- 21 December 2012
Winter Solstice Festival
The Winter Solstice Festival falls during the 11th lunar month. You can find the Western calendar date here.
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.
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.
In Hong Kong, 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’.