Winter Solstice is an important solar term among the 24 solar terms. It is also a traditional Chinese folk festival for ancestor worship. Regarded as a major winter festival, the winter solstice customs vary from region to region in terms of content or details. In southern China, there is the custom of offering sacrifices to ancestors and feasting on winter solstice. In northern China, it is customary to eat dumplings on the winter solstice every year.
MOCO 2021 Winter Solstice Dumpling making Activity
“Winter Solstice” falls between the periods of December 21 to December 23. On 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”. 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 nine 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.
The winter solstice is one of the most important days of the year, a day for family togetherness. On this day, people in the northern part of China will eat dumplings, and there is a saying that references this custom. People in southern China will make and eat tang yuan, or rice dumplings, to symbolize the reunion of family.