Top 10 Taiwanese superstitions to follow for luck on Dongzhi, Winter Solstice

Taiwanese folklore experts introduce several secrets to bringing good fortune on Donzhi, Winter Solstice

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Tangyuan. (Photo from flickr user haylei wu)

Tangyuan. (Photo from flickr user haylei wu)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) -- Today (Dec. 22) is the Dongzhi (冬至, extreme of winter) Festival or winter solstice, the peak of winter based on the lunisolar calendar, and a Taiwanese feng shui expert and a Taiwanese tarot card master have given some tips on the best ways to ensure good fortune for the coming year.

During the Dongzhi Festival in Taiwan, people traditionally make tangyuan (湯圓, soup round), which are balls of glutinous rice boiled in a sweet soup, to symbolize reunion, completeness, and their consumption ensures a smooth and peaceful new year. Feng shui expert Hsieh Yuan-chin (謝沅瑾) said beyond the custom eating tangyuan past the age of one, people should also offer them to their ancestors.

Hsieh said a bowl of tanyuan should be placed in front of doors, windows, tables, and cabinets to honor the door and window gods. Several tanyuan should be wrapped in handkerchiefs and placed at the head of the bed to pray for success in the next year.

In addition, Hsieh recommended preparing four small plates with three tangyuan on each. Then place four stacks of coins with a longan at the center. This will symbolize that everything will go smoothly for the whole family in the coming year.

Hsieh then listed 5 steps to bring luck on Dongzhi, reported TVBS:

1. Eat tangyuan​​

This symbolizes the reunion of the whole family and success for the coming year.

2. Place tangyuan at the head of the bed

This is a way to pray for a successful new year.

3. Worship ancestors

Place tangyuan on the ancestral alter and pray for blessings for future generations.

4. Offer uncooked tangyuan to the gods

Place a bowl of uncooked tangyuan in front of doors, windows, tables, and cabinets to pray to the gods for the family's safety and success.

5. Stack coins with dried longan

This is a way to pray for daily success for the family in the coming year.

Yesterday (Dec. 21), Tarot card master Eiffel (艾菲爾) on Facebook posted a list of "Dongzhi good fortune secrets" for people whose Chinese zodiac animals are 犯太歲 (offending Tai Sui) this year, including the boar, tiger, snake, or monkey, as well as those born in the first, fourth, seventh, and tenth month of the lunar calendar.

1. Eat even numbers of tangyuan

Like Hsieh, Eiffel also places tangyuan at the top of the list. He just adds that an even number should be eaten and include at least one pink and one white ball to attract the opposite sex and to become more popular.

2. Eat vermicelli with pork knuckle

Tai Sui will favor parents. Children can buy vermicelli with pork knuckle for their parents to eat. If children show their filial piety, they can avoid bad luck and increase their longevity. Eating vermicelli with pork knuckle also brings good luck in general.

3. Drink "get rich water" buy lottery tickets

The most auspicious times during Dongzhi are 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. Good luck comes to those who buy lottery tickets and drink "get rich water" (發財水) at the bank during these time slots.

4. Eat wontons

Eating wontons represents the exchange of fortune from heaven and earth. During this period, the alternation of Yin and Yang energies is chaotic, thus bad luck can be smoothly turned away. Eating wontons also aids students who have been doing poorly with their studies to become wiser and more mature.

5. Do not quarrel or bicker

Dongzhi is a period when Yin and Yang energies change, causing relationships between men and women to become more complex. It is suggested that couples avoid disputes during this period and also avoid asking for money, getting engaged, or getting married on this day.

6. Buy new shoes and socks

Dongzhi is also known as "Respect for the Elderly Festival" (敬老節). On this day, children can take their parents out for a walk. Buying new shoes and socks for parents, particularly parent-in-laws, helps improve family bonds.