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. In Guangdong and Guangxi, it is customary to eat “autumn vegetables” (wild amaranth) by boiling them with fish slices in soup (autumn soup) for good health.This is the season when osmanthus flowers bloom and hairy crabs are at their best. Farmers also celebrate by eating tangyuan and they stick some tangyuan on bamboo sticks in the fields for sparrows so that their beaks will be “glued” and they would not eat the harvest crops. People also used to worship the moon on 秋分 but this practice was later shifted to the Mid-Autumn Festival on the 15th day of the 8th month in the lunar calendar because the autumnal equinox did not always coincide with the full moon.

More about Chinese solar terms

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