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Continuation of the historical origin of the Millennium winter solstice

DailyBird Culture 2021-10-09 1 0

as early as the spring and Autumn period more than 2500 years ago, the ancients stood the wooden pole on the ground and determined the date of the winter solstice by observing the movement law of the pole shadow and the length of the shadow. Then let the old yellow calendar tell you the historical origin of the winter solstice.


winter solstice is not only one of the 24 solar terms, but also a traditional festival in China. All dynasties attach great importance to the winter solstice.

according to records, in the Zhou and Qin Dynasties, winter and November were the first month and the winter solstice was the beginning of the new year. The book of the Han Dynasty says: "the winter solstice is full of Yang, and you have a long way to celebrate..." that is to say, people begin to celebrate the winter solstice festival to celebrate the arrival of the new year.


the ancients in China believed that since the winter solstice, the Yang of heaven and earth began to flourish and become stronger, representing the beginning of the next cycle and the day of good luck. Therefore, later, the customs of ancestor worship and family dinner during the Spring Festival are often selected in the winter solstice. The winter solstice is also called "Xiaonian". First, it shows that the new year is approaching and there are not many days left; Second, it shows the importance of the winter solstice.


took the winter solstice as a festival, which originated in the Han Dynasty and flourished in the Tang and Song dynasties. The first month of the Zhou calendar is November of the summer calendar. Therefore, the first month of the Zhou Dynasty is equal to November of the Gregorian calendar, so there is no difference between new year worship and winter celebration. It was not until Emperor Wu of the Han Dynasty adopted the summer calendar that he separated the first month from the winter solstice. It can also be said that the simple "Winter Solstice Festival" has existed since the Han Dynasty and flourished in the Tang and Song dynasties.


in the Han Dynasty, the winter solstice was regarded as the "winter festival", and the government had to hold a congratulatory ceremony called "Hedong". The official had a regular holiday, and the "winter worship" ritual of mutual congratulation was popular in the officialdom. It is recorded in the book of the later Han Dynasty that "before and after the winter solstice, gentlemen settle down and stay calm, all officials do nothing, don't listen to politics, choose auspicious days and then save trouble."

so on this day, the imperial court will have a holiday, the army will be on standby, the frontier fortress will be closed, business travel will be closed, relatives and friends will give each other delicious food, visit each other, and have a happy festival of "settling down and staying calm". During the Wei, Jin and Six Dynasties, the winter solstice was called "ya sui", and people wanted to pay homage to their parents and elders; After the Song Dynasty, the winter solstice gradually became a festival to sacrifice ancestors and gods.


in the Tang and Song Dynasties, the winter solstice was a day to worship heaven and ancestors. On this day, the emperor would go to the suburbs to hold a great ceremony to worship heaven, and the people would worship their parents and elders on this day. In the Ming and Qing Dynasties, emperors held a grand ceremony to worship heaven, which was called "the suburban sky in the winter solstice". In the palace, hundreds of officials presented congratulatory watches to the emperor, and stabbed each other, just like New Year's day. Today, the old custom of ancestor worship continues in some areas of Chaoshan and Zhejiang.

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