In my ignorance, I assumed that the Chinese didn't do anything to mark the winter solstice, but of course they do -- it's called Dongzhi (winter's extreme). And of course the festival is associated with a special food. In southern China, it's glutinous rice balls. Here in the north, it's dumplings.
Dumplings are associated with family togetherness. Several people have asked me if I know how to make dumplings, and no, I have never tried to make them from scratch. They've offered to teach me, as at this lovely lunch in a colleague's home, but learning how to make dumplings is low on my list of priorities, and will always be several steps below "clicking mindlessly around the internet for hours," so it's never going to rise to the top of the list. One exception would be, to make dumplings together while chatting and catching up on the news. And perhaps that's how dumplings are associated with family togetherness -- reunited relatives can chat while rolling out the little circles and filling them.
I wanted to upload this entry last night, but the internet was too balky. Anyway, happy winter solstice, the "hump day" of all "hump days," everybody!