The Winter Solstice Festival, also known as Dongzhi Festival, occurs during the winter solstice, which is December 21st or 22nd of the Gregorian calendar. The daylight is the shortest and weakest of any day of the year during the winter solstice and as far back as the Spring and Autumn period, the Chinese understood this by use of a sundial. Similar to the Double Ninth Festival, the Winter Solstice Festival is also based on the concept of yin and yang. As the days become longer, the yang, which represents masculine and positive, will become stronger. This is a cause for celebration.
The Winter Solstice Festival has been celebrated since the Han Dynasty. Itís meant to be a day of rest and a day to celebrate and offer sacrifices to oneís ancestors. Different areas of the country celebrate differently. In the cold, northern parts of China, mutton and dog meat are consumed for warmth. Southern areas enjoy Tangyuan, a stuffed dumpling made of glutinous rice and served in soup. Many families gather together to worship their ancestors and then have a banquet