Have you heard about The 24 Solar Terms, 24节气 Jié qì?
What is the 24 Solar Terms?
The 24 Solar Terms were created by ancient Chinese people and used to indicate the changes of climate and its phenomenon. Ancient Chinese divided the traditional lunar calendar into the 24 Solar Terms based on the observation of Sun’s position and movement to guide people for agricultural activity at the time.
雨水 Yǔ shuǐ, Rain Water ( Feb. 18th)
雨水, the second solar terms of the year, indicates the beginning of melting snow and increasing rainfall. Starting from the day of 雨水, the temperature and humidity gradually increase.
<习俗> Xí sú What would Chinese people do?
Most of Chinese people nowadays are not really doing anything special on the day of 雨水. However, according to the traditions, people give gifts to their parent-in-law to show their respect and wish them a long healthy life. Another tradition which is still common and popular nowadays in Sichuan area is that parents would find a godfather for their little kids to bless them with healthy and bring them good luck.
<中医食补> Zhōng yī shí bǔ, What would Chinese people eat?
According to Traditional Chinese medicine, rising humidity during Rain Water period is considered harmful to human’s spleen and stomach. To eliminate dampness from your body, Chinese medical practice suggested that having a bowl of porridge or four herbs soup, 四神汤, Sì shén tang, would be a good choice. The four herbs soup, 四神汤, made with four different Chinese herbs, 山药 Shān yào、莲子 Lián zǐ、芡实 Qiàn shí and 茯苓 Fú líng, usually cooked with pig’s stomach or small intestine to provide extra nutrients to organs of human digestive system. It also suggested that people shall take more sweet foods or fruits, such as 蜂蜜 Fēng mì、大枣 Dà zǎo、甘蔗 Gān zhè、and 梨 Lí, and try to avoid sour fruits, such as 柠檬 Níng méng、西红柿 Xī hóng shì、菠萝 Bō luó and 山楂 Shān zhā, to protect and support your spleen especially, in the meantime, to boost your immune system in a well-rounded way.
The 24 Solar terms, the fifth great invention of China, was added to the list of intangible culture heritage of United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization in 2016.