The traditional Chinese calendar divides a year into 24 solar terms. On December 21, we are welcoming the last solar term in 2021, which is, Dongzhi, or Winter Solstice in English. In Dongzhi, the Chinese character “zhi” (至) can be interpreted as “extreme”, which implies “solstices”. Therefore, the term, Winter Solstice, directly signifies the summit of winter.
Dongzhi plays a significant role in Chinese people’s life. For one thing, Dongzhi particularly refers to the day when the Sun is exactly at the celestial longitude of 270°. As a result, the daytime on Dongzhi is the shortest one of the year for the Northern Hemisphere. After Dongzhi, the sun will shine longer and longer on Northern Hemisphere, although the temperature still tends to drop gradually.
Besides, Dongzhi is also considered to be important from the cultural perspective. There is a long tradition of ancestral worship. Meanwhile, Dongzhi marks a high time for family gathering and eating traditional Chinese food such as jiaozi (dumplings) and tangyuan (glutinous rice balls).
The semester is approaching the end. ECNUers must be busy with final papers and the preparation for final examinations. While concentrating on your study, don’t forget to get adequate rest and keep yourselves energetic.