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National News 24 Solar Terms: 9 things you may not know about Start of Spring
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       Updated:2017-02-27      Text:Large /  Medium  /  Small  

 24 Solar Terms:  Some things you may not know .

 

A painting of Start of Spring and spring cake from Li Xiaolin. As a popular young Chinese artist, Li combined the customs during a solar term and the associated food and created a series of illustrations named "24 Solar Terms and Chinese Delicacies". 


The traditional Chinese lunar calendar divides the year into 24 solar terms. Start of Spring (Chinese: 立春), the first solar term of the year, begins this year on Feb 3 and ends on Feb 17.


Start of Spring lifts the curtain of spring. After that everything turns green and full of vigor; people clearly see that the daytime is becoming longer and the weather is becoming warmer.


Here are nine things you should know about Start of Spring.


Start of Spring and Spring Festival


As a solar term, Start of Spring had already entered people's lives in the Spring and Autumn Period (770-476 BC). At that time, there were eight solar terms. According to some experts, the 24 solar terms were used for the first time in books during the Western Han Dynasty (206 BC-AD 24), when the Start of Spring was set as the Spring Festival. In 1913, the first day of the first month of the lunar year was mandated as the Spