Customs Concerning the 24 Solar Terms

The Winter Solstice indicates the period of winter and people always want to keep themselves warm. In the northern China where the weather can be bitterly cold, our ancestors lacked sufficient warm clothing and would eat hot food to keep warm. Gradually there came a saying that only by eating dumplings can you avoid becoming so frozen that your ears drop off. Thus this custom is still widespread and on that day we eat steaming hot and delicious dumplings.

In China we have a custom of counting nine ('Shu Jiu'), that is, from the Winter Solstice people calculated the number of days until a change of climate came about. Usually nine days is a section, there are a total of nine sections from the first Jiu to the ninth Jiu.

In the folklore there is a widely prevailing ballad the general meaning of which is that: in the first and second Jiu (a section of nine days), we can't take our hands outside; in the third and fourth Jiu we walk on the ice; in the fifth and sixth Jiu we see the light green willow; in the seventh Jiu our river thaws and in the eighth swallows come; in the ninth cattle begin to work.

The Beginning of Summer will bring abundant rain and lead directly to the harvest. Thus an agricultural adage is that 'no rain, no rice' and 'no rain, we will hang up the hoe.' In imperial China the emperors would perform a special rite to greet summer on that day. As the hot weather would cause people to lose weight and become exhausted it became the custom to weigh and drink tea as this was considered a guard against the torrid weather.>

The Beginning of Spring symbolizes the start of a lunar year and warmer weather. Looking forward to good fortune and smoothly running business, people used to eat radishes believing that they would generate calm. This may be because of their effect to soothe the stomach.

Pure Brightness is a moment of importance for it is the day on which to worship ancestors. Many poets have written works on the theme of that day. It is also called 'Cold Food Festival' as on that day cooking is forbidden and all are allowed to eat only cold food, for fear of being chastised by the immortals in heaven. Around Pure Brightness, there is often a lot of rain, thus it is a crucial time in agriculture to plant grain or trees.

Greater Snow is the day around which we will have dancing snow. The scenery is extremely charming. For farmers heavy snow foretells a good harvest and so is regarded as auspicious. In China we have the saying that 'a timely snow promises a good harvest'. Thus you can see how welcome the snow is.

Site Search


Random Articals


Join Our Newsletter



Send This Page to Friend

To Email this page to a friend

1. Use Your Default Email Client
2. Use Our Recommend Page

Online Contact



+ 86 158 00 323 707

+ 86 158 00 323 707

Go back to the previous page

Missing / Incorrect

If you like this article please feel free to share it to your favorite site listed below:

Choose A Style:

Font Family


Courier New

Sans MS

New Roman



Font Colors
black blue green purple red white
Font Size
Site Options Help | Admin Login
control panel