24 Solar Terms: 6 things you may not know about End of Heat
[Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn]
The traditional Chinese solar calendar divides the year into 24 solar terms. End of Heat, (Chinese: 处暑), the 14th solar term of the year, begins this year on Aug 23 and ends on Sept 6.
End of Heat implies that most parts in China are getting rid of the hot summer and entering autumn. But in some areas, especially in South China, autumn is late in coming and people are still bothered by hot weather. End of Heat is also the busy harvest season for farmers.
The following are six things you should know about End of Heat.
Enjoying fall colors in early September
In China, regions beyond the Great Wall will enter autumn in early September. People can enjoy the scenery as it changes gradually from summer to autumn.
There is a saying that, "People tend to feel sleepy in spring, doze in summer and feel tired in autumn." As the weather becomes cool during End of Heat, many people will feel languid and weary, which is called "autumn weariness". It is a sign that the human body needs rest, since people have consumed excessive energy in the summer. Get enough sleep, do more exercises and keep plants indoor to help.
When the End of Heat comes, summer heat is gone. Clouds in the sky scatter around forming different shapes. There is a saying that goes, "Enjoying the clouds of various forms in July and August (lunar month)."
Time for night-blooming cereus
The night-blooming cereus is a flower full of mystery, which often blooms during the period of End of Heat. This is because the climate during End of Heat, characterized by warm days and cold nights, is similar to tropical deserts. Night-blooming cereus originates in the tropical deserts from Mexico to Brazil in South America. They blossom at night to avoid the blazing daytime sun.
Duck has a sweet flavor and according to Chinese traditional medicine it has a "cool" nature. A folk tradition is to eat duck during the End of Heat period. There are many recipes for cooking duck such as roast duck, cooked duck with lemon, smoked duck with walnut dressing and sautéed duck with ginger shoots. The tradition of eating duck during the End of Heat period is still popular in China.
The Fishing Season Festival
For fishermen, the End of Heat is a season of harvest. During this period, the Fishing Season Festival is held in regions along the coastline of the East China Sea in Zhejiang province. The festival is held on the day when the fishing ban ends and fishermen can start fishing again. Due to high temperatures in the sea, stocks of fish remain and become mature. People can enjoy many kinds of seafood during this period.