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A winter's tale

This time of year is steeped in folklore, custom and tradition, Zhang Lei reports.

By Zhang Lei | China Daily | Updated: 2022-12-22 08:06

Colorful dumplings made by villagers in Zhouzhi county, Xi'an, Shaanxi province.[Photo by XU HUI/WEI YONGXIAN/MA DUO/For China Daily]


He then boiled them in a pot and named it the "ear frostbite relieving soup" and offered to the common people. After taking it, the frostbite was cured. Later, every Winter Solstice, people imitated his cooking, so the custom of "pinching frozen ears" was formed.

"It's by these legends that people's emotions are recorded and accumulated in such festive customs," says folklore expert Zhou Dongxu. "Winter Solstice has been an important solar term since it was established. It has not only distinctive agricultural features, but also strong ethical implications and a human touch. The difference in festivals and customs between the north and the south makes up the diversity and profoundness of our culture."


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