Winter Solstice falls on 22nd December yearly. This is the time when Chinese people must pay back all the favors asked from Gods and Deities when the year started. People will rush to temples, offer incense and oil to show their gratitude for a peaceful and safe year. This must be done before 22nd December or on 22nd December, or else they are late in giving Thanks. After 22nd December, all Gods and Deities will return to Heaven. They will give a report of all the goodness and evils done by each household. Every household will receive blessings or being punished for badness done. So to avoid bad luck, Thanksgivings must be done for a good start when the new year begins.
This is also the day that Chinese families will eat rice balls boiled in sweet soup. Mum used to make these little balls in pink and white. The significant is to show that we will be one year older.
It is also family reunion day. This is a tradition as Solstice marked the start of Winter. Winter is cold, and families gathered around fire and warmed their bodies by eating warm food from hot pot or steamboat and have children, relatives, grand children, and friends with them.
We are fast losing this culture and the younger generations are not bother with traditions. Because we live in a non homogeneous country, we started following others culture, making them stronger but weakening ours, as in Chinese. I admire and envy the Malays and Indians for holding on to their culture.....
Losing a tradition is like losing bonds...and losing our identity. People are colder and they have no time to care about their folks, let alone others and become more self-centered.
This is much regretted!