冬至：The Winter Solstice
After the winter solstice, the days are getting longer .
The winter solstice is the traditional solar term in China
We all eat dumplings with our families at the winter solstice
The winter solstice represents the official arrival of winter
On December 22, 2019, the day is the Winter Solstice, it is an important day in China, it becomes a tradition. More than 2500years ago, Chinese people had detected this day by measuring the sun. What is special on the day? The answer is that the daytime lasts the shortest while the night lasts the longest of the year. It means the new round of the solar term, the Winter Solstice is the earliest.
As an old tradition, people treat that day a grand day, they celebrate it. In the north, most people eat dumplings, while in the south, people have rice dumpling and boiled dumpling. Though people celebrate in a different way, they share the same happiness, family get together and have a big dinner. Winter Solstice gives family a chance to get reunion, the young come home to have a chat with parents and promote their communication.
Winter solstice is a very important solar term in Chinese Lunar calendar.
Being a traditional holiday as well, it is still now celebrated quite often in many regions. Early during the Spring and Autumn period, 2500 odd years from now, Winter solsticewas first determined as the Chinese traditional solar term among the total 24 terms. In Gregorian calendar, it is around Dec 22nd or 23rd.
Midwinter day is the very day in North hemisphere with the shortest day and longest night year-round. After it, daytime will become increasingly longer and the coldest clime will invade all the places on the Northern part of the globe. We Chinese always call it "JinJiu", which means once Winter solstice comes, we will meet the coldest time ahead.
That conclusion is proved well founded. According to scientific results, on Winter solstice, a right angle is formed by the sun and the tropic of carpricorn. Thus, the North hemisphere receives the least sunlight and the shortest day and longest night occur.
Ancient china did pay great attention to this holiday, regarding it as a big event. There was the saying that "Winter solstice holiday is greater than the spring festival". Nowadays, many regions still celebrate it as a big holiday. Northerners may have dumplings and raviolis that day while southerners may have dumplings made by rice and long noodles. Some places even have the tradition to offer sacrifices to the heaven and earth.