~ @28 months ~
Sweet Butterfly celebrated her first Racial Harmony Day at her CC on 18th Jul. As part of the celebration, each Tot was encouraged to bring a traditional snack. I chose Tang Yuan after much brain storming. This is a traditional Chinese desert which most Chinese household prepare during the Dongzhi Festival.
——– For my non Singaporeans readers ——–
Singapore is a multi-racial country. Typically school celebrates Racial Harmony Day by encouraging students to attend school dress in traditional costumes. During the celebration, students are also introduced to traditional snacks and games.
Dongzhi is one of the Chinese Festival where the family gets together. Family bonding is strengthen through the preparation and eating of Tang Yuan. There are a few versions of how Tang Yuan originated. One said that it originated from Zhang Xongjing in the Han Dynasty
. Another version said it originated from a maid of honor during the Han Dynasty
Today Chinese families prepare and eat Tang Yuan not only during Dongzhi. Newly weds eat Tang Yuan on their wedding day as it symbolizes a happy and fulfilling marriage. Well, in Chinese, Yuan, means round, complete and full. Moreover, Tang Yuan is usually cooked in a sweetened soup. So this symbolizes a sweet marriage. Tang Yuan is also prepared during the 15th day of Chinese New Year, known as Yuan Xiao. This is yet another day when the family gets together.
If you are doing a study on Asian Culture, I recommend making Tang Yuan. It is extremely easy to prepare and most Chinese household knows how too. I managed to find a step-by-step guide of how to make Tang Yuan
. There are photos to guide you too.
So why Tang Yuan? Other than being an easy cook-with-tot activity, the kneading and colouring of the dough provides much learning opportunities. Most importantly, it is a traditional delicacy and we could have lots of family bonding during the preparation. Preparing Tang Yuan also provided me an opportunity to talk about Racial Harmony to Sweet Butterfly.
Measurements (I didn’t do much measurements. Relied solely on experience.)
Kneading, rolling, cutting
Pouring the flour
Kneading (It’s hard to get a nice picture when Sweet Butterfly was so excited about getting her hands dirty.)
Divided the dough and kneading with food colouring. We did 4 different colours. We didn’t want Sweet Butterfly hands to be stained by the food colouring, so we took over the kneading.
We used our cookie cutter for some extra fun. The dough for Tang Yuan is too soft to be use with cookie cutter. We just wanted to extend this activity.
Ta-da! Our Tang Yuan ready to be cooked. You can prepare these the night before, leave them in the fridge and cook them the next morning.