The Winter Solstice
Do you know the Winter Solstice? Have you heard of solar term?
The Winter Solstice in China
There are 24 solar terms in a year in Chinese calendar, such as Spring begins, Great heat – The Winter Solstice is the 22nd solar term in a year, most times it’s on 22nd Dec (sometimes on 21st or 23rd) and it is the day that the sun radiates the earth on the tropic of Capricorn directly, so the daytime is shortest and the night is the longest in the Northern Hemisphere during the whole year. In ancient China, people thought the day was important, it was worth being celebrated.
The way to celebrate
The history of celebrating the Winter Solstice can be tracked back to Han Dynasty, but the way to celebrate is different from today, it was more grand in ancient times. Almost all the emperors paid attention to the Winter Solstice, even the emperors in Qing Dynasty attended the ceremony every year to celebrate.
Nowadays in northern China, people always make and eat dumplings with the family to celebrate. Why do people eat dumplings on the Winter Solstice? Because there is a story: if you don’t eat dumplings on the Winter Solstice, your ears will be frozen off in winter! Of course it’s fake. People made up the story to let all people eat dumplings and drink the soup of dumplings to keep warm in cold winter and to keep the memory of Chinese Medicine holy.
People in southern China eat glue pudding and something else instead of dumplings to celebrate, such as red bean rice in Jiangnan area, rice balls in some other areas in southern China.
Is there any tradition in your country to celebrate the Winter Solstice? Please share with us! Come to China, live in a host family and learn more about Chinese culture: firstname.lastname@example.org or check out our website www.internchina.com