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Chinese Winter Solstice

Chinese Winter Solstice
The Winter Solstice is a celebration of the lunar calendar and generally falls on the 22nd or the 23rd of December, which marks the day in the year with shortest daylight and longest night time in the Northern Hemisphere. 

The Winter Solstice Festival is heavily influenced by the Chinese concept of yin and yang which symbolizes the balance of life. According to Chinese astrology yin represents negativity and darkness which is most prevalent during this day, the shortest day of the year. Yang represents the opposite, light and optimism. From this point onwards the day light begins to last longer so it is seen as a time for celebration, positivity and new beginnings  

On this day Chinese families gather together to share a meal, in the North they generally celebrate by eating dumplings. While in Southern China it is custom to eat a dish made of red-bean and glutinous rice which is believed to drive away ghosts and other evil things. 

If you want to celebrate the winter solstice at home try out our delicious dumpling recipe: 

Ingredients:

1 packet Asian Home Gourmet Szechuan Spicy Spareribs SpicePaste©
200g (7 oz) pork, minced
100g (3½ oz) carrot, finely chopped
100g (3½ oz) mushrooms, finely chopped
1 small onion, finely chopped
25-30 round dumpling wrappers (won ton wrappers)
2 spring onion, finely chopped
1 egg, beaten
oil for pan frying

Method:

1. Combine mince meat, onion, carrots, mushroom, spring onions and SpicePaste© in a bowl. Mix well.
2. Place 1 tbsp of meat filling onto centre of the dumpling wrappers. Brush the edges of the wrappers with egg. Fold wrappers in half to form a crescent shape. Press edges firmly to seal.
3. Heat oil in pan on medium heat. Pan fry the dumpling on each side for 3-5 minutes or until cooked. Serve warm.

Variations: You may steam the dumplings instead of pan-fry.

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