Offering a Sacrifice to the Ancestors on the Winter Solstice


Local Hangzhounese regard the winter solstice (Dongzhi) as more important than Chinese New Year. Cleanliness is a very important virtue to the Chinese. Every year, without fail, on the day before Dongzhi, a thorough clean-up is usually given inside and outside the house.


For breakfast, Hangzhounese eat niangao while offering to their own ancestors, sacrifices such as silver carp and a bamboo basket of rice covered with niangao, tangerines, etc. all decorated with fan-shaped flowers embroidered with red and green wires. It looks delightful.


On the Winter Solstice, local people exchange customary and heartfelt good wishes, just as they do during the Spring Festival (Chinese New Year). The grand occasion of Winter Solstice can be reflected by the local saying:"The Winter Sacrifice is more gracious than the New Year's Sacrifice."


Source: New Greater Hangzhou: A New Guide by George Chen