Wednesday marks the start of the Spring Equinox, and here is what you need to know about this solar term as well as several fun traditions to observe.
The traditional Chinese lunar calendar divides a year into 24 solar terms. The Spring Equinox – or Chunfen – is the fourth term of the year, which arrives every year around March 21.
On this day, the sun reaches the celestial longitude of O° above the equator. The Spring Equinox signals an equal amount of darkness and sunlight and the mid-point for the spring season. After the equinox, the sun moves north – resulting in gradually longer daytime in the Northern Hemisphere and longer nighttime in the Southern Hemisphere.
Many proverbs among farmers describe this season as “rains with thunder and lightning” and “time to farm, otherwise nothing to harvest for the rest of the year.”
Some traditional customs around the Spring Equinox include:
People choose fresh eggs, typically laid only a few days ago, and carefully balance them on the table. It is believed that the one who can make the egg stand will have good luck.
Eating “spring vegetables”
“Spring vegetables” refers to seasonal vegetables that differ from place to place. In China, people believe that eating seasonal foods promotes a healthy lifestyle.
Sacrifice to the God of Sun
An old tradition, practiced especially by Beijing locals, is offering sacrifices to the God of Sun. The "Sun Cake," a round cake made from wheat and sugar, serves as the main offering.
Reward farm cattle or sending “spring farm cattle”
Farmers will reward their cattle by feeding them sticky rice balls to express their gratefulness. People also send papercut pictures, depicting farm cattle ploughing in the field, to each other.
Spring is the perfect time for flying a kite and going out for fun.
Let's see what spring looks like in six cities of different countries.