24 Solar Terms: Start of Spring

Authors: Go Chengdu


The traditional Chinese lunar calendar divides the year into 24 solar terms. Start of Spring (Chinese: 立春 Li Chun ), the first solar term of the year, begins this year on Feb 4 and ends on Feb 18.
When people in many places in China are still shuddering , the country has waved goodbye to winter and ushered in spring on Tuesday, according to the Chinese lunar calendar.
Start of Spring is the first term of the 24 solar terms. The character "立" in its name means "launch; start; establish" and Chinese people consider the day as the beginning of the year.
"A year's plan starts with spring", as an old Chinese saying goes. Since the term of Start of Spring, temperature begins to rise, and the busy farming season begins in most parts of China.
Flowers come into the blooming season and it is the time for people to go outing, which is called "Chun-you春游" or "Ta-chun踏春" in Chinese.
Here are five traditional customs about Start of Spring.
Flying Kite
Spring is the best season for kite-flying. A traditional folk activity, it has a history of more than 2,000 years. It can help build one's health and prevent diseases. It also has the effect of promoting blood circulation and speeding up metabolism.
Erecting The Egg
In China, it is said that the egg can be set upright on the days of the Start of Spring, Spring Equinox and Autumn Equinox. It is believed that if someone can make the egg stand on the day of Start of Spring, he will have good luck in the future.
According to astronomers and physicists, setting the egg upright has nothing to do with time, but with mechanics. The most important thing is to shift the egg's center of gravity to the lowest part of the egg. In this way, the trick is holding the egg until the yolk sinks as much as possible.
Biting The Spring
In many parts of China, people observe the custom of "biting the spring" on the day of Start of Spring. They eat spring pancakes, spring rolls, or a few mouthfuls of carrots.
In Chengdu, it is popular for people to eat the Spring Rolls (Chun-juan, 春卷) during the days.
Chun-juan is something like a pancake stuffed with sliced chicken, shredded vegetables, sea weeds and so on. A very special food for the season…and local people like to have it with some chili oil.
Appreciating Plum Blossoms
The plum blossom, as it fights against the cold, is the most highly regarded in China, and the plum blossom, orchid, bamboo and chrysanthemum are praised as the four gentlemen of Chinese flowers.
Welcoming Spring
People in China began holding a special ceremony on the first day of Start of Spring about 3,000 years ago. They made sacrifices to Gou Mang, the god of Spring, who is in charge of agriculture. By the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911), greeting spring had become an important folk activity.
At the beginning of the year 2020, we all make efforts to fight the spread of novel coronavirus. GoChengdu wish all of you will be in good health.
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