24 Solar Terms: Grain Rain

Authors: Go Chengdu

2020-04-22

Grain Rain is the last term in spring, after which the temperature sees a quick rise and it rains more often, and such weather is significantly good for the growth of grain.
The Grain Rain (Gu Yu, 谷雨 in Chinese) is the 6th term of the 24 traditional Chinese solar terms (a supplementary system in the Chinese calendar to guide farm work) and falls on sometime between April 19 and 21, when the sun moves to the celestial longitude of 30 degrees.
The name "Grain Rain" comes from an ancient Chinese saying, "rain helps the growth of grain". Grain Rain is the last term in spring, after which the temperature rises quickly and it rains more often, and such weather is significantly good for the growth of grain.
Traditional Customs
Tea Picking
In southern China, people pick new tea leaves on the day. The tea picked during the period of Grain Rain is named as Grain Rain Tea (谷雨茶), or mid-spring tea (二春茶), noted for its freshness and richness in taste.
Flowers Appreciation
Days around the Grain Rain are the blooming season of the peony, which is therefore called the Grain Rain Flower. Chengdu boasts a number of famous spots for peony appreciation.
Eating Toon Sprouts
People in many parts of China have the custom of eating the toon sprouts (Toona Sinensis, 香椿 in Chinese), which taste good when cooked with other foods and have effects to regulates human endocrine functions.

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