20jan/21

24 Solar Terms: Dahan (Greater Cold) & Laba Festival

  January 20 marks the arrival of the last of 24 solar terms of the year – Dahan (Greater Cold). So far, the annual cycle of the 24 solar terms has come to an end and a new one is about to begin. Dahan falls in the fourth nine-day periods following the Winter Solstice when most parts of China are hit by cold wave and freezing wind. North China is largely covered in snow.   消寒糕 Dispelling Cold Cake / 稻香村 Daoxiangcun     Food choice during Dahan should be altered according to seasonal changes. As winter is turning to spring, a season of revitalization and renewal, more stimulating food is preferred to boost energy. For example, people in Foshan, Guangdong province have the custom of cooking glutinous rice in pottery pots during Dahai; people in Anqing, Anhui province make fried spring rolls, and Nanjing residents make stewed chicken and drink chicken soup during Dahan period. For Beijingers, Dahan is a time to eat “dispelling cold cake”, a kind ofRead More…

04jan/21

24 Solar Terms: Xiaohan (Lesser Cold)

    Xiaohan (Lesser Cold) is the 23rd solar term of the 24 traditional Chinese solar terms and the first one in 2021, starting from January 5. Lesser Cold implies that the cold air accumulation hasn’t reached its peak; however, as it usually arrives around the 3rd nine-day periods following the Winter Solstice, it marks the beginning of the coldest days of the year for most areas of China.       Xiaohan (Lesser Cold) is the 23rd solar term of the 24 traditional Chinese solar terms and the first one in 2021, starting from January 5. Lesser Cold implies that the cold air accumulation hasn’t reached its peak; however, as it usually arrives around the 3rd nine-day periods following the Winter Solstice, it marks the beginning of the coldest days of the year for most areas of China.   糯米饭 Glutinous rice / Nayuta   菜饭 Mixed vegetable rice / Chinadaily   Eating mixed vegetable rice / glutinousRead More…

04jan/21

Archaeological Ruins of Liangzhu City

  Liangzhu is a historic name. While whisking off the dust of 5000-year history and appreciating this ancient site, the cradle of early human civilization, we can see fascinating waters, soft jade wares and glory of human wisdom. In 2019, Archaeological Ruins of Liangzhu City, located in Zhejiang province, was put on the UNESCO World Heritage List as a cultural site.   Jade bi (Fanshan M2323)   Jade cong (Fanshan M1298)   Located in the Yangtze River Basin on the south-eastern coast of China, the archaeological ruins of Liangzhu (about 3,300-2,300 BCE) reveal an early regional state with a unified belief system based on rice cultivation in Late Neolithic China. The property is composed of four areas – the Area of Yaoshan Site, the Area of High-dam at the Mouth of the Valley, the Area of Low-dam on the Plain and the Area of City Site. These ruins are an outstandingRead More…

21Dec/20

24 Solar Terms: Dongzhi (Winter Solstice)

  Dongzhi (Winter Solstice) begins from December 21, or the seventh of the eleventh month of Chinese lunar calendar this year. It marks the longest night in the northern hemisphere, as well as the beginning of a new cycle as the day will be longer afterwards. In the Zhou and Qin dynasties, Dongzhi was the beginning of the new year. It is not only one of the 24 solar terms, but also an important traditional festival in China. Up to now, there is still the saying that “Winter Solstice is as significant as the Spring Festival”. Sweden also celebrates a series of important traditional festivals around Dongzhi, including St. Lucia’s Day (December 13) and Christmas (December 24, but in other parts of the Christian world the 25 is the most important). Advent stars appear in the windows of every Swedish family to illuminate the long winter nights and the festive season.Read More…

09Dec/20

World Natural and Cultural Heritage of Xinjiang

  Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region of China is located in the northwest of China and the interior of Eurasia. The Silk Road connected ancient China with the world, making it a place of coexistence and exchange among various civilizations. Xinjiang has long been a multi-ethnic area and has officially become a part of China since the Han dynasty. Today, it is the home of all 56 Chinese ethnic groups.       Close to Nature The landform of Xinjiang can be summarized as “three mountains segmenting two basins”; from the north to the south, there lie the Altai Mountains, Tianshan Mountains and Kunlun Mountains. To the north of the Tianshan Mountains is Junggar Basin, and to the south is Tarim Basin, in which Taklimakan Desert is China’s largest and world’s second largest shifting sand desert. To the east of the Tianshan Mountains, Turpan Depression marks the lowest point of China – 154.31 meters below sea level; to the west is Ili Valley, where the scenery isRead More…

07Dec/20

24 Solar Terms: Daxue (Heavy Snow)

  December 7, or the 23rd of the tenth month of Chinese lunar calendar, is the 21st solar term – Daxue (Heavy Snow) this year. As the third solar term in winter, Daxue indicates that the temperature will further decrease and that the arrival of strong cold air will increase precipitation. Snow is beneficial to alleviate winter drought and eliminate crop diseases and pests; snow cover can prevent ground temperature from dropping too much, creating a favorable environment for crops to survive the winter.   Video provided by China Xinhua News Network Corporation     Similar to the previous solar term Xiaoxue (Light Snow), Daxue is also a good time to make preserved meat and vegetable in some areas. As an old saying goes, people should “make preserved vegetables during Xiaoxue and preserved meat during Daxue”. Pork, chicken, duck, fish and all kinds of meat can be cured; cabbage, potherb mustard, green beans, radish, bamboo shoots, mustard root, pepper and a varietyRead More…