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Winter Solstice (Dong Zhi)

Winter Solstice 2018

Winter Solstice is closing in. It is the 24-marked seasons in the Chinese calendar. In Chinese, this festival is called Dong Zhi 冬至- literary means arrival of winter. This is one of the most important solar term.Dong 冬 means winter and Zhi 至 refers to extreme. This is the second most important festival in the Chinese calendar.

Dong Zhi 冬 至 occurs when the Sun is exactly at the celestial longitude of 270 degree. It normally falls between 21st December to 23rd December of the year, a few days before Christmas. This year, the Winter Solstice falls on 22nd December2018, 06:22:38 hour. Dong Zhi 冬 至 has the shortest daylight of the year as the hemisphere is leaning farthest away from the sun. For many cultures including the Chinese, this day represent treat of chilly air, long hours of darkness and seasonal Affective disorder.

Base on the theory of yin and yang, the yin energy, which is at its most powerful state, meets the yang energy at the Northern hemisphere and make their turning point, giving way to the light and warmth of yang, the new cycle of Yin & Yang begins. For this reason, Dong Zhi 冬 至 is a time of reborn and hopefulness.

Chinese feast like a New Year on Dong Zhi as they celebrate the good year they have had. It is also an occasion for family reunion and put on new clothing. Some dishes are must to have on this day such as dumpling, sweat glutinous rice ball soup, red bean congee and wine. Dumpling is belief to stimulate a person intellect and making the person more intelligent and hardworking for the year ahead. Sweet Glutinous Rice Ball known as Tang Yuan is a popular Chinese desert, which symbolize family unity and prosperity. Many choose to eat 9 rice balls during Dong Zhi as 9 is the most Yang number and is a complete number for Chinese. Red Bean Congee is belief to be able to ward off evil spirit, bad luck and troublemakers (xiao 小 ren 人) for the coming year. Wine is to keep warm and to increase the yang qi in the body. And, of course, to keep the gathering into the long night.

On the day of Dong Zh i冬 至, it is important to keep yourself warm as the yang energy on earth is unbalance, especially around the time of the point of the change. Anyone who falls ill on this day is belief to have bad fortune on the coming year.

Lighting up the house is also important to keep the yang qi sufficient at home and in the office or commercial premises. 

Try some of the above dishes to keep warm.

Happy Winter Solstice! 祝贺冬至愉快安康!