Yesterday was the Winter Solstice. Usually I would be looking forward to the days getting longer, but I almost totally forgot about it because the length of the days doesn't really change all that much here. However, I was reminded of it because I had the chance to participate in an authentic celebration of the Solstice with some Taiwanese friends. People in Taiwan eat Tangyuan on the Winter Solstice. As you can see from the Wiki page, there are variations in when they are eaten, and what's in them, but the people I had them with said they are a Winter Solstice food, and the ones we had were all sweet.
Here's a package of Tangyuan. These ones have a sesame filling. There were also ones with peanut filling.
To make Tangyuan you have to be able to successfully boil water. This is probably a barrier to entry for some people, but the group I run with is pretty smart, so we were ok.
This is what they look like when they're done.
For one batch we added brown sugar to the boiling water so that there was a sweet soup in addition to the Tangyuan themselves.
Mario also made an appearance. He looks a little down in this photo...
But it turned out he just needed a temple massage.