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Rooted in the Chinese philosophy of ying & yang, the winter solstice in Japan symbolizes the harmony and balance of the life force. It is believed that the ‘yin’ of cold and darkness are at their most dominant on the shortest day of the year. Once the yin passes, the ‘yang’ of warmth and light will be upon us, and soon spring will return. Thus, winter solstice is a time to celebrate.
Embracing the winter cold before taking a hot bath, and praying for good health before eating auspicious foods, Japanese happily carry on the customs and traditions of the winter solstice.
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