The Winter Solstice is not only one of the 24 seasonal division points but also a traditional festival for Chinese people. This year's Winter Solstice festival occurs on Thursday of this week.
The Winter Solstice occurs in the northern hemisphere when the sun reaches its most southerly declination.
As early as 25,00 years ago, around the Spring and Autumn Period, China had determined the point of Winter Solstice by observing movements of the sun with a sundial. It's the earliest of the 24 seasonal division points. After the Winter Solstice, daytime will become longer and longer.
As ancient Chinese believed, the positive things will become stronger and stronger after this day, so it should be celebrated. The Winter Solstice became a festival during the Han Dynasty. Eventually, officials began to organize celebratory activities for this "Winter Festival."
Now, in some parts of Northern China, people eat dumplings on the day, saying that doing so will keep them from getting frostbite in the upcoming winter.
In parts of South China, the whole family will get together to have a meal made of red-bean and glutinous rice to drive away ghosts and other evil things.