Winter Solstice Festival-Origin of the Festival
The Winter Solstice Festival, which comes on December 22nd or December 23rd, is also called 芒鈧揥inter Festival芒鈧? According to the traditional Chinese lunar calendar, one year can be divided into 24 solar terms, and the Winter Solstice is one. Since China is located in the Northern Hemisphere and the sun shines directly on Tropic of Capricorn on that day, the day of the Northern Hemisphere is the shortest all the year around on this day. Then the sun moves towards the Tropic of Cancer gradually after, the daytime of China being longer and longer. Therefore, the Winter Solstice is one of the most important solar terms. After this festival, the 芒鈧搚ang芒鈧?(a term of the principle in nature) will start slowly picked up.
In ancient China, the Winter Festival was a grand day. In Zhou Dynasty, great ceremony to offer sacrifice to heaven would be held, when the Winter Festival was the same as the New Year. It was until Wudi Emperor of Han Dynasty adopted the traditional Chinese calendar that the New Year芒鈧劉s Day was separated from the Winter Festival. While before that, the emperors, officials and ordinary people even dropped their works to celebrate this day solemnly!
As a folk custom, the reaching time of this festival is a good way to predict the weather of the next year. In terms of folk saying, the days at the end of the year will become cold if the Winter Solstice comes at the beginning of a month; the days of next January will become cold if the Winter Solstice comes at the end of a month; and it will be snowless and frostless if the Winter Solstice comes in the middle of a month (in lunar calendar).