2012-12-18 Winter Festival and Christmas
is the Winter Solstice, the shortest day of the year. Which means Friday night
is the longest night of the year. The Winter Festival (冬節)
is the second most
important festival of the Chinese calendar. It's a time to let workers go home
early to prepare a special family meal.
According to one website, this celebration can be traced to the Chinese belief in yin and yang, which represent balance and harmony in life. It is believed that the yin qualities of darkness and cold are at their most powerful at this time. But it's also a turning point, when darkness and cold give way to the light and warmth of yang. For this reason, the Winter Festival is a time for optimism.
One story I heard: rain during the Winter Festival means a fine Lunar New Year, but a fine Winter Festival means a rainy LNY. Is this true? Last year I meant to make a note about whether rain fell during the Winter Festival, but I forgot! I've now put a note in my diary for December 22 to record this year's Winter Festival weather!
Tuesday is Christmas Day, the birthday of Jesus. Born in the middle of Winter, he
must have been cold. The Bible says he was born in a stable in the town of