Blog entry

寒露 Cold Dew 8 October 2018

寒露 is the 17th solar term in the Chinese calendar. It marks the transition from cool to cold weather in autumn. “ Cold Dew”, as the name suggests, is colder than the preceding solar term “White Dew” as the dew is on the verge of freezing into frost.It is a season for foggy, misty weather and the ripening of the pomegranate and the hawthorn, both of which are valued for their nutrition.

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.

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.

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.

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.