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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.

Duanwujie 端午节 Dragonboat Festival 18 June 2018

The fifth day of the fifth lunar month is  端午节, commonly known as the Dragonboat Festival in English. It is a public holiday in China  and the fesival was added to the UNESCO World Intangible Cultural Heritage List on October 30th 2009. It commemorates the suicide of poet and patriot Qu Yuan in Miluo River after his kingdom of Chu was invaded by Qin. 

芒种 (mang zhong) Grain In Ear 6 June 2018

Today is 芒种, the nineth solar term. Wheat and barley ripens in Northern China and it is time for summer planting in Southern China. Plums ripen and are eaten for good health which is why the start of the rainy season in the middle and lower reaches of the Yangtze river is called “plum rains”. It will be hot, humid and rainy until mid-July.

小满(Xiao Man) Grain Buds 21 May 2018

21 May is 小满 (Grain Buds), the second solar term of summer. It is so named because the summer crops like barley and wheat are starting to bud but are not ready for harvest yet.Rain increases in the south and the temperature difference between the north and the south narrows. It is customary to eat bitter herbs like sow thistle for good health. Silk production areas in Jiangnan area (in southeastern China) worship the silkworm goddess (according to legend this is the birthday of Leizu, the Yellow Emperor’s wife who founded silkworm farming).

立夏 (Lixia) Beginning of Summer 5 May 2018

Today is 立夏 (Beginning of Summer) which as its name suggests marks the beginning of Summer and the end of spring. It is the first solar term of Summer and temperature starts to get hot with thunderstorms. Folk customs include children fighting with the pointed ends of boiled eggs (the winner is the one with the unbroken egg), weighing people (to wish for good health) and the tasting of new foods. It is time to transplant rice seedlings and harvest spring crops like grapes and melon.