24 Solar Terms – Dashu (Great Heat)
Dashu (Great Heat), the 12th solar term of the year and the last one in summer, falls on July 22 this year, which is the 2nd of the sixth month according to Chinese lunar calendar. Dashu arrives during “the three periods of the hot season” (sanfu in Chinese, which is from July 16 to August 24 this year), when the sunlight and temperature peak in China. The three “Furnaces”, namely Chongqing, Wuhan and Nanjing, may be the hottest cities in China. The strong sunlight, high temperature and humidity may not be favorable to people, but good for agricultural development. Crops of the warm season enjoy their fastest period of growth around Dashu.
Traditionally, people drink herbal tea made of honeysuckle, selfheal, liquorice and a variety of herbs to cool off in the heat. Some regions, including Shanxi and Henan provinces, maintain the tradition to make ginger syrup. Mix ginger slices or juice with brown sugar in a container covered with gauze and put it under the sun. After it is fully blended, the ginger syrup is specially effective to cure stomach cold and cough due to common cold. In Guangdong, people eat mesona around Dashu, which is usually made into a popular jelly dessert. Other traditions include eating litchi in Fujian, pineapple in Taiwan and having lamb soup in Shandong.
In the hottest season of the year, it’ll be fun to visit one of the “furnace” cities – Chongqing. This mountainous city famous for hot pots will give you a unique summer experience.
Video provided by China Xinhua News Network Corporation
Visit China Online – Chongqing
Located in southwestern China, Chongqing is the only municipality directly under the central government in central-western China. As the center of economy, finance, science and technology innovation, shipping and trade logistics in the upper reaches of the Yangtze River, Chongqing is known as the “Mountain City” and is nicknamed “City of Fog, Rivers and Bridges”. All 55 Chinese ethnic minority groups, mostly Tujia and Miao peoples, live in Chongqing, constituting a vital part of its over 30 million population. As a result, Chongqing features not only the distinctive natural landscape and surreal cityscape, but also diverse and appealing cultural elements of all ethnic groups.
Video provided by Chongqing Municipal Commission of Culture and Tourism Development
魔幻 · 都市
Surreal · Cityscape
Cyberpunk, surreal and eight-dimensional, top attraction – Chongqing has been one of the most popular tourist destinations in China and around the world in recent years. Distinctive urban landscape is viewed in this city built on mountains: Hongya Cave, a 11-storey traditional local stilt house abutting a steep cliff; Liziba station, where the light rail goes right through a residential building; Twin River Bridges, two cable-stayed bridges with vertically parallel decks for motor vehicles and light rail; Huangjuewan Overpass, a 5-storey maze connecting 20 ramps and 8 roads and probably the most complicated one in China……and the list goes on. In Chongqing, apart from east, west, north and south, one should also consider the upward and downward directions. When your taxi-hailing app shows that the driver has arrived but you could not see anything, the driver is probably looking for you on the other level of the road as well. If you ask the locals for direction, they may tell you that the best way to go to a certain road is to enter the shopping mall besides you, and exit on a different floor. At some point, you can view all sorts of vehicles by the Yangtze River, from the airplane and Yangtze River cableway in the sky, to cruises and ships on the river, light rail on the bridge and motors on the street, weaving a magical modern cityscape right in front of you.
两江大桥 Twin River Bridges / Photo by Jerry Wang
长江索道 Yangtze River Cableway
国泰艺术中心 Guotai Arts Center / Photo by John Salvino
四川美术学院 Sichuan Fine Arts Institute / www.scfai.edu.cn
贰厂文创公园 Testbed 2 Arts Center
轻轨李子坝站 Liziba Station / Photo by Billow 926
Image by Sury0820
Photo by Billow 926
灵奇 · 山水
Distinctive · Landscape
Chongqing enjoys a surreal and magical cityscape, as well as unique and charming natural landscape. Wulong and Jinfo Mountain in Chongqing, as a part of the element South China Karst, was inscribed as UNESCO world natural heritage in 2014. The majestic Wushan Mountain and Lesser Three Gorges feature peculiar peaks reaching up to the sky and lush vegetation, where boats sail on rivers running through underground caves; the spectacular Wulong Karst, an ode to the incredible craftsmanship of nature, encompass karst caves, dolines, gorges, peak clusters and alpine meadows and a range of other landforms; Wansheng Black Mountain Valley, praised as “the most beautiful valley of health preservation” in China, is a scenic zone of wondrous scenery featuring steep mountains, sparkling streams, enchanted forests and secluded caves. In Chongqing, one is able to view all kinds of creation of nature.
