Winter Solstice


Winter Solstice is a very important solar term in the Chinese lunar calendar.

Being a traditional holiday as well, it is still now celebrated quite often in many regions. Early during the Spring and Autumn period, 2,500 years from now, Winter Solstice was first determined as the Chinese traditional solar term among the total 24 terms. In the Gregorian calendar, it is around Dec 22nd or 23rd.

Midwinter day is the very day in the North hemisphere with the shortest day and longest night year-round. After that, daytime will become increasingly longer and the coldest climate will invade all the places in the northern part of the globe. We Chinese always call it "JinJiu", which means once Winter Solstice comes, we will meet the coldest time ahead.
It has been proved that conclusion was well founded. According to scientific results, a right angle is formed by the sun and the tropic of capricorn on Winter Solstice. Thus, the North hemisphere receives the least sunlight and the shortest day and longest night occurs.

Ancient China did pay great attention to this holiday, regarding it as a big event. There was the saying that "Winter Solstice holiday is greater than the spring festival". Nowadays, many regions still celebrate it as a big holiday. Northerners may have dumplings and raviolis that day while southerners may have dumplings made of rice and long noodles. Some places even have the tradition of offering sacrifices to heaven and earth.

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