December 21 is the Winter Solstice Festival, Dong Zhi.
It's one of the most important Chinese festivals. Some Chinese even think it is more important than Spring Festival.
它是中国最重要的节日之一 。一些中国人甚至认为它比春节更重要 。
According to the Book of Han, "dong zhi yang qi qi, jun dao chang, gu he",
it means after Dong Zhi, the days are getting longer, and that worth celebrating.
People from different parts of China celebrate it in different ways.
In southern China, people eat Rice cake, Tangyuan and Sticky rice.
They also use these festival food as an offering dish to worship the ancestors.
In northern China, people typically have dumplings on Dong Zhi.
It was originated from a famous pharmacologist, Zhang Zhongjing, from Han Dynasty.
On one cold winter day, he saw the poor people suffering from cold.
Feeling sympathetic, he ordered his apprentices to make dumplings with lamb and all the ingredients, and distribute them along the poor to keep them warm.
And he named the dish "qu han jiao er tang", "er" means ears, that's because the dumplings were shaped like ears,
and it means the dumpling soup that expels the cold.
From that time on, it has been a tradition to eat dumplings on the day of Dong Zhi.
According to the Yin and Yang philosophy, in the northern hemisphere,
the Yin energy reaches its peak in the year in Dong Zhi, because of the shortest daytime and the longest night time of a year.
The Yin energy in human body reaches peak as well.
And traditional Chinese medicine believes it's time of the year for people to do moxibustion treatment,
which involves the burning of mugwort, a small, spongy herb, to promote healing with acupuncture.
Personally speaking, it's a rather comfortable, relaxing process. It's warm with special smell of burning mugwort.
就我个人而言，这是一个相当舒适、放松的过程 。全身非常暖和，伴随着艾草燃烧的特殊气味 。
After a couple of treatments, my hands and feet are no longer ice-cold in winter, so I think it helps.