Today is It is one of the most important 24 solar terms days. Dongzhi Festival or Winter Solstice Festival (冬至; Dōngzhì; means ‘the extreme of winter’) in China. Interesting that the Chinese lunar calendar is exactly the same days as Western Summer Solstice and Winter Solstice and we called Xiazhi and Dongzhi.
In China, the origins of this festival can be traced back to the yin & yang philosophy of balance and harmony in the cosmos. Is the highest and most basic principle in ”I Ching (易經)”. After this celebration, there will be days with longer daylight hours and therefore an increase in positive energy flowing in.
For mental health care: It is a great day for retreat, for Vipassana, for silent meditations. At this day, Yin Qi is at its most extreme, and Yang Qi start begins. The philosophical significance of this is symbolized by the I Ching hexagram fù (Chinese: 復, “Returning”). Everything in the universe has reached a moment that is neither dynamic nor static, very still. And there is a vacuum state between them, this state is what Buddhism talks about “non-mind”. So today is very suitable to be quiet, still.
For physical health care: The general principle of the winter solstice diet is to adjust the diet to maintain the body, to restore the body after a year of hard work. At the same time, it is necessary to take into account the characteristics of yang qi being born. We need to warm and nourish Yang so that Yang Qi can be consolidated in the body. It is a good day for Moxibustion as well.
Food recommendation. For non-vegetarian: Lamb, chicken, venison, elk meat. For vegetarian: Fennel, longan, durian, chestnuts, spices. A traditional Dongzhi soup recipe attached at the end in both vegetarian and non-vegetarian.
Motion suggestion: Not suitable for strenuous exercise, sweating a lot. Suitable for Yoga, Taich /Qigong and other gentle exercises.
Dongzhi soup with the lamb:
Astragalus ( 黃芪 Huang Qi ) 100g
Dong Quai ( 當歸 Dang Gui ) 20g
Chinese dates ( 大棗 Da Zao ) 8 pieces
Tangerine peel ( 陳皮 Chen Pi ) half of tangerine
Sugar cane or burdock 3 pieces
Ginger with peel 2 pieces
Add all the ingredients to water and cook for 10 minutes on high heat, then turn to low heat for 1-1.5 hours.
Vegetarian use chestnuts or the inner shell of durian (the white part) and the seeds instead lamb.
Happy Dongzhi ❄️Happy Solstice❤️