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China celebrates winter solstice with dumplings

CCTV.com

12-21-2016 14:43 BJT

The winter solstice is an especially important time for people living in China's northern provinces. Our reporter Thomas Abrams joins some locals in Beijing for the festival.  

During Winter Solstice in North China, eating dumplings is essential to the festival.

During Winter Solstice in North China, eating dumplings is essential to the festival.

It's the middle of winter in China. A time traditional known as Dongzhi. Chinese have been celebrating the winter solstice for centuries. The longest night of the year means there will be brighter DAYS ahead. Instead of splurging on gifts and lighting firecrackers, families traditionally celebrate the winter solstice at home. With temperatures dropping, its important to conserve energy, especially in the north.

It's getting cold here in northern China. Temperatures can drop well below freezing.  Chinese families around this time each year, gather together to celebrate winter solstice. And according to Chinese tradition, a special kind of dumpling can help protect against the cold. 

During Winter Solstice in North China, eating dumplings is essential to the festival.

During Winter Solstice in North China, eating dumplings is essential to the festival.

Onions, chives, ginger and lamb. According to traditional Chinese medicine, these foods, with a healthy serving of vinegar, can help keep you warm. Chinese families cook these ingredients inside dumplings, that are pinched up to look like bags of money... then serve them to loved ones to give them health and good luck. 

"We usually eat dumplings and get together with family and friends," said a local resident.

"Usually in northern China we get together with the family and make dumplings. We have dumplings for dinner on this day," said Sophia, the hutonger.

As the year's longest night approaches, kids across northern China are headed home for some delicious and nutritious home-made Jiaozi. 

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