Culture and Customs of the Winter Solstice

冬至的文化和习俗

“Ninety-nine Anti-cold Map”
Winter Solstice is a special festival of our Chinese nation. “Eating dumplings in the winter solstice does not freeze your ears.” This statement does not know when it began, and may not be true, but it has been faithfully implemented in the north. Whenever the winter solstice comes, the whole family sits at the table, carries a plate of hot dumplings, drinks and chats, drinks and drinks, drives out the cold outside, which has become a reserved program for many families. More importantly, as one of the 24 solar terms, the ancient winter solstice is a very grand festival. There are many important activities to be held and many interesting ways to play. It’s not just a simple meal of dumplings. Of course, the ancients did not eat dumplings at the Winter Solstice, but wonton!
Twenty-four solar terms is one of the precious cultural heritage of the Chinese nation. It is the crystallization of wisdom formed by our ancestors in the long-term production and labor. It reflects the ancestors’understanding of climate law and phenology. On November 30, 2016, the 24 solar terms were officially listed in the UNESCO list of representatives of intangible cultural heritage of mankind. In ancient times, today’s 24 solar terms are divided into two parts. They are called solar terms at the beginning of the month, the middle of the month, and the winter solstice is one of the mid-days in winter and March. “Yi Zhou Shu Zhou Yuejie”: “Every four years old, spring, summer, autumn and winter, each of Meng Zhongji name, ten February, Zhongqi to write. It should be mid-spring, mid-March, stunning, spring equinox, clear and bright. Mid-air in summer and March, small full, summer solstice, big summer; mid-air in autumn and March, summer, autumn equinox, frost; mid-air in winter and March, small snow, winter solstice, big cold.” It is also called the Eight Festivals because of the special importance of the eight solar terms, namely, the first spring, the spring equinox, the first summer, the summer solstice, the first autumn, the second autumn equinox, the second winter and the second winter solstice. In order to cooperate with the 24 solar terms, the ancients picked out three phenological phenomena with the most typical meaning in each solar term, which are called 72 solar terms, also known as the response. According to Yizhou Shu Shixun Jie: “On the day of winter solstice, earthworms knot. Another five days, elk corner solution. Another five days, the spring is moving. Earthworm knot, elk corner solution and spring movement are the three seasons of winter solstice. When the winter solstice arrived, the weather turned cold, the earthworms began to hibernate, and next year they started to frighten and come out again. In the ancient people’s view, although the elk belonged to the same family, the elk belonged to Yin and deer belonged to yang, and the cathode retreated at the winter solstice, and the first sun was born, so the elk lost its horn due to Yang qi. Similarly, the spring movement, the potential under the spring surge, is also due to the birth of yang. When earthworms hibernate and elk take off their horns, they belong to natural phenomena during the winter solstice. As for the surge of water springs, it is probably the reasoning imagination of the ancients.

