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中秋节 Mid-Autumn Festival 2018

Today is Mid-Autumn Festival which is celebrated on the 15th of the eighth month of the Chinese lunar calendar.In China, the government designated this festival as a public holiday in 2008 in order to promote traditional culture.

秋分 Qiufen Autumnal Equinox 23 Sept 2018

秋分 or Autumnal Equinox is the 16th solar term in the Chinese calendar. It marks the midpoint of autumn when day and night are even in length. After the Autumnal Equinox, night becomes longer than day.The difference between day and night temperatures becomes pronounced.Traditional customs include the distribution of pictures depicting cattle in working in the fields, standing eggs on ends, flying of kites etc.

白露 Bailu (White Dew) 8 Sept 2018

白露 Bailu (White Dew) is the 15th solar term. The weather has already turned cool and water vapor condenses into dewdrops on vegetation overnight, hence the name. Temperatures drop rapidly and there is continuous rain in certain parts of China such as the southwest. It becomes important to keep warm and prevent autumn dryness. Traditional foods for these period include longans (in Fuzhou, Fujian), wine, grapes and sweet potatoes.

中元节 Hungry Ghost Festival 25 Aug 2018

Today is the Hungry Ghost Festival which is celebrated on the 15th day of the seventh lunar month in China. The souls of the dead are supposed to return during the seventh month so this is a day in which offerings to ancestors are made, lanterns floated on rivers for the departed, incense and paper offerings, some of them very elaborate burnt for the use of the dead.

Here is how Hungry Ghost Festival is celebrated in Singapore where I live.

https://www.scmp.com/lifestyle/travel-leisure/article/2160024/singapores-hungry-ghost-festival-what-do-lion-city-during

处暑 Chushu (End of Heat) 23 August 2018

处暑(Chushu End of Heat) is the 14th solar term and marks the arrival of autumnal weather. Fishermen in Zhejiang celebrate the beginning of the fishing season with a fishing festival. Herbal teas are drunk and duck is eaten across China to dispel heat.In Fuzhou, longans are eaten with porridge for nourishing good health.

七夕 Qixi Festival 17 August 2018

Today is 七夕 Qixi Festival which is often described as “China’s Valentine Day”. As its name suggests, it is held on the seventh day of the seventh month of the Chinese calendar. Since it is a festival celebrated by young women, it’s also called  女儿节 or Girls’ Festival. This festival has also spread to neighboring countries and is known as Tanabata in Japan.The story of the Cowherd and the Weaver Girl (identified with the stars Altair and Vega) is associated with this festival.

立秋(Liqiu) Beginning of Autumn 7 Aug 2018

立秋(Liqiu) “Beginning of Autumn” is the 13th of the 24 solar terms. It signifies the end of summer and the arrival of autumn though many parts of China will take time to cool down. Leaves fall from the Chinese parasol tree and people eat watermelons to dispel the heat from summer (a habit known as 啃秋 or “biting the autumn”). The mountainous regions of Hunan, Jiangxi and Anhui have the picturesque custom of 晒秋(drying the autumn harvest in the sun) at their homes due to the lack of level land.

大暑(Dashu) Great Heat 23 July 2018

大暑(Dashu) Great Heat is one of the twenty four solar terms and the last solar term of summer. As its name suggests, It marks the hottest part of the year. Lotuses and jasmine blooms. According to regional customs, people eat mutton in Shandong, grass jelly in Guangdong and litchi in Putian because of the heat. Some areas have the customs of cricket fighting.

小暑 Xiaoshu (Minor Heat) 7 July 2018

小暑 Xiaoshu (Minor Heat) is the eleventh solar term in the Chinese calendar. It marks the final month of summer. As the name suggests, it’s hot but not the hottest time of the year yet. The plum rains season is close to an end and droughts are coming. Due to the high temperature, strong sunshine and long days during this period, there is a custom of airing out clothes and other household belongings in the sun to prevent mold and insects. Jasmine flowers are used to perfume rooms. New rice is eaten as well as ricefield eels.

夏至(xiazhi)Summer Solstice 21 June 2018

夏至 (xiazhi)or Summer Solstice is the tenth solar term in the Chinese calendar.As in other countries, this is the longest day of the year and also the shortest night. The weather turns fickle, there are rainstorms, plum rain in the Jianghuai area of China and it is hot and humid.