Colorful traditional festivals are the epitome of the long history and profound culture of the Chinese. Winter Solstice Day is another important day in Chinese Lunar Calendar and also a festival for Chinese. It is said that as early as in 2500 years ago, the Spring and Autumn Period, Chinese have already measured the specific time of the Winter Solstice Day. That is the time between the Solar Calendar Dec. 21 to 23. In the Northern Hemisphere, Winter Solstice Day is the day with the longest dark hours and shortest daytime in the whole year.
On the Winter Solstice Day, Dumplings and glue pudding are the traditional foods while in ancient times, the main activity is the publicly fete ceremony, where people got together to pray for avoiding the hunger and death. Among the folk, people have the convention to forecast the future weather according to the weather on the Winter Solstice Day and the arrival time of that day. If that day is in the beginning of the Lunar month, the coldest time of the year would be in the end of the Lunar year. If that day is in the end of the Lunar month, then the coldest time would be in the Lunar Jan. If that day is in the middle of the Lunar month, there would be no snow and frost. Another saying goes that if it is cloudy on the Winter Solstice Day, the Spring Festival must be a sunny day. On the contrary, if it is sunny day that day, there would be rainy on the Spring Festival.
There are also many different customs in different areas. In Fujian, at dusk before the Winter Solstice Day, the whole family would get together and “搓丸子”(cook the Wan Zi). This kind of Wan Zi is small rounded food made by the glutinous rice flour and there also could be many shapes of the Wan Zi. For example, there are the shoe-shaped gold ingot, little dog and pig etc., which made children very excited.
In Guangdong areas, people would, taking enough pork, chicken, fish and fruits, go to the memorial temples to worship their ancestors and after that, the whole family would sit together, having the meals. In some coastal areas, people would hold the ceremony of the ancestor worshiping before the fishermen going out for the fishing, asking the Gods and the ancestors to bless their safe on the sea.
In modern society, people are becoming busy and busy and many interesting customs are fading away. But the activity kept is the family reunion on the Winter Solstice Day. No matter how fast the world changes, for the human beings, the love between the families, friends and lovers will last forever. Don’t forget to have meals together with the people around you on the Winter Solstice Day.
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