南川金佛山 Jinfo Mountain, Nanchuan district
武隆天生三桥 Three Natural Bridges, Wulong district
梁平县百里竹海 Bamboo Forest, Liangping county / 曾卫民 Zeng Weimin
江津四面山 望乡仙境 Simian Mountain, Jiangjin district / 谢洪均 Xie Hongjun
万盛区 石林仙境 Celestial Stone Forest, Wansheng district
酉阳县 阿蓬江大峡谷 Apeng River Valley, Youyang county
酉阳桃花源 Taohuayuan Scenic Area, Youyang county / 杨孟 Yang Meng
巫山小三峡 Lesser Three Gorges, Wushan county
万盛黑山谷 Wansheng Black Mountain Valley
万盛黑山谷 Wansheng Black Mountain Valley
垫江县 迎风湖国家湿地公园 Yingfeng Lake National Wetland Park, Dianjiang county
沙坪坝区 融汇温泉 Ronghui Hot Springs, Shapingba district
秀山川河盖 童话世界 Fairyland of Chuanhegai, Xiushan county / 唐磊 Tang Lei
绮丽 · 人文
Colorful · Culture
Diverse and integrated cultural landscape of Chongqing fully displays and protects the appealing cultural treasures and folk customs of all ethnic groups. Dazu Rock Carvings were listed as world cultural heritage by UNESCO in 1999 due to their grand scale, remarkable aesthetic quality, rich diversity of subject matter and significant historical, scientific and artistic values. Baiheliang Underwater Museum, the first underwater museum in China, is built based on Baiheliang Ancient Hydrological Inscription recording 72 years of water level variation data in over 1200 years and is endorsed by UNESCO as the “No.1 Ancient Hydrometric Station in the World”. Baidi City, the “City of Poetry”; Anju Ancient Town, Tongliang county; Wanling Ancient Town, Rongchang district; Chiyou (ancestor of the Miao people) Jiuli City…… all these ancient towns have been lying in the nature for thousands of years and continue to preserve the roots of local culture.
The mountains and rivers in Chongqing have nurtured a unique local culture that shines in the classic poems of acclaimed poets throughout history – Li Bai, Du Fu, Bai Juyi, Li Shangyin, Su Shi, Huang Tingjian, etc. Their epic poems, depicting and revealing the magnificent scenery as scroll paintings, may lead us to the splendid spiritual worlds of the ancients.
唐 · 李白
唐 · 元稹
Leaving the White Emperor Town at Dawn
Li Bai, Tang dynasty
Leaving at dawn the White Emperor crowned with cloud;
I’ve sailed a thousand miles through Gorges in a day.
With monkeys’ sad adieux the riverbanks are loud;
My skiff has left ten thousand mountains far away.
Think of My Dear Wife
Yuan Zhen, Tang dynasty
No water’s enough when you have crossed the sea；
No cloud is beautiful but that which crowns the peak.
I pass by flowers that fail to attract poor me;
Half for your sake and half for Taoism I seek.
(Translated by Xu Yuanchong)
大足石刻 千手观音 Thousand-hand Bodhisattva Guanyin, Dazu Rock Carvings
涪陵 白鹤梁石刻 Baiheliang Ancient Hydrological Inscription, Fuling district
奉节县 白帝城 Baidi City, Fengjie count
彭水县 蚩尤九黎城 九黎神柱 Jiuli Sacred Pillar, Chiyou Jiuli City, Pengshui county
荣昌万灵古镇 大荣桥之晨 Darong Bridge in the Morning, Wanling Ancient Town, Rongchang district
铜梁安居古城 Anju Ancient Town, Tongliang district
秀山边城风光 Border Town Xiushan County / 田余君 Tian Yujun
合川钓鱼城 Hechuan Fishing Town
忠县 石宝寨 Shibaozhai Fortress, Zhong county
梁平县晒秋节 Sun-dried Autumn Festival, Liangping county
酉阳县 龙潭古镇 Longtan Ancient Town, Youyang county
麻辣 · 美食
Spicy · Cuisine
As an immigrant city, Chongqing received at least seven waves of immigration in the recorded history of 3000 years. Consequently, Chongqing cuisine featuring pungency, spiceness and tastiness, has its origin from Sichuan cuisine and absorbs a variety of flavors to create its own style. Apart from the popular Chongqing hot pot, Chongqing noodles (Xiaomian), spring chicken and grilled fish, Chongqing also sets up a series of cuisine standards for 12 dishes, namely double cooked pork slices, stuffed tofu soup, Chongqing-style boiled blood curd, spicy chicken, sweet and sour prawns, chicken tofu pudding, home-style sea cucumbers, Chongqing-style deer sinews, dry fried longsnout catfish, roasted duck with camphor tree and tea leaves, diced rabbit with dried tangerine peels and ox tail soup. Only the vigorous and forthright Chongqing people can create pleasantly pungent and intensely spicy Chongqing cuisine
重庆火锅 Chongqing Hot Pot
重庆火锅 Chongqing Hot Pot
重庆小面 Chongqing Noodles (Xiaomian)
烤鱼 Grilled Fish
水煮鱼 Poached Fish Filets in Chili Oil
酸辣粉 Hot and Sour Rice Noodles
Image by RVAJ
麻辣小龙虾 Spicy Crayfish
中国和瑞典对小龙虾有着同样的热爱。在中国，除了风靡全国的麻辣小龙虾，香辣、红烧、蒜香、碳烤、啤酒小龙虾等各种口味也深受欢迎。在瑞典，每年8月，人们会纷纷在室外举行小龙虾派对 (kräftskivor)，以庆祝夏季的结束。16世纪时，小龙虾是瑞典贵族专属的奢侈品。如今，它已成为人人都可享用的美食，很多人都会去自行捕捞。瑞典人最喜欢煮小龙虾，要加上大把皇冠莳萝和盐。餐桌上摆好纸质桌布和彩色盘子，周围挂上鲜艳的纸灯笼，最受欢迎的图案是一轮微笑的满月。人们脖子上系着围兜，头戴滑稽的纸帽子。在小龙虾派对上，要直接用手食用作为冷餐的小龙虾。大声吮吸汁水是完全可以接受的行为。佐餐食物是面包和成熟的西博滕奶酪 (Västerbottensost) 等味道浓烈的奶酪。人们一般会饮用啤酒，当然，也少不了烈酒schnapps。
China and Sweden share a common interest in crayfish. In China, pungent and spicy crayfish is popular across the nation, as well as braised crayfish in chili / garlic / soy sauce / with beer and grilled crayfish, etc. In Sweden, people hold outdoor crayfish party every August to celebrate the end of summer. Eaten only by Sweden’s upper-class citizens and aristocracy in the 1500s, crayfish have become a national delicacy enjoyed by all. Indeed, many people like to catch their own crayfish. The most popular way of cooking crayfish is to boil them in brine with plenty of crown dill. Paper tablecloth and colourful plates are arranged with gaily coloured paper lanterns hung around the table. The most popular type of lantern shows a smiling full moon. People wear bibs around their necks and comic paper hats on their heads. You eat crayfish cold, with your fingers. Sucking noisily to extract the juices is perfectly acceptable behaviour. Bread and a strong cheese such as mature Västerbotten are side dishes. People mostly drink beer and the inevitable schnapps.
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