24 Solar Terms

Many people equate China with the lunar calendar, but the sun has also played a pivotal role in how the Chinese view life cycles. The ancient Chinese developed what is known as the 24 solar terms, which prescribed how people lived and worked, especially in rural areas. The solar terms originated in the 16th and 11th centuries BC and were perfected in their present form during the Western Han Dynasty (206-220 BC). In November 2016, their significance was recognized by inclusion in UNESCO’s list of Intangible Cultural Heritage. This series explores each of the 24 solar terms.
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Yang energy heads up as dahan sets in

Major Cold is the last solar term of the year and is usually followed by the last chilly days before the Chinese New Year. 
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Don't be fooled, xiaohan marks China's coldest day of the year!

Minor Cold is the time to hit the outdoors for activities on icy cold lakes and rivers. It is also the time to relish mutton hotpot and baked sweet potatoes.  
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Winter Solstice celebrated with as much festivity as Spring Festival

Dongzhi is marked by paying respect to the ancestors while counting down the days to spring.   

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Yin energy is at its peak during daxue

If it is Major Snow, brace for frequent snowfall in north China and a cold wave in the south. A good snowfall is also a sign of good harvest. 
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Rain gives way to snow after xiaoxue

Xiaoxue, or Minor Snow, is usually the start of the cold season in north China and welcomed with festivities. 

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Lidong marks the onset of winter season

Winter Begins, which falls today, is observed with various rituals in different parts of China. It also means it is time to get the heavy winter clothes out. 
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Frost Descend marks the end of harvest season

Shuangjiang, or Frost Descend, marks the early stage of cold spell with the leaves changing into bright red or yellow.   

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If crickets creak, it must be hanlu

Cold Dew, which falls tomorrow this year, is when temperatures start to drop and sparrows disappear while yellow chrysanthemums bloom.
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Festive traditions mark Autumn Equinox

Qiufen marks the day when day and night are evenly split, osmanthus and chrysanthemums flowers start blossoming and hairy crabs enter its best days.

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Rug up: White Dew is coming

Bailu (White Dew) will be with us within days. But the change of season brings many new offerings.

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