Wontons(馄饨Húntun) can be dated back to the Han Dynasty
over 2000 years ago. Wontons arecrescent shaped and were originally used
in activities of sacrifice and worship. During theWinter Solstice Festival (冬至Dōngzhì)of the Song Dynasty (960 －1279), shops would close
temporarily ehilr every family made wontons as sacrificial offerings for
ancestor worship. Afterwards all the family members shared the wontons.
A plate of sacrificial wontons in wealthy and honored families called
"Hundred Flavor Wontons" included dozens of flavors with different
fillings After the Southern Song Dynasty (1127 – 1279), wontons became
popular amongordinary people.
Ancient Chinese regarded wontons as a kind of sealed steamed bread. At that time, wonton s were no different from dumplings(饺子Jiǎozi).
For thousands of years dumplings showed little change, but wontons
slowly became different especially in southern China. Wontons were
distinguished from dumplings and got their own name since Tang Dynasty
(618 -- 907).
It is said that in Han Dynasty (202 B.C. – 220 A.D), the Xiongnu（匈奴Xiōngnú）, an ancient tribe in northern China, always harassed the
border area so that local people suffered a lot. Hunshi and Tunshi were
the two leaders of the Xiongnu .
Because of their cruelty local people hated them but had no way to kill
them. So people began to call their dumplings "Hun" and "Tun" and
pretend they were eating the flesh of the two warlords.
Allegedly this took place on the Winter Solstice Festival, so after that, people always eat wontons on that festival.
In the past, there was a saying in Beijing "Eat wontons in theWinter Solstice Festival and eat noodles in the Summer Solstice Festival（夏至Xiàzhì）".