立秋(Liqiu) Beginning of Autumn 7 Aug 2018

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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. This is also a time for country fairs.It is also customary for people to weigh themselves on this day so that they can compare with their weight as measured during 立夏 or beginning of summer. Many people would have lost weight over the summer due to the lack of appetite caused by the heat so to make up for the weight loss, it is customary to eat hearty meat dishes in order to “prepare for the autumn” (贴秋膘).

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