Xie Dong (謝冬) aka the Starts of the Year End Thanksgiving Ceremony in Chinese Culture or Taoist Culture.
From the Day of Dong Zhi (冬至) aka Winter Solstice, the Thanksgiving Ceremony is considered Officially Started.
For Xie Dong, it is the first stage of the Thanksgiving Ceremony – the other 2 are:
Major Thanksgiving Ceremony is on 16th Day of Lunar 12 Month (農曆十二月十六日)
Last Thanksgiving Ceremony is on the Lunar New Year Eve known as Ci Sui (辭歲).
So when Xie Dong Ends?
According to Chinese Practise, Xie Dong starts on Dong Zhi Day and will usually Ends at the Last Day of Lunar 11 Month (農曆十一月末).
Why Xie Dong starts from Dong Zhi?
There are a few reasons:
1 – Dong Zhi marks the Peak of Winter and after this Day, Spring will be on the way back to this Mortal Realm. By choosing Dong Zhi as the start of the Xie Dong, it means that, People can start to slowly Send-off the Cold Winter and Usher-in the Gentle & Warm Spring
2 – In Astrology point of View, after Dong Zhi Day, the Daylight/Daytime will slowly increase and it will mark an end to the “Long” Nightlight/Night-time. In Taoism, this is a form of Transition, meaning Over-turning Negative aka Yin (陰) to Positive aka Yang (陽). This is considered as a form of New Cycle and also, a Joyous Moment and so, by marking Dong Zhi as Xie Dong, it means that everything will be meeting an End soon and a New Start will be arriving in No time
So usually who are the Targeted Honouring Group that Taoists or Chinese will offer their Thanksgiving to?
Usually during this Xie Dong Period, the Taoists or Chinese will visit Temples that they had visited to request for Blessing for the past 10 Months.
As for the most Frequent Visiting Temples, the Thanksgiving will usually be done on the 16th Day of Lunar 12 Month.
So what are the Offerings that Oneself needed to prepare for this Xie Dong?
To keep things simple, for those who are returning back to the Temples that they had visited during the past 10 Months, Oneself can just get the Incense-package from the Temples to make their Offering, if not, Oneself just needed to make a small token of Contribution to the Temples as a form of Sincerity of returning Gratitude to the Deities.
If Oneself is not able to conduct the Xie Dong Honouring, is it ok?
Due to Modernisation and working restriction, if Oneself is not able to conduct the Xie Dong Honouring, then Oneself can combine the Thanksgiving Honouring during the 16th Day of Lunar 12 Month or from the period in between 16th Day of Lunar 12 Month to the Day before Lunar New Year Eve.