we pray to the same God. That is the misconception the world have that Jehovah and Allah is one and the same. You see, Jehovah has a son by the name Jesus but not so for Allah. How can they be the same?
The difference in view between Christians (we should precise this to Paulinic Christians) and Muslims regards the existence of 'the son'. It does not regard Allah/Jahve/Jehova/God. We sprung from the same root. We share the books of Moses and other OT material. We even share Jesus and we agree on much of the message that Jesus delivered. But we disagree on the exact nature of Jesus. Basically, we disagree about everything that happened from the commencement of Roman influence on Christianity and onwards, most importantly Paul.

So , let's not make a specific disagreement into a general disagreement. The God is the same. Islam came about much later than the Christianities, but still recognises Christians as people of the book. Hence we share much more than we differ.