During the winter solstice festival, or Dongzhi Chinese people all over the world celebrate the turn of winter. It literally translates as ‘extreme of winter’ and marks the return of the light. It is celebrated the 22nd of December. Its origin can be traced back to old Yin and Yang Philosophy, which is all about balance in the universe.
Dongzhi, a time of family gathering
During Dongzhi, Chinese family members gather around for dinner and a meal of tangyuan, balls of glutinous rice, which are eaten with or without filling, and can be prepared both sweet and savoury. The round balls of rice symbolise the circle of family gathered around. This holiday is very much a celebration of family. For many Chinese, mainly the older generations, Dongzhi is a more important transition into the New Year than the actual New Year celebration. People reflect of the year past and try to find ways to better their lives for the coming year. It is also a day where the richer people give warm food to the poor.
Doing business during the holidays
Just like Christmas is very important for the Western world, Dongzhi has a significant meaning for China. Even though a lot of Chinese people have to work nowadays, it shows inside knowledge and respect to wait with important meetings until after this date. Donghzi also marks the countdown to the Chinese New Year which is celebrated the second (sometimes third) new moon after the winter solstice.
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