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Discover Guangzhou Self Guided Book is written by Janvi Tours, formerly Guangzhou Private Tour Guide Janvi or Guangzhou Tour Guide Janvi


Written by Janvi Chow
Published August 2018

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Home Travel Guide Festivals and Events Winter Solstice Festival

Winter Solstice Festival

Winter Solstice Festival

As early as 2,500 years ago, about the Spring and Autumn Period (770-476 BC), China had determined the point of Winter Solstice by observing movements of the sun with a sundial. It is the earliest of the 24 seasonal division points. The time will be each December 21 or 22 according to the Gregorian calendar. The Northern hemisphere on this day experiences the shortest daytime and longest nighttime. After the Winter Solstice, days will become longer and longer. As ancient Chinese thought, the yang, or muscular, positive things will become stronger and stronger after this day, so it should be celebrated.

The Winter Solstice Festival has its origins in the Chinese concept of yin and yang, which represents balance and harmony in life. It’s believed that the yin qualities of darkness and cold are at their most powerful on the shortest day of the year, but also at their turning point to give way to the light and warmth of yang. For this reason, the Winter Solstice Festival is a time for optimism.

Winter-Solstice-Festival

In Guangzhou, most people finish work early on the festival and go home for lavish meals with their families. They’ll usually include tangyuan on the menu (a sweet soup with balls of sticky rice) because its name sounds like ‘reunion’.Today, people mark the occasion in northern China by eating Chinese dumplings, while the southern part of the country puts on a much bigger celebration, second only to Chinese New Year for many families. This is because this was traditionally the time by which farmers and fishermen had to prepare for the coming colder months.