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24 Solar Terms: 9 things you may not know about Winter Solstice

2016-December-21       Source: Chinadaily.com.cn

The traditional Chinese lunar calendar divides the year into 24 solar terms. Winter Solstice (Chinese: 冬至), the 22nd solar term of the year, begins this year on Dec 21 and ends on Jan 4.

[Photo/nipic]

As early as Zhou Dynasty (c.11th century-256BC), people worshipped the gods on the first day of the Winter Solstice, which was also the first day of the new year. The Winter Solstice became a winter festival during the Han Dynasty (206 BC-220AD). The celebratory activities were officially organized. On this day, both officials and common people would have a rest.

During subsequent dynasties, such as the Tang (618-907), Song (960-1279) and Qing dynasties (1644-1911), the Winter Solstice was a day to offer sacrifices to Heaven and to ancestors.

Eating nuts

When midwinter comes, vital movement begins to decline and calm down. In this period, eating an appropriate amount of nuts, such as peanuts, walnuts, chestnuts, hazelnuts and almonds, is good for one's body. Traditional Chinese medical science teaches that the quality of a nut is tepidity and most nuts have the function of nourishing the kidneys and strengthening the brain and heart.

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Editor: Xiaowen

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