Monday, 17 December 2012

Our Dongzhi or Tang Chik festival has nothing to do with the Mayans

Sunday was the committee meeting of my clansman association. Towards the end of the meeting, my vice-president reminded everyone of the Tung Chik or Tang Chik winter solstice prayers at our Kongsi House this Friday. I asked him, Tung Chik on 21 Dec? Yes, he confirmed. But shouldn't it be on 22 Dec, I asked him again. No, it is not, he answered.

Then I remembered. This year, 2012, is a leap year. With February having gotten an extra day, everything in the Chinese solar calendar that happened this year after that date, would have been pushed one day earlier. That's why the actual Cheng Beng date was moved to 4 April 2012 instead of the usual 5 April. And that is why too that the Tung Chik date will be 21 Dec 2012. It's like that every four years during a leap year.

So it is not because of the end of the Mayan calendar that we Chinese are celebrating Tung Chik one day earlier this time around.

Anyway, we also don't believe this shit about the world ending on 21 Dec 2012 just because some fella in South America supposedly couldn't or didn't want to count beyond this date. And the people who actually fell for this prediction and have stocked up on candles, torchlight or foodstuff, I say: go get a life. Ha ha....

By the way, in case you want to know what is Tung Chik, the day is supposed to mark the longest night in the year. Of course, the effect is most fully felt in the northern hemisphere but for us living in the tropics and especially near the equator, the effect is less clear. Still, we are able to distinguish that in December and January, the sun rises later in the morning. This phenomenon lasts until 13 Feb 2013 when sunrise starts getting earlier again. Or haven't you noticed??

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