24 Solar Terms: Winter Begins
“Winter Begins” arrives on November 7 or November 8 each year. In Chinese, it’s called“Li Dong”. “Li” means beginning and “Dong” means winter. In ancient times, theexplanation for “Dong” was that “all the crops are harvested and dried and it’s time toput them into the storage. All the animals are ready to hide and start winter sleep”.Therefore, “Dong” not only means winter, but also that the metabolism of the naturegets slower. At this time of the year, some rivers and landscape in China start to freeze.In north China, most of the areas already enter winter and for places besides YangtzeRiver, the real winter comes after “Light Snow”.
“Winter Begins”, together with “Spring Begins”, “Summer Begins” and “Autumn Begins”are the four “Beginning” on the solar terms. It’s a very important festival in ancienttimes. On this day, emperors led his officials to city suburbs for sacrifice ceremony.Nowadays, people celebrate “Winter Begins” by eating Jiaozi, practice winter swimmingand hold worship ceremony. Many people often start new study in winter as during thistime, people don’t need to do farming and the nights are longer than days.
Healthy Living Tips
During this period, it’s better to eat food with more nutrition such as lamb, beef, soya-bean milk and tofu. Also grain and potato, providing a lot of carbohydrate, can helppeople defend against the cold.