Winter Solstice Festival
The Chinese Winter Solstice Festival has come this year. It is a festival even equivalent to the New Year in the past, telling people that the winter days have come formally.
Origin of the Festival
In ancient China, the Winter Festival was a grand day. In Zhou Dynasty, great ceremony to offer sacrifice to heaven would be held, when the Winter Festival was the same as the New Year. It was until Wudi Emperor of Han Dynasty adopted the traditional Chinese calendar that the New Year’s Day was separated from the Winter Festival. While before that, the emperors, officials and ordinary people even dropped their works to celebrate this day solemnly!
It was said there was a woman called Nvwa with human head and snake body when Pangu created the world. Seeing there was a large hollow in the sky, she mended it by colored stones. And she also made the human beings by earth. When the cold Winter Solstice came, the ears of the human beings were always froze off. So she made a hole in their ears and threaded a line across the ears to the mouths. And the human beings can prevented the falling of the ears by biting this line. People today eat dumplings (with the shape of ears) during Winter Festival. They bite the stuffing (which is of the same pronunciation as the line in Chinese) to spend this day. Many districts of China eat dumplings on Winter Solstice Festival and some places eat wontons. People in Guangxi usually have steamed beancurd buns.
Many historical conventions have been passed down to be the customs of the North China Winter Solstice Festival. While the celebrating forms are diversified.
It is also a custom to send shoes as a gift. People today usually make or by shoes and then send them to the children.
The boys in North Shanxi district get used to play the "Dagang" game while girls usually kick shuttlecocks. Even the adults will join in the fun.
The night on this day is the longest during a year, so "Winter Solstice rice ball" are made at this night. Children are happy on this day and usually make the rice balls in shape of cute animals. And the rice balls are must ate by couple for good luck. If two balls are left at last, the married will have all their wishes; if one, the unmarried will have success. Fruits and food are used to sacrifice to the ancestors.
- Spring Festival
- Lantern Festival
- Qingming festival / Tomb Sweeping Day / Cold Food Festival
- Dragon Boat Festival
- Qiqiao Festival / Double Seventh Festival
- Ghost festival / Zhongyuan Festival
- Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival
- Double Ninth Festival / Chongyang Festival
- Laba Rice Rorridge Festival
- Dragon-Head-Raising Festival / Longtaitou
- National Holidays
- Tips for Holiday Travelers
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