The Winter Solstice 冬至
Winter Solstice(冬至 dōngzhì), lunar new year in China is a very important solar terms, but also a traditional festival of the Chinese nation. As early as the Spring and Autumn Period of two thousand five hundred years ago, China has used Tugui(土圭 Tǔguī) observing the sun, and measured the winter solstice, which has the shortest day and the longest night of the day of the Northern Hemisphere throughout the year. On this day most people in northern China have the tradition of eating dumplings, while in the south people usually have sweet dumplings.
Customs in Tai wan
Taiwanese still hold the tradition that on winter solstice they use nine layer cakes to sacrifice their ancestors to show they never forget their ancestors. After the fiesta, the Taiwanese will prepare a large banquet for the clan relatives. People drink and eat happily with each other after a long absence. The Winter Solstice Festival has been passed down from generation to generation.
Many areas in China still own the custom of having ancestor worship ceremonies, however, in some places such as South Jiangsu(江苏 Jiāngsū) will celebrate this festival happily. In addition, folks usually forecast the weather in the future depend on the weather in Winter Solstice.
There is an old saying in Beijing “Eating noodle in summer, and eating Wonton(馄饨 húntūn) in winter.” According to the legend, the Northern Huns often harassed the frontier of the Han Dynasty, people there had no peaceful life. The heads of the two tribes were called “Won” and “Ton”, people hated them so much that they wrapped the meat into a wrapping called them “Wonton”. They ate the Wonton to wish they could live a peaceful and happy life. For people created the Wonton on Winter Solstice, it has become a custom that Chinese people eat it on this day.
Red Bean Rice
People usually eat the red bean rice on the eve of Winter Solstice in the Yangtze River basin region. People eat this in order to keep away from the evil sprits. It is quite easy to make, preparing the red rice, red jujube, medler, honey, white sugar and water, putting them into the electric cooker, after it is finished you can enjoy the delicious Red Bean Rice.
In the end,there is a comon saying "Winter Solstice is as formal as Spring Festival" , also showing the great importance attached to this day.