Winter Solstice Festival

wintern solstice 5284683414_e5f7732e22_z

Celebrated during the 11th lunar month, this festival is also known as the Dongzhi Festival. Traditional foods eaten are tangyuan, the glutinous rice balls with sweet fillings, like the ones eaten during the Lantern Festival.

In northern China, wheat dumplings with meat fillings are also eaten. This festival marks the shift to longer daylight hours and usually takes place around 22 December.

The festival’s origins trace back to the Han Dynasty where a physician, appalled by the weak health of the poor, had dumplings filled with meat and fortifying ingredients made for them. Since then, the festival has celebrated as a time of taking care of one’s health as well as a time for gathering the family together for a reunion.

Tonic foods are prepared according to traditional recipes to fortify the body. Nourishing the body with meat and fatty foods to fight the cold has become a way of observing the festival.

When is the Winter Solstice Festival in 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017?

Year 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017
Date 21 December 22 December 22 December 21 December 21 December


“You know the significance of DongZhi festival? It is the last major festival in the year, just before chinese new year comes. Many says that to eat the riceball means that you have grown one year older and wiser. The gluttinous riceball, since it is circular (yuan), also signifies reunion (tuan yuan).”

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