On the Winter Solstice (Dongzhi Festival), dumplings (Jiaozi) are an essential meal.
According to legend, the custom of eating dumplings during the Winter Solstice is related to the medical sage Zhang Zhongjing.
When Zhang Zhongjing resigned and returned to his hometown, he saw that the folks on both sides of the Baihe River were emaciated, hungry, cold, and many of them had their ears frostbitten by the cold.
On the day of the winter solstice, Zhang Zhongjing used “Qu Han Jiao Er Tang (祛寒娇耳汤)” to treat the frostbitten ear.
Later generations imitated the appearance of “Jiao Er” and made them into food, which is now dumplings (Jiaozi 饺子).