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Winter Solstice Festival

Updated Beijing Time

 
Families eat pink and white tangyuan, symbolizing family unity and prosperity.

Winter Solstice, also Dongzhi, is a traditional festival to celebrate winter's coming. On this day, people will organize celebrating activities, offer scarifies to Heaven and ancestors.

The Winter Solstice Festival or The Extreme of Winter (Chinese 冬至Pinyin: Dōng zhì) is one of the most important festivals celebrated by the Chinese and other East Asians during the dongzhi solar term on or around December 21 when sunshine is weakest and daylight shortest; i.e., on the first day of the dongzhi solar term.

The origins of this festival can be traced back to the yin and yang philosophy of balance and harmony in the cosmos. After this celebration, there will be days with longer daylight hours and therefore an increase in positive energy flowing in. The philosophical significance of this is symbolized by the I Ching hexagram fù (復, "Returning").

Traditionally, the Dongzhi Festival is also a time for the family to get together. One activity that occurs during these get togethers (especially in the southern parts of China and in Chinese communities overseas) is the making and eating of Tangyuan (湯圓, as pronounced in Cantonese; Mandarin Pinyin: Tāng Yuán) or balls of glutinous rice, which symbolize reunion.

In some parts of Northern China, people eat dumpling soup on this day; while residents of some other places eat dumplings, saying doing so will keep them from frost in the upcoming winter.




Spicy and delicious glutinous rice full of diversified ingredients, a popular and must-to-eat dish in South China including Guangzhou.

But in parts of South China, the whole family will get together to have a meal made of red-bean and glutinous rice to drive away ghosts and other evil things. In other places, people also eat tangyuan, a kind of stuffed small dumpling ball made of glutinous rice flour. The Winter Solstice rice dumplings could be used as sacrifices to ancestors, or gifts for friends and relatives.

Source: Lifeofguangzhou.com / Wikipedia

Editor: Chen Minjie

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