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  • Gordon Dumoulin

冬至 Winter Solstice.... a new cycle with positive energy

冬至 𝘞𝘪𝘯𝘵𝘦𝘳 𝘚𝘰𝘭𝘴𝘵𝘪𝘤𝘦… 𝘢 𝘯𝘦𝘸 𝘤𝘺𝘤𝘭𝘦 𝘸𝘪𝘵𝘩 𝘱𝘰𝘴𝘪𝘵𝘪𝘷𝘦 𝘦𝘯𝘦𝘳𝘨𝘺 !

Yesterday China celebrated the Dōngzhì or Winter Solstice Festival, at times in history a more important festival than Spring Festival (or Chinese New Year).

The Dongzhi festival takes place on the shortest day and longest night of the year (in the Northern hemisphere) and became a festival during the Han Dynasty (206 BC – 220 AD), thriving in the Tang and Song Dynasties thereafter. Winter solstice is about the consciousness of harmony and a turning point in the balance. The beginning of longer days with positive Yang energy slowly flowing in again for a new calendar cycle.

The Chinese lunisolar calendar term Winter solstice also marks the arrival of midwinter, the coldest period of the year. High energy yang foods such as dumplings, tangyuan (sweet sticky rice balls filled with nuts or seeds), fatty meats and hot herbal beverages or liquors are traditional Dongzhi foods on the family table to keep warm and fueled with energy. Each region has their own local Dongzhi specialties.

During the Tang and Song Dynasties, it was an important day to worship the gods and commemorate ancestors which is still tradition in some regions in China.

The 17-arch bridge (十七孔桥; Shíqīkǒngqiáo), built in the 1700’s at the Summer Palace in Beijing is a popular attraction during Winter Solstice. Based on astronomy and geography, the bridge was designed to illuminate all arches at sunset during winter solstice. A magical twilight show and celebration for the days ahead becoming longer.

𝗔 𝗻𝗲𝘄 𝗰𝘆𝗰𝗹𝗲 𝘄𝗶𝘁𝗵 𝗽𝗼𝘀𝗶𝘁𝗶𝘃𝗲 𝗲𝗻𝗲𝗿𝗴𝘆 !

#wintersolstice #beijing #chinesecalendar #chinesehistory #chineseculture

Pictures : xinhua, chinadaily

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