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Beautiful views of the 24 solar terms (22)

(People's Daily Online)

08:57, May 24, 2012

Winter Solstice

Edited and translated by Xue Meng, People's Daily Online

Winter Solstice

“Winter Solstice” falls between the periods of December 21 to December 23. One this day, the day is the shortest and night is the longest in the year. After this day, many places in China go through the coldest period, which is called in Chinese, “Shu Jiu”, meaning counting nine. In total, there are nine periods with nine days for each. In the first and second nine days, people keep their hands in pockets; in the third and fourth nine days, people can walk on ice; in the fifth and sixth nice days, people can see willows along the river bank; in the seventh and eighth nine days, the swallow comes back and in the ninth nine days, the yak starts working. “Winter Solstice” is not only a solar term but an important festival. People eat Jiaozi in north China and eat Tang Yuan, rice dumpling in south China.

Traditional Customs
Here are some traditional foods for “Winter Solstice”.
- Wanton noodle: During the Han Dynasty, the Hsiung-Nu often invaded the broader and bullied the farmers. At that time, there were two leaders in the Hsiung-Nu army, whose surnames were “Hun” and “Tun”. Farmers hated them so much and made dumplings with their names. Thus, people formed the tradition of eating “Hun Tun”, ie the Wanton noodle, on this day.
- Red bean glutinous rice: In south China around Yangtze delta area, people have the custom of eating red bean glutinous rice. In a very old legend, the Gongmu Family has a son, who always bullied the poor people. He died on the day of “Winter Solstice”, turned into ghost and continued to do bad things. However, this ghost scared of the red bean most and people ate red bean rice to drive him away.
- Jiaozi: Jiaozi is a necessary dish on this day no matter the family is poor or rich.

Healthy Living Tips
As Chinese medical principle believes, the Yang Qi inside people’s body is born on this day. In ancient times, there was a period considering “Winter Solstice” as the beginning of the year. People believe that when the Yang Qi is born, it should be raised and protected just like crops. Only when it’s well protected, people’s health can be in a good condition for the whole year. If someone has chronic disease and need long time supplement, they should take nourishment from “Winter Solstice” to “Spring Begins”. If someone only need short term supplement, they only need to take nourishment around the third nine days of the nice periods mentioned above.

【1】 【2】 【3】 【4】 【5】 【6】 【7】 【8】 【9】 【10】
【11】 【12】 【13】 【14】 【15】 【16】 【17】 【18】 【19】 【20】
【21】 【22】 【23】 【24】


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