冬至的文化和习俗

In the 24 solar terms, the winter solstice ranks 22nd. On this day, the sun reaches the southernmost point of the year. For China in the northern hemisphere, the sun is the most inclined, the shadow is the longest and the day is the shortest. From the beginning of the winter solstice, the point of direct solar radiation gradually moved northward, and the day became longer and longer. Du Fu’s poem cloud: “The first day after the winter solstice is longer”, that is to say. During the Wei and Jin Dynasties, the custom of measuring sunshadows with red lines was used in the imperial palace. Volume 38 of Sui Shi Guang Ji quoted Sui Shi Ji: “During the Jin and Wei Dynasties, the palace measured sunshadows with red lines, adding a long line after the winter solstice.” In the view of the ancients, the winter solstice is the “cathode and the sun begins to arrive”, “one cathode reaches, the two Yang Qi starts to arrive, the three go south day by day, so it is also called the winter solstice”. The ancients believed that the law and calendar are the same origin, and the law corresponding to the winter solstice is the Yellow bell, “the yellow bell is the beginning of the law”, and the yellow bell is the beginning of the music, so it corresponds to the winter solstice when one Yang is born. According to the theory of homology of law and calendar, the ancients also designed a set of methods to measure the solar terms: “soot blowing in the ribbon tube”. Specific practices, according to Cai Yong’s explanation, “the law is a three-fold room, the door is closed, the provocation will be thorough, Buti Man room, wood as the case, each case, from its position, plus the law on it, to the ash solid end, the moon Qi to, then fly ash and pipe through.” The so-called “high inside and high outside” is to bury a part of the pipe underground and expose a part. Build a three-fold closed room, sealed tightly, and bury the twelve pipes in accordance with the corresponding monthly position. Inside, the ash burned by reeds will be blown out by the Yang gas gushing from the pipes at the corresponding solar terms. The winter solstice is the beginning of a sun, so the yellow bell corresponding to the winter solstice is buried in the seat of the next month (November). When the winter solstice comes, the Yang gas hidden under the yellow spring springs springs and the ash in the yellow bell tube will fly out. Generally speaking, this facility was built before the beginning of spring. At the corresponding time, officials of the Taishi Bureau will perform.
From the point of view of seasonal cycle, the winter solstice is just the beginning of a new round of sunshine increasing gradually, that is, the so-called “one-yang beginning”, so it has attracted great attention of the ancients. Beginning in the Zhou Dynasty, “to the gods, people and ghosts from winter”, that is, to pray for the country by offering sacrifices to ghosts and gods on this day. In the Han Dynasty, because of the increase of Yang Qi after the winter solstice, “Yang Qi rises, the monarch and the governor, therefore congratulates each other”, not only to congratulate each other, but also to take a few days off for officials. “Before and after the winter solstice, gentlemen settle down in a quiet body, 100 officials refuse to do anything, do not listen to the government, choose the auspicious time and then save trouble.” In the Tang Dynasty, the ritual of suburban heaven was chosen on the day of winter solstice to worship Haotian Emperor on the hill, which was shared by Tang Gaozu. At the same time, the five gods, such as the Five Divines, the Emperor of Heaven, Beichen, Beidou, Tianyi, Taiyi and Ziwei, were also worshipped. They can be said to be the most solemn sacrifices of the year. The hills are in the south of the capital, where the celestial rites of the outskirts are held to be worshipped by the Son of Heaven himself. So every winter solstice, the Son of Heaven goes out to the South outskirts. Therefore, there is the saying of “greeting the sun” to welcome the increasing yang. Because of the increase of daytime, the workload of the maid is also increasing day by day. In Volume 38 of Sui Shi Guang Ji, Tang Zalu is quoted as saying: “The sundial grows longer after the winter solstice because of the length of female meritorious service in the palace, which is more than a line of meritorious service in daily life.” Du Fu’s poem “Five Embroidery Patterns with Weak Lines” refers to this. At this time, the custom of winter solstice has spread from the court to the people. If we can not reunite with our family at this time, we will grieve. Therefore, Du Fu’s poems of Winter Solstice are full of the sorrow of the departed family members.
Every year to the day long as a guest, suddenly sad mud murder. Jiang Shang describes me as an old man, and the customs of the horizon are close to each other. Lindan Gu, Lindan Gu, Mingyu Chao Lai Sanzichen. At this time, there is no inch of heartbreak. Where can I see Sanqin?

冬至的文化和习俗

The Song Dynasty continued the system of winter solstice and suburban days in the Tang Dynasty, which was shared by Taizu of the Song Dynasty. When the emperor held the celestial ceremony in the suburbs, he changed the sacrificial clothes of the dragon and wore 24 crowns on his head. The suburban altar is three stories high, seventy-two levels, three feet square and three feet square. It has four steps, namely, the midday stage in the south, the first step in the east, the first step in the West and the second step in the north. The God of Haotian God on the altar is located in the north, facing south and the God of Taizu Song in the southeast. The sacrificial ceremony was very solemn, and preparations began three days before the winter solstice. The system of celestial sacrifice to ancestors in the suburbs of the palace radiated to the people, so the people held sacrifice to ancestors on this day, and the winter solstice gradually formed a major festival in the Song Dynasty. “The winter solstice of November is the most important festival in Beijing Normal University.” Although the poorest accumulate fake loans in one year, they are more likely to wear new clothes, prepare food and worship their ancestors. Officials release Guanpu to celebrate exchanges, just like New Year’s Day. People who have been busy for nearly a year begin to relax and enjoy themselves on the winter solstice day, adding new clothes, organizing banquets and sacrificing ancestors. The government also made fun of it and allowed gambling activities such as Guanpu to be held on this day, which added a lot of excitement. This custom spread to the south of the Yangtze River with the Southern Festival of the Song Dynasty. The meticulous Old Stories of Wulin preserved the grand occasion of Hangzhou Winter Solstice in the Southern Song Dynasty:
The imperial dynasty will celebrate and arrange the festivals, such as the Yuan Zhengyi, and the Duren most heavily one Yang to celebrate the winter, the cars and horses are all fresh and fresh, and the five drums have been filled in the Ninth Street. Women and children, gorgeous clothes, like clouds. Among the temples in Yueci City, Bingxiang is especially popular. Within three days, all shops went on strike and drank in the curtain, which is called “festival”. There is a proverb of “winter wonton, year wonton”. Your family is curious, a piece of more than ten colors, known as “Baiwei wonton”.
So far, from the imperial court down to the people, the importance of the winter solstice festival has been similar to that of New Year’s Day. Men and women, old and young, fresh clothes and angry horses, travel and entertainment. But at that time, it was not dumplings, but wonton that were sacrificed to ancestors and eaten. A wealthy family can make more than a dozen tricks. Zhang Xuan is a playmaker among the scholar-bureaucrats in the Southern Song Dynasty. He has a petty bourgeois sentiment. In Zhang Yuzhai’s Enjoyment of the Winter Solstice, he arranges a full schedule of the Winter Solstice Festival feast, painting house wonton, Weikongting Pavilion to appreciate Lamei, Gushan to visit plum, Cang Han Tang to appreciate South Tianzhu, Huayuan to appreciate narcissus, snow in front of the hall, painting house to cut snow and fried tea. Looking at the leopard, we can imagine the liveliness of the winter solstice festival in the Southern Song Dynasty. But not everyone joins in the festival carnival, except Lu You, who worries about his country and people all his life. We can read from his poem “Xinyou Winter Solstice” that Lu You’s Festival is lonely in his old age:
Today the South arrives, our door is silent. Families are poor, but festivals are light. Old age increases with timidity. All the sacrifices are worshipped, and they go to bed separately. Only the dream of exploring the spring has gone around the mirror lake.
Poor and old poets, though not interested, still pretended to be smiling and participated in all the procedures of the Winter Solstice Festival.
After the Southern Song Dynasty, the winter solstice became popular and became one of the popular festivals. Of course, “I miss my relatives more every festival”, and I feel sorry for those wandering outside. Jin Lian, a poet in the late Ming Dynasty, had such an experience. He chanted the full sorrow into the word “Shu Curtain and Light Moon”:
Rongcheng passengers are tired. Suddenly the phenomena were alarmed, adding lines to the Han Palace. Soot blowing in the ribbon tube makes the first turn in the solar cycle. Danjiao still reflects Yazhaiman and sees Guanmei and red blossoms. Alien scenery, melting weather, wine scattered.
But the upper echelons lean all over. Wangao River Chengdao, Euphrates Stream. The bleak west wind blows the white clouds apart. Such a long way to go, love, pay geese frequently. And playing Jade candles, eliminating copper leaks, overflowing silver garlic.
In the folk, the winter solstice begins to enter the ninth day, also known as “Jiaojiu”. It takes nine days as a cycle to calculate the long and cold winter. When the ninth day is over, we will have a good time of spring blossom. Therefore, there are proverbs: “1929 does not start; 3949 goes on ice; 5969 looks at willows along the river; 799 flowers blossom, 89 swallows come; 999, 999, plows cattle everywhere”. During the Ming and Qing Dynasties, in order to dissipate the long and bitter winter, we developed the “Nine-Ninth Anti-Cold Map” playing method, which is more common in three ways. The first kind of play is found in “Emperor Beijing Scenic Scenery Strategy”: “Winter Solstice, painting a plum branch, there are eighty petals, one petal dyed every day, and nine petals out, then the spring is deep, known as the Nine-Ninth Anti-Cold Map.” On the winter solstice day, 81 plum blossoms were painted with white sketch, and one plum blossom was dyed with carmine every day. When all 81 plum blossoms were ignited into carmine, winter passed. Yang Yunfu’s Luanjing Zayong: “Try to count the nine pictures between the windows, and the cold fades away and warms up to the beginning. Plum blossom dotted with blank, see today is apricot plant. That’s what I said. The second is to draw 81 pieces of copper coins. Starting from the winter solstice, each day, according to the clouds, sunshine, wind, rain and snow of the weather, the copper coins are ordered up, down, left, right and middle. To sum up, it is “the upper point is cloudy and the lower point is sunny, the left wind is right, the rain and snow center; the black and black dots in the picture show the green grass in the suburbs”. The third is the word game invented by Emperor Daoguang of Xuanzong in Qing Dynasty. It uses two hooks to write the nine words “Willows in front of the court cherish the spring breeze”, hanging indoors, and filling in a painting with a pen every day since the winter solstice. Since each of the nine words is nine strokes, the nine words are just completed.
With the change of history, till now, the currant soot blowing and the sacrifice ceremony to the heavens and suburbs have been swept into history. No one inquired about the cold relief map page in 1999, and wonton has become a dumpling ever since. However, we should not forget the relevant culture and customs of the winter solstice.

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