Grain in Ear, or Mangzhong, the 9th solar term of Chinese lunar calendar, falls on Jun 5 this year. During this period, farmers will need to reap summer crops to avoid rotting in north China, while in the south, seeds are planted for future harvest. Farmers plant rice seedlings in paddy fields in southern China during this period. Carrying the hopes of a good harvest this year, the fields form a lush and refreshing landscape.
Green plums become mature around June. These sour fruits contain a variety of natural and high-quality organic acids and are rich in minerals. They are believed to help clean blood, lower blood lipids, and eliminate tiredness. People make wine with fresh plum berries.
During the Grain in Ear, flowers begin to wither away. In ancient China, people have a custom to hold sacrificial ceremonies to bid farewell to the flora and show their gratitude to the Flower Goddess. Though the custom disappeared in many areas, its liveliness and excitement can still be seen in Chinese literary classic "Dream of the Red Chamber."
Mantises emerge from their casings as soon as temperatures rise in these days. Shrikes perch on branches and chirp to greet summer.