March 2018

春分(chunfen) Spring Equinox 21 March 2018

Today is the Spring Equinox in China, one of the twenty four solar terms marking the middle of the Spring season.
It has been celebrated in China for 4000 years. Charming customs on this day include the flying of kites, attempting to stand eggs on end (which is supposed to be easier to do on this day), picking wild spring vegetables and boiling them with fish fillets to eat, sending lucky pictures of cows printed on yellow or red paper to other households.

惊蛰(Jingzhe) Awakening of Insects 5 March 2018

Today is  惊蛰(Jingzhe) the third solar term in the Chinese calendar. It is called “Awakening of Insects” because the warming temperature results in spring thunder which is supposed to awaken animals and insects which have been hibernating for winter. This is a time for spring plowing and the beginning of the agricultural work for the year. There are also folk customs of eating pears, beating of drums to emulate the thunder god and offering sacrifice to the white tiger.

Lantern Festival 2018

Today is Lantern Festival  元宵节. It falls on the 15th of the first month of the lunar new year i.e. the night of the first full moon. It marks the end of Chinese New Year celebrations. Traditional activities include admiring lanterns and the full moon, guessing lantern riddles, eating tangyuan (glutinous rice dumplings), enjoying lion dance and stilt-walking performances.