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Eat dumplings at Winter Solstice Day
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A staff member of a restaurant in Yinchuan, capital of northwestern China's Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region, shows a tray of finished dumplings on Saturday, the traditional Chinese Dongzhi festival, December 22, 2007.

Dongzhi, the traditional Chinese winter solstice festival, fell on Saturday, December 22, this year.

According to Xinhua News Agency, people in northern China ate dumplings and ravioli to mark the occasion, while residents in southern China savored red bean porridge and tangyuan, a small, stuffed dumpling ball made of glutinous rice flour.

Chinese people have traditionally eaten dumplings on Dongzhi to protect their ears from frostbite.

As early as 2,500 years ago, Chinese observers determined the point of winter solstice, the earliest of the 24 seasonal division points, by observing movements of the sun with a sundial..

On Donzhi, the Northern Hemisphere experiences its shortest daytime and longest nighttime of the year. After the winter solstice, light-filled daytime hours will slowly increase.
(CRI December 23, 2007)

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