Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Winter solstice (冬至 )

December 21
The picture above is the snack of  our lunch today, a bowl of sweet rice ball.  It means something in this season.
Tomorrow (Dec. 22) is "Dong-Jr" (Winter solstice) on lunar calendar, we eat sweet or salty rice ball and it is an important day in Chinese society.  After we eat rice ball, it means that everyone comes across a year (Your age will be added one year more, for instance, yesterday you were 11 and after Dong-Jr you become 12).  At night, every family eats different kinds of rice ball, and your e-pal class will take some photos for you tomorrow night and I will present them as soon as possible. 
We have watched the news reports and we are very excited and hope to learn from you more.  Thank you for all the video taping and news recording from your part.  Your classroom setting is so cool, so different from ours and we are all very interested in your sport in winter and activities....Keep in touch. 
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (for your reference)
UTC Date and Time of

Winter solstice on northern hemisphere.
The winter solstice occurs exactly when the axial tilt of a planet's polar hemisphere is farthest away from the star that it orbits. Earth's maximum axial tilt to our star, the Sun, during a solstice is 23° 26'. More evidently from high latitudes, a hemisphere's winter solstice occurs on the shortest day and longest night of the year, when the sun's daily maximum elevation in the sky is the lowest.[2] Since the winter solstice lasts only a moment in time, other terms are often used for the day on which it occurs, such as midwinter, the longest night or the first day of winter.
The seasonal significance of the winter solstice is in the reversal of the gradual lengthening of nights and shortening of days. Depending on the shift of the calendar, the winter solstice usually occurs on December 21 to 23 each year in the Northern Hemisphere, and June 20 to 23 in the Southern Hemisphere.[3]
Worldwide, interpretation of the event has varied from culture to culture, but most cultures have held a recognition of rebirth, involving holidays, festivals, gatherings, rituals or other celebrations around that time

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