Introduction of Chinese Solar Terms (Jie Qi)2016-07-22 14:40:53Share:
Since ancient time，China has shaped a unique and pragmatic system to sign different phases of the whole year. Chinese people normally call it Jie Qi(节气 ), which consists of 24 parts respectively.
Based on the long-term experience collections and the seasonal changes in agriculture, Chinese people in every possible way outlined this distinctive weather and climatic system for facilitating living and agricultural production over the thousands of years.
Hence, roughly defining it as the experience-based science mixed with the achievements of Chinese elites in geography and astronomy is reliable in a great degree.
In history, the 24 solar terms used to be the vitally important guide of ancient people' daily life, agricultural production and annual schedule, because it always tells people when it is and what should be done.
Ancient China is an agriculture-centered empire, and the finalization and target of solar terms are naturally apt to benefiting agricultural production.
In folk society, the peasants and farmers are all the experts of studying and practicing the 24 solar terms, because they are the people witnessing the connotation and significance of the 24 solar terms in life and farming.
Even in each family in rural areas, householders always hanging a Chinese traditional calendar(皇历) on the wall, on which the specific daily suggestions and guides in the way of the 24 solar terms would be served pragmatically.
So, as a part of Chinese traditional culture, the 24 solar system is a living show that is still playing an important role in Chinese people's life.
The 24 solar terms classify the whole year into 24 phases in order in accordance to the earth's climatic change caused by the change of the sun's site change.
Each phase lasts approximately half month, and 24 phases are included in 12 months. The phase in the early month is called Jie Qi and in middle month Zhong Qi. Qi(气), totally different from the academic term in Chinese philosophy, exclusively means weather or climate.
The solar terms include 24 phases hereinafter: 立春 Spring begins. 雨水 The rains. 惊蛰 Insects awaken. 春分 Vernal Equinox. 清明 Clear and bright. 谷雨 Grain rain. 立夏 Summer begins. 小满 Grain buds. 芒种 Grain in ear. 夏至 Summer solstice. 小暑 Slight heat. 大暑 Great heat. 立秋 Autumn begins. 处暑 Stopping the heat. 白露 White dews. 秋分 Autumn Equinox. 寒露 Cold dews. 霜降 Hoar-frost falls. 立冬 Winter begins. 小雪 Light snow. 大雪 Heavy snow. 冬至 Winter Solstice. 小寒 Slight cold. 大寒 Great cold.
In traditional China, the four seasons are divided by 8 solar terms, which respectively are Spring begins, Vernal equinox, Summer begins, Summer soltice, Autumn begins, Autumn equinox, Winter begins and Winter solstice.
Vernal equinox and Autumn equinox are the turning points of the seasons and four begins obviously mean the beginning of seasons. Slight heat, Great heat, Stopping the heat, Slight cold and Great cold represent the periods of the hottest and the coldest in the year.
White dews, Autumn Equinox, Cold dews and Hoar-frost falls generally reflect the process and degree of falling temperature. The rains, Grain rain, Light snow and Heavy snow reflect the degree of rainfall and snowfall.
Insects awaken, Clear and bright, Grain buds and Grain in ear show the changing and growing condition of seasons and crops.
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