Minor Heat is the eleventh of the 24 solar terms in the Chinese lunar calendar, falling on July 6 this year. Following the Summer Solstice, or Xia Zhi, Minor Heat (Chinese: Xiao Shu) means that a hot period is coming but the extreme heat has not arrived yet.
A period of high temperature
Heat is the key concept of this solar term. Heat waves hit across China, and the highest temperature can reach over 40℃ in cities like Wuhan, Chengdu and Shanghai. However, thunder and rain also happen in this season, cooling down the hot weather. Therefore, people should stay away from both heat and humidity.
A good period for eating melons
People lose their appetite in the hot summer, but sweet fresh fruits such as watermelon can stimulate the appetite. Various kinds of melons are harvested during Minor Heat, especially watermelon, which is popular in the hot season. Apart from fruits, vegetables like cucumber and bitter gourds are also welcome in this period.
Watermelons are favorites during the summer. (Photo: VCG)
A good time to eat dumplings
In northern China, people have the custom of having dumplings in Minor Heat, because dumplings can arouse people’s appetite. Dumplings with mutton are the most popular in this solar term.
A period of lotus blossom
Lotus fully blossoms in Minor Heat. People can not only appreciate the beauty of the lotus, but also use them as cuisine and medicine. Lotus root can be stirred and fried with other vegetables while lotus leaves can be used for making tea and porridge. According to traditional Chinese medicine, lotus root and leaves can clear the lungs and relieve summer heat, therefore, they are highly recommended by doctors.
(Photo: People’s Daily; Compiled by Hai Han)