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Zimski solsticij: razumevanje in zdravstveni nasveti

Updated: Jan 1, 2023

Zimski solsticij ali Dōng Zhì (kitajsko: 冬至) je 22. od 24 sončnih dni v letu po tradicionalnem kitajskem koledarju in označuje najkrajši dan v letu na severni polobli. Sezonske spremembe in premiki so pomembne teme v kitajski medicini. Stari Kitajci so se zavedali, da lahko ljudje živijo zdravo, če živijo v skladu z zakoni narave. Da bi torej lahko dosegli zdravo življenje, moramo najprej dobro razumeti ritem in značilnosti narave.

Pomen besede Dōng Zhì 冬至

Zimski solsticij je dan, ko Zemljini tečaji dosežejo največji nagib od Sonca. Na severni polobli je to običajno 21. ali 22. decembra. Večina zahodnih držav oz. kultur zimski solsticij razume kot sredino zime ali začetek zime. Za kitajsko kulturo, zlasti v sistemu I Ching, pa zimski solsticij pomeni "skrajni konec zime - najmočnejšo moč jin" in hkrati preporod janga.

Interakcija med jinom in jangom

Zgornji diagram je tipičen simbol jin in jang, ki se združuje s 64 heksagrami I Chinga v zaporedju 24 sončnih obdobij. Jin je temni del simbola, jang pa je svetli del. Jin in jang sta si nasprotni in hkrati soodvisni sili. Zagotavljata kontekst nasprotujočih sil - brez teme ni koncepta svetlobe; brez mraza ni koncepta toplote; brez mirovanja ni koncepta gibanja itd. Znotraj jina obstaja majhen krog janga in majhen krog jina znotraj janga, kar pomeni, da nič ni popolnoma jin ali popolnoma jang. Vsakič, ko jin doseže svoj maksimum, se pojavi jang in obratno.

Vpogledi v zimski solsticij

V tradicionalni kitajski medicini (TKM) so pomembni sezonski premiki, saj letni časi vplivajo na naš um, telo in duha. Jin je temna, hladna, notranja, ženska energija v nasprotju s svetlo, toplo, energično moško energijo jang. Da bi ohranili zdravje, moramo poznati medsebojno delovanje in ravnovesje jina in janga. Sezonska afektivna motnja (SAM) prizadene 10% prebivalstva. Ker so dnevi vse krajši, vstopamo v letni čas, v katerem smo deležni manj sončne svetlobe, kar posledično vpliva na naš serotonin (razpoloženje), cirkadiani ritem in melatonin (spanje in razpoloženje).

Z vidika I Chinga je heksagram, ki ustreza zimskemu solsticiju, št. 24, "Fu 復", ki pomeni "vračanje". Ta heksagram je sestavljen iz ene neprekinjene črte (jang) spodaj in petih prekinjenih črt (jin) zgoraj. Večinska in prevladujoča energija je energija jin, vendar je vidna tudi dvigajoča se energija jang.

Na dan zimskega solsticija je najmočnejši jin, najdaljša noč v letu. Takrat je vreme hladno in neprimerno za kmetovanje. Za zadovoljevanje osnovnih potreb moramo porabiti veliko energije. Ker je shranjena toplota v zemlji že porabljena, bo vreme v prihodnjih tednih še hladnejše. Vendar pa se bodo dnevi, od tega dne dalje, do poletnega solsticija vsak dan daljšali. Smo v najdaljši temi, a kljub temu vemo, da prihaja svetloba. Na koncu predora je svetloba.

Zgodovina in kulturni pomen

Pomen zimskega solsticija lahko zasledimo že v novi kameni dobi. Domnevajo, da so neolitski ljudje, ki so zgradili Stonehenge, ogromen kamnit spomenik v Angliji, le-tega namenoma poravnali s sončnim zahodom zimskega solsticija (kot tudi z njegovim poletnim ekvivalentom), verjetno v obredne namene. Tako vzhodna kot zahodna kultura imata pripadajoča besedila, arhitekte in običaje, povezane s tem dnevom.

Zimski solsticij je bil izjemno pomemben, saj so bili ljudje gospodarsko odvisni od spremljanja poteka letnih časov. Od tega časa naprej ljudje večinoma porabijo svojo energijo in zaloge hrane. V zmernem podnebju je bil praznik sredine zime zadnje praznično praznovanje pred začetkom globoke zime. Rejne živali zakoljejo, da jih pozimi ne bi bilo treba hraniti in tako je na voljo sveže meso. Vino, pivo in drugi fermentirani izdelki so pripravljeni za uživanje.

Dōng Zhì je praznovanje zimskega solsticija na Kitajskem in v drugih azijskih državah. Ta praznik je bil eden najpomembnejših v letu, nekateri pravijo, da celo pomembnejši od kitajskega novega leta. Tradicionalno je to čas, ko se družinski člani zberejo in si delijo obrok, pri čemer pogosto jedo jed iz cmokov ali riževih kroglic, ki simbolizirajo ponovno srečanje in povezanost.

Zdravstveni nasvet za zimski solsticij

Od dneva zimskega solsticija so dnevi še vedno kratki, vreme pa še vedno hladno. Življenjska energija, ki jo simbolizira grmenje - vzbujanje, je še vedno pod zemljo. Gibanje je šele na začetku. Zato je treba življenjsko energijo krepiti s počitkom in se izogibati prezgodnji uporabi energije. S tem ji omogočimo, da se obnovi. Za lažje preživljanje prihodnjih mesecev si oglejmo nauk iz knjige Huang Di Nei Jing ("Kanon interne medicine Rumenega cesarja") :

"Trije zimski meseci pomenijo zapiranje in skladiščenje. Voda zamrzne in zemlja se strdi. Ne moti janga - pojdi zgodaj spat in pozno vstani. Počakati moraš na sončni sij. Dovoli umu, da preide v zadržano stanje, in ohrani vero. Izogibaj se mrazu in išči toploto. Vzdržuj se potenja, saj to povzroča hitro odnašanje qi-ja. To je v sozvočju s qi-jem zime in način za hranjenje skladiščenja." (Velika razprava o uravnavanju duha s štirimi letnimi časi, Su Wen, poglavje 2) 《四氣調神大論》冬三月,此謂閉藏,水冰地坼,無擾乎陽,早臥晚起,必待日光,使志若伏若匿,若有私意,若已有得,去寒就溫,無泄皮膚使氣亟奪,此冬氣之應養藏之道也。

Predlog za prehrano v zimskem času

Zima je čas za uživanje živil, ki ogrevajo in dopolnjujejo. Na splošno je vse živalsko meso ogrevalno in ga lahko uživajo ljudje s hladno in šibko konstitucijo. Zlasti meso, kot je jagnjetina, ovčetina in divjačina, je najbolj ogrevalno in sezonsko primerno. Med načini kuhanja, ki živilom dodajo več toplote, so: pečenje, praženje ali počasno kuhanje. Izogibajte se hladni hrani, kot je solata, krizantema, meta, jogurti, tropsko sadje in prekomerno uživanje rafiniranih sladkorjev.

Pred hlajenjem ali uvozom živil je bila zelena zelenjava v hladnih letnih časih manj dostopna. Namesto tega uporabljajte fermentirano ali konzervirano zelenjavo ali tisto zelenjavo, ki jo je mogoče shraniti, kot sta korenovke in zelje. Alkohol v zmernih količinah je topel in poživljajoč, zlasti če mu dodamo tradicionalne začimbe za kuhanje (na primer v kuhanem vinu). Začimbe, kot so poper, muškatni orešček, kumina in semena koromača, ogrejejo telo. Vendar se morajo ljudje z avtoimunskimi motnjami (alergije, težave s kožo), migreno ali kroničnimi prebavnimi težavami (refluks, IBS) še vedno izogibati alkoholu in močnim začimbam.

 

Winter solstice: Insights and healthcare tips

The Winter Solstice, or Dōng Zhì (Chinese: 冬至), is the 22nd of 24 solar term of the year in the traditional Chinese calendar, marks the shortest day of the year in the northern hemisphere. Seasonal changes and shifts are important themes in Chinese medicine. The ancient Chinese realized that human beings can live a healthy life, when they live in harmony with the laws of nature. Therefore, for one to achieve a health life, we must first have a profund understanding of the rythme and characteristic of the nature.

The Meaning of Dōng Zhì 冬至

Winter Solstice is the day the Earth's poles reaches its maximum tilt away from the Sun. It is usually 21st or 22nd of December in the northern hemisphere. Most Western countries or culture recongize the Winter Solstice as the mid winter or the beginning of winter. However, for the Chinese culture, especially in the I Ching system, Winter Solstice means the “extreme of Winter- Strongest Yin power” and at the same time the rebirth of Yang.

Yin and Yang Interaction

The above diagram is the typical Yin Yang symbol combining with the 64 I Ching hexagrams in the sequence of 24 solar terms. Yin is the dark part of the figure, where Yang is the light part. Yin and Yang is the opposite and yet interdependent forces. They provide context for the opposing force - without darkness, there is no concept of light; without coldness, there is no concept of warmth; without stillness, there is no concept of movement, etc. There is a little circle of Yang within the Yin, and a little circle of Yin within the Yang, which implies that nothing is completely Yin or completely Yang. Each time when Yin reaches it maximum, Yang arises, and vice versa.

The insights of the Winter solstice

Seasonal shifts are important in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), as the seasons affect us in mind, body and spirit. Yin being the dark, cold, inward, feminine aspect as opposed to Yang’s bright, warm, energetic masculine energy. To keep staying health, one must know the interaction and balance of Yin and Yang. Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) affects 10% of the population. As the days have been getting shorter and shorter, we’ve been entering the time of the year in which we receive less sunlight, which in turn impacts our serotonin (mood), circadian rhythm and melatonin (sleep and mood).

From the point of view of the I Ching, the corresponding hexagram to the Winter solstice is no.24, 'Fu 復' meaning 'to return'. This hexagram is made of one continuous line (Yang) below and 5 broken lines (Yin) above. The majority and dominating energy is the Yin energy, but with the sight of the raising Yang.

On the day of Winter solstice, marks the strongest Yin, the longest night of the year. The weather is cold and unsuitable for farming. We need to burn a lot of energies to keep up with the basic needs. Since the stored heat in the earth is already used up, the weather will get even colder in the coming weeks. However, for this day on, the day will grow longer by each day until the Summer solstice. We are in the longest darkness, and yet we know that light is coming. There is light at the end of the tunnel.

History and cultural significance

The importance of Winter solstice can be traced back to the New Stone age. It is thought that the Neolithic people who built Stonehenge, the massive stone monument in England, purposely aligned it with the winter solstice sunset (as well as its summer equivalent), likely for ritual purposes. Both Eastern and Western culture has corresposding text, architect and customs related to the day. The Winter solstice was immensely important because the people were economically dependent on monitoring the progress of the seasons. From this time on, people are mostly using up their energy and food storage. In temperate climates, the midwinter festival was the last feast celebration, before deep winter began. Farm animals will be slaughtered so they would not have to be fed during the winter thus fresh meat is available. Wine, beer and other fermented products are ready to be consume.

Dōng Zhì is the celebration of the Winter Solstice in China and other Asian countries. This festival was one of the most important of the year, some say even more important than the Chinese New Year. It is traditionally a time when family members come together to share a meal, often eating a dish of dumplings or rice balls symbolizing reunion and togetherness.

Healthcare Advice For Winter Solstice

From the day of Winter solstice, the days are still short and weather still cold. The life energy, symbolised by thunder- the arousing, is still underground. Movement is just at its beginning. Therefore, the life energy must be strengthened by rest and avoid using the energy prematurely. By doing so, it allows the energy to renew itself. To get you through the months ahead, let’s take a look at the teaching from Huang Di Nei Jing ("The Inner Classic of the Yellow Emperor") :

“The three months of winter denote closing and storage. Water freezes and the earth harden. Do not disturb the yang - go to bed early and rise late. You must wait for the shining of the sun. Allow the mind to enter into a reserved state and keep the faith. Avoid the cold and seek warmth. Refrain from sweating as it causes the Qi to be carried away quickly. This is in resonance with the Qi of winter and the Way to nourish storage.” (The Great Treatise on Regulating the Spirit with the Four Seasons, Su Wen Chapter 2) 《四氣調神大論》冬三月,此謂閉藏,水冰地坼,無擾乎陽,早臥晚起,必待日光,使志若伏若匿,若有私意,若已有得,去寒就溫,無泄皮膚使氣亟奪,此冬氣之應養藏之道也。

Diet Suggestion for Winter

Winter is the time to eat foods with a warming and supplementing nature. In general, all animal meats are warming, and can be consumed by people who have a cold and weak constitution. In particular, meats such as lamb, mutton and venison are most warming and seasonally appropriate. Cooking methods that add more warmth to foods include roasting, baking or slow cooking. Avoid cold foods like salad, chrysanthemum, mint, yogurts, tropical fruits, and overconsumption of refined sugars.

Before refrigeration or importation of foods, green vegetables were less available in the cold seasons. Use fermented or preserved vegetables instead, or those vegetables that can be stored like root vegetables and cabbage. Alcohol in moderation is warming and invigorating, especially when traditional mulling spices are added in (such as in mulled wine). Spices like pepper, nutmeg, cumin, and fennel seeds warm the body. However, people with autoimmune disorders (allergies, skin issues), migraine or chronic digestive problems (acid reflux, IBS) should still avoid alcohol and strong spices.

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