April 2018

谷雨 (Guyu) Grain Rain 20 April 2018

Today is  谷雨 or Grain Rain  which is the last solar term of Spring. It is called Grain Rain because  “雨生百谷” (Rain sprouts a hundred grains). This is the best time for sowing seed and planting seedlings. In Southern China, there is usually quite a lot of rain during this period which is suitable for growing rice and corn. In Northern China, there is a custom of eating  香椿 (Chinese toon, a kind of vegetable) on this day, whereas Southern Chinese would pick fresh spring tea and drink it on this day. 

Qingming Festival 5 April 2018

Today is Qingming Festival 清明节 (qing ming jie) which the Chinese government has designated a public holiday as part of their drive to promote traditional culture. This is traditionally a day for venerating and making offerings to one’s ancestors as well tomb-sweeping. Other traditional activities include 踏青( “ta qing” meaning going for a spring walk), kite-flying, swinging on swings and playing 蹴鞠 cuju (a kind of Chinese football).

There is a famous poem by Du Mu 杜牧  called 《清明》which is often quoted on this day.

Pure Brightness(Qing Ming) Festival