'Lichun': the beginning of spring

Xinhua
Even though many places in China are still shudder in chill this year, the country has waved goodbye to winter and ushered in spring on Sunday.
Xinhua

Even though many places in China are still shudder in chill this year, the country has waved goodbye to winter and ushered in spring on Sunday, according to the Chinese lunar calendar.

"Lichun" falls on February 4 this year. It is considered the beginning of spring and is the first of the 24 solar terms of the Chinese lunar calendar.

The beginning of spring

Xinhua

Photo taken on February 4, 2018 shows plum blossoms at the Tiger Hill scenic area in Suzhou, east China's Jiangsu Province. The day of "Lichun," literally meaning the beginning of the spring, falls on February 4 this year. 

Xinhua

Photo taken on February 4, 2018 shows butterfly orchid at a farm in Caizhuang Village of Yong'an Township in Shizhong District of Zaozhuang, east China's Shandong Province. 

Various celebrations

As a Chinese saying goes, "the whole year's work depends on a good start in spring." People in China held various celebrations on the day of "Lichun."

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Women of Miao ethnic group dance in Bainai Village of Bakai Town in Rongjiang County of Qiangdongnan Miao and Dong Autonomous Prefecture, southwest China's Guizhou Province, February 3, 2018. The people here celebrated the coming of spring. 

Xinhua

Women of Miao ethnic group dress up in Wangjia Village of Xingren Town in Danzhai County of Qiangdongnan Miao and Dong Autonomous Prefecture, southwest China's Guizhou Province, February 3, 2018. 

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A woman sells "spring roosters" made by colorful cotton cloth on a street of Tancheng County, east China's Shandong Province, January 30, 2018. With the approaching of Lichun, or the Beginning of Spring, the first solar term on Chinese lunar calendar, colorful "spring roosters" are sold in southern Shandong's villages, which are expected to bring good luck for children in a new year. 

On the day, many households also paste spring couplets or paper swallows onto their doors for good luck.

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Calligraphers write Spring Festival couplets and calligraphy of Chinese character "Blessing" at a supermarket in Nanjing, capital of east China's Jiangsu Province, February 3, 2018. The supermarket invited some calligraphers to write free-of-charge calligraphies here Saturday, to welcome the Chinese Lunar New Year, which falls on February 16 this year.

Custom of 'bite the spring'

Chinese people observe the custom of "bite the spring" on the day of "Lichun," eating carrots or spring pancakes and rolls wrapped around fresh vegetables and meat to celebrate the arrival of Spring.

Xinhua

People eat "spring roll," a thin sheet of dough, rolled, stuffed and fried, at a food fair in Chengdu, southwest China's Sichuan Province, February 3, 2016. To make and taste spring rolls with parents is part of Chinese traditions in celebration of the day of "Lichun," literally meaning the beginning of spring. 

Custom of 'beat the spring cattle'

Apart from "bite the spring," in some rural parts, "beat the spring cattle" is also a folk tradition for farmers. A "cow" made of paper, mud or clay, is beaten by farmers with a colorful club or a whip, dispelling winter laziness of the cattle and praying for the good harvest.

Xinhua

People take part in a celebration for Lichun in Guangnan Village, Guilin City, south China's Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, February 4, 2016. The Dong people here have a tradition of dancing the "spring cattle," a cattle-like symbol made with bamboo and colourful cloth, along the streets to wish for good harvest in the coming new year on the first day of Lichun. 

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