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Dongji (Winter Solstice)

11th lunar month; around December 21
In Korea the Winter Solstice falls during the 11th lunar month. Perhaps because the winter solstice month was regarded as the first month of the year under the old calendar system in Korea, many people consider the day of the solstice to be the day on which they become one year older—a kind of communal birthday.
Red bean stew with glutinous rice flour balls is a favorite seasonal dish, particularly on Dongji (also rendered Tongji ). This food is not only eaten as a means of warding off disease, but is also offered to the family ancestors, spread around the front door or gate of the house, and, throughout the year, prepared and taken to people who are in mourning. The color red is traditionally thought to repel evil spirits and all misfortune.
One legend behind this belief holds that a disobedient son, who happened to dislike red bean porridge, died on Dongji day and became a smallpox spirit. Thus, putting red porridge stew around the house will keep him away.
The Korea Foundation
10F Diplomatic Center Bldg., 2558 Nambusunhwanno
Seocho-gu, Seoul 137-863 South Korea
82-2-3463-5684; fax: 82-2-3463-6086
AnnCustKorea-1983, p. 153
References in periodicals archive ?
The latter quotation, evidently borrowed from the former source, adds that the so-called "Taiping dongji jing" is now lost.
In addition Taipei City, Taipei's Tamsui District, Keelung, Hsinchu, Taoyuan's Xinwu District, and Dongji Island all set record low winter temperatures of between 6 and 7 degrees.