This year, children at ELFA Preschool had the opportunity to make and enjoy eating “Tang Yuan” to mark Winter Solstice (Dongzhi). On 20 December 2022, the children at ELFA @ Hougang and Pandan Valley enjoyed hands-on experience making the popular traditional sweet dessert.

Children from Pre-Nursery to Kindergarten levels got to try their hand at cooking Tang Yuan.

Before the session, teachers shared with them stories behind the celebration of Dongzhi in China. The children were also shown pictures of traditions connected to the event, which is observed at around the beginning of the fourth week of December every year.

The children sang and danced to traditional songs about the festival. Those at the Hougang centre even created artworks to depict aspects of the Winter Solstice celebrations.

Especially interesting for the children were how families in Northern China make and eat “jiǎozi” (dumpling filled with meat and vegetables), whereas those in the South consume Tang Yuan (glutinuous rice balls in a sweet soup) to mark the occasion.

The children enjoyed tasting the Tang Yuan and even shared their experience with parents at home.

Child tasting the yummy Tang Yuan that he cooked.

After the session, a nursery-aged child from ELFA @ Pandan Valley, Hao Ming, exclaimed, “I love to make Tang Yuan”. Zhi Yong of kindergarten 1 chirped, “I like the singing and the songs”.

The teachers were happy that their children enjoyed the stories. One of the teachers from ELFA @ Hougang, Wong Pei Yi, said, “It is important that our children have exposure to various festivities and learn about their cultural significance. They also get to learn about the origins of some of the Chinese cuisines, such Tang Yuan for Dongzhi.”