- Language Tips
The Chinese divides the whole year into 24 solar terms according to climate changes. Winter solstice, "the arrival of winter", is one, and it is the earliest recorded. It usually coincides with Dec 21 to 23 in the Gregorian calendar and is the shortest day of the year.
In the Chinese concept of yin and yang and the five elements, winter solstice is especially critical to maintaining yang qi, the masculine strength which keeps the body warm in winter.
For the Chinese, the day is also one among three important days in the year for family reunions, and in South China, an old saying goes: "Winter solstice is no less important than the Spring Festival".