The summer solstice was also called the “Summer Festival” and “Summer Solstice Festival” in ancient times. In the seventh century BC, the ancestors used Tugui to measure the shadows of the sun to determine the summer solstice. The summer solstice was the first solar term to ever be celebrated in China, eventually developing into China’s system of twenty-four solar terms.
Summer is a time when everything flourishes. Nights become short and days become long, peaking in summer solstice, the longest day of the year. In the northernmost tip of China they can receive up to seventeen hours of daylight at this time of year. It is the perfect time to absorb the Aurora lights in Mohe, China. In China, the summer solstice festival starts on June 21 (or 22) every year and ends on July 7 (or 8).
The summer solstice, like the winter solstice, is an important folk festival in China. There are folk customs such as offering sacrifices to gods and ancestors, eating noodles and eating rice dumplings. There has been a saying amongst the Chinese since ancient times, “winter solstice dumplings and summer solstice noodles”. Eating noodles during summer solstice is an important custom in many regions.
Before the Qing Dynasty, it was a national holiday to go home and have a drink with relatives and to avoid the scorching summer heat. Also during summer solstice, the women gave each other gifts such as folded fans, make-up, and so on.