Dunczhi holiday – Winter Solstice Festival in China
I will continue the topic of Chinese holidays in the story about the Dunezhi festival, which is celebrated in honor of the winter solstice. This is one of China’s most ancient holidays – he has been more than 3,000 years old.
History of the Dunchzhi Festival
As a dynasty of Zhou Day, the winter solstice became an official new year in China, it was about 1000 to our era. And this day remained until the unification of China’s Emperor Qin Shihuandy (the creator of the Great Wall and Terracotta Army). After the fall of his dynasty Qin (207 years old.N.E), the New Year was the Festival of Spring, who retained this status up to this day.
The festival in honor of the Winter Solstice was not canceled, and remained official holiday. On this day, it was customary to give gifts to each other, pray and bring victims ancestors. With dynasty Tan (about 618 years.E) Emperors started the tradition to pray to the sky and ancestors for a good harvest of next year.
The solebral ceremony is increasingly important. Already emperors of the Ming dynasties (1368-1644) and Qing (1644-1911) arranged a magnificent ceremony, following this day with a tuple in the Temple of the sky in Beijing, where he fed and prayed for the prosperity of the empire.
Nowadays, lush ceremonies do not spend, and the festival of Dunchi has turned into a family holiday. Official weekend in China on this day now.
Traditions for the holiday of Dunchi
This is the day when all relatives must come together together. Holiday spend 21, 22 or 23 December. Let me remind you that the day of the winter solstice does not have a certain day in the Gregorian calendar.
The whole family is going to a festive dinner. Traditional dishes differ in different provinces. In the north of the country (for example, in Beijing), the traditional dish of the Dunezhi festival are dumplings.
According to the legend, the famous leakage Zang Sonoring helped his countrymen suffering from cold and hunger. Many unfortunate ears were frostable. He prepared a special dish in the form of dumplings with a filling of drugs, gave patients, and they were cured. This dish was called Jiao Er. Since then, dumplings are associated with the fight against cold.
The saying says: "Who did not eat dumplings on the holiday of Dunchi, he wrinkles the ears in winter".
In the southern provinces (for example, in Shanghai) eat sweet pussy with rice balls called Tanyaan. ‘Tan’ translates like ‘soup’. ‘Yuan’ translates as ’round’, and it is from this word that the name of China’s currency. It turns out "Round soup" or "Soup with rounds".
Other provinces are popular rice cakes or pies. Traditions as much as provinces. Round form dishes symbolizes family union.
If you are tourist
Great meaning in the visit of China during the dunezhi festival. This is a family holiday. Rather you will experience discomfort, as the tables in restaurants are occupied, and prices can be overestimated.
But if you still got into China on the day of the winter solstice, then be sure to try dumplings, otherwise the grief is your ears.
There is one very positive moment in this day! In the Forbidden City in Beijing in the Higher Harmony Hall above the throne there are inscriptions. These inscriptions are illuminated by the Sun only once a year – on the day of the winter solstice. This is a unique moment, do not miss.
Sometimes in China on this day there are parades or contests on pellement. But seriously, it is not necessary to rely on such events, since they are announced only in Chinese.
If possible, the Chinese are trying to get home on this day, and fly to China at this moment may be more expensive than on ordinary days. Fortunately, on the eve of Dunchi there is no such hypewritten demand for flights, as in Chinese New Year.
The holiday of Dunzhzhi among the Chinese is the moment ‘Victory Spring’, when winter is surrendered, the day begins to increase and becomes warmer every day.
On the other hand, in the Chinese calendar, the coldest day of the year is considered January 20, that is, a month after the Dunezhi holiday. This day is even name – yes Han.
It turns out a paradox. But the Chinese do not see anything paradoxical. All for the sake of positive and emergence of spring, heat and sun.
The number of winter holidays in China is simply amazing. After the festival, Dunchi comes the holiday of Laba, which I have already written in the blog. And after that the new year. The Chinese spend winter on holidays and on a positive, which I wish all readers of our site.
Good and cheerful winter, and read other blog entries (Links below).