In Suzhou, the Winter Solstice Festival is deemed as important as the Chinese New Year. Stores close earlier on the eve of the Winter Solstice Festival so that all the people can be on time for their festival dinner.
Every family prepares a sumptuous dinner and gives their food to relatives and friends as gifts.
Many people bring home braised food such as spiced beef and smoked fish, and soon join their families to prepare the dinner.
Every dish on the table has an auspicious name. For example, the egg dumplings are called “Shoe-shaped Gold Ingots”, while meatballs are called “Reunion”.
Cangshu Mutton is one of the favorite dishes for the Winter Solstice Festival dinner. The tender goat meat paired with the nutritious soup is mouthwatering.
For the people in Suzhou, the dinner on the Winter Solstice Festival eve is not only a family dinner, but also a token of good luck for the future.
On the night, all the family members sit around the table, enjoying delicious food, chatting and laughing.