April 20 welcomes Guyu, or Grain Rain, the 6th Chinese solar term. The day falls between the end of spring and the beginning of summer, signaling the increase of rainfall and the end of abrupt temperature drops. As its name suggests, Guyu heralds warm weather and frequent rain, the best conditions for growing crops. Farmers will seize the opportunity to cultivate farmland as rainwater will offer plenty of irrigation to the crops. (Images: People's Daily Online)
Chinese toon leaves are popular seasonal vegetables in northern China during the Guyu period. The vegetable is nutritious and is believed to be beneficial to the immune system. People often fry it with eggs to have the best taste.
This solar term is also important to the peony. Renowned as the “King of Flowers,” peony has been appreciated by Chinese since ancient times. During this period, peonies across China will successively enter prime time. Cities including Luoyang in central China’s Henan Province and Heze in east China’s Shandong Province will hold peony fairs every year to offer visual feasts for visitors.
It is also a tradition for fishermen in China to hold a sea worship to pray for safe sailing and a bumper fish harvest on the solar term of Guyu. Local villagers play drums and gongs and set off firecrackers on the seaside as part of the celebrations.