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I saw some native speakers of Chinese use "冬至福至" to give their best wishes on that day and I doubt they may have made a mistake of the meaning of 冬至, which is not the arrival of winter, but the pinnacle of winter or the coldest time of winter.

If my understanding is right, 冬至 should be 至冬,as in the cases of 止于至善 and 至高无上.

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Yes, but in this case 至 is a verb, "to reach the extreme", as in 《史记 春申君列传》:物至则反,冬夏是也。《国语 越语下》:阳至而阴。《礼记 月令》:是月也,日短至。(notice it is not 日至短)

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the meaning of 冬至, which is not the arrival of winter, but the pinnacle of winter or the coldest time of winter

well, according to the current definition of four-and-twenty solar terms (二十四節氣), since about 1644;

the arrival of winter should be “winter commences” (立冬); that the sun's longitude is 225 degree.

the “winter solstice” (冬至), the sun's longitude is 270 degree.

https://www.hko.gov.hk/en/gts/time/24solarterms.htm

the most significant observable phenomenon on the day of winter solstice, is, daylight is the shortest in a year.

for “winter solstice” (冬至), there are several terms used in the past, including: 禮記 夏小正 十月

時有養夜

“養” read as “長”, that “養夜” means “longest night”

禮記 月令 仲冬之月

是月也・日短至

日短至 roughly read as daylight (日) short (短) extreme (至)

another ancient belief is, people assign ying yang, hexagram to the month of lunar calendar, that,

冬至一陽生

which means at the day of winter solstice, one yang reborn; so the hexagram assigned to the month is 復 ䷗

enter image description here

some native speakers of Chinese use "冬至福至" to give their best wishes on that day

giving best wishes is fine, but such term is bxxx sxxx, imo.

seriously, their knowledge of traditional chinese culture is, . . . very doubtful 😾

btw, the coldest time of winter is, . . . most likely, the time when the snow, or ice melt

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  • I'm sorry its not appropriate here but I have to ask, how do you type the 卦? That is so neat I did not know that is possible on a computer.
    – zagrycha
    Commented Dec 25, 2023 at 6:20
  • @zagrycha, well, the unicode consortium already defined these “gram” lah 😸 monogram, digram (u+268a - u+268f), trigram (u+2630 - u+2637) & hexagram (u+4dc0 - u+4dff). i guess that most modern computers, smartphones have the fonts to display these symbols correctly 😺 Commented Dec 25, 2023 at 6:51
  • @水巷子蠻 thats great to know, did you copy paste them directly from the unicode library then? That would make sense, I wouldn't begin to know how to find them in a keyboard etc. haha (╹◡╹)
    – zagrycha
    Commented Dec 25, 2023 at 7:59
  • 2
    @zagrycha, years ago, on macos device; i used “unicode hex input”. now, on ios device, well, i’ve a plain text file which listed most “interesting” characters i needed, it’s just a c&p 😸 Commented Dec 25, 2023 at 8:58
  • We Cantonese have a saying: "冬大過年" 冬至 is supposedly more important than the new year, I wonder why?
    – Tang Ho
    Commented Dec 25, 2023 at 13:32
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冬至,...but the pinnacle of winter or the coldest time of winter.

Wrong. It is the day with the shortest daylight but the coldest day in a year.

"冬至"是北半球一年中白昼最短之日,冬至一般都在西历12月21日或12月22日,太阳位于黄经270°,农历用冬至所在月来定义十一月。

冬至虽然是北半球理论上吸收太阳热量最少的一段时间,但因为地球土壤跟海洋释放热量会有时间延迟,最冷的时期不是冬至前后,而是发生在冬至之后,比如说大寒,根据中华民国中央气象局统计,最冷的月份是1月,之后是2月,接下来才是12月。"

enter image description here

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I would go with 冬至.

Looking for something poetic to put in a birthday card, I found this song:

愿你三冬暖,愿你春不寒;愿你天黑有灯,下雨有伞。愿你路上有良人相伴,愿你所有快乐无需假装,愿你此生尽兴、赤诚善良。

愿你三冬暖

The coldest part of winter is traditionally 三冬 or 三九, winter being 九九 or 81 days.

中国农历中“九”是习惯用的民间节气,有“冬九九”和“夏九九”,其中“冬九九”流传较为广泛。“冬九九”又被称为“数九”,从冬至算起每九天为一个九,一直数到“九九”八十一天,即为“出九”,其中三九、四九为全年最寒冷的季节。农村俗语“九九消寒歌”曰:一九二九不出手,三九四九冰上走,五九六九沿河看柳,七九河开,八九燕来,九九加一九,耕牛遍地走!

冬至算起每九天为一个九

其中三九、四九为全年最寒冷的季节。

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