Chinese Winter Festival.
“Dong Zhi is the second most important festival of the Chinese calendar. Celebrated on the longest night of the year, Dong Zhi is the day when sunshine is weakest and daylight shortest. The coming of winter is celebrated by families and is traditionally the time when farmers and fishermen gather food in preparation for the coming cold season. It is also a time for family reunions. This celebration can be traced to the Chinese belief in yin and yang, which represent balance and harmony in life. It is believed that the yin qualities of darkness and cold are at their most powerful at this time, but it is also the turning point, giving way to the light and warmth of yang. For this reason, the Dong Zhi Festival is a time for optimism.
Dong Zhi is celebrated in style. The longest night of the year is a time to put on brand new clothes, visit family with gifts and to laugh and drink deep into the long night.”
All of my colleagues and most of the entire floor today in office had gone home as early as 1pm. And were in fact advising all to leave as early as possible ;). For many traditional Chinese this festival is more auspicous and important than the Chinese New Year itself. All spend time with their family today and have dinner with parents.
I have been advised to keep away from Chinese restuarants as it will be extremely crowded with long queues and advance bookings. In that case I will try a non-Chinese restaurant and go to Chinese restaurant on New Year or X’mas :). This festival marks the beginning of the Holiday / Festival season in Hong Kong. We have a long weekend here with Monday (12/25) and Tuesday (12/26) a holiday. And we have all started to talk in the “see you next year” mode.