[Tell China Stories, Spread Chinese Culture] Winter Solstice of the 24 Solar Terms

Winter Solstice is an important one in the 24 solar terms of the lunar calendar.

There is a folk saying that in China, “Winter Solstice is as significant as the Spring Festival”.

It is the extreme point of the sun's direct southward travel.

It has the shortest daytime and longest night in the northern hemisphere.

Winter Solstice marks the beginning of the cold season.

From then on, people start to count the cold days, which is called "shu jiu".

Customs of Winter Solstice

  • Eating Dumplings

According to legend, at the end of the Eastern Han Dynasty, Zhang Zhongjing, the "Saint of Medicine", felt sorry for seeing people's ears frozen in the cold winter. Therefore, on the day of Winter Solstice, he set up a medical hut, cooked mutton and some cold-repelling herbs in a pot, took them out and chopped them up. Then, after wrapping them in the shape of ears with dough, he cooked them again in the pot, curing the people's ears. Later, every winter solstice, people imitated him and such custom was formed with a saying: "Without a bowl of dumplings on Winter Solstice, no one cares if your ears are frozen off.”

  • Eating sweet dumplings

In the south, "sweet dumplings" are popular on Winter Solstice. Round in appearance, soft and sweet in taste, they are regarded as a symbol of "reunion". Therefore, eating sweet dumplings on Winter Solstice is are also called "reunion on Winter Solstice".

  • Brewing Rice Wine

Brewing rice wine on Winter Solstice is also a traditional custom in history. Traditionally, people in Suzhou would drink winter wine on the night of Winter Solstice, which was brewed from glutinous rice or yellow rice with the addition of osmanthus flowers. The glutinous rice sweet wine has a significant nourishing effect on the body, such as promoting blood circulation, removing blood stasis, and beautifying the skin.

The picture in the poster is selected from wonderful photography of the beautiful campus scenery, so that you can feel the beauty of the 24 solar terms on campus and understand related customs at the same time. The copyright of the image is owned by the University Publicity Department.

Text reference:

Text: Wu Jing, Yang Yi

Poster: Yang Yi

Translated by: Hu Qiuyu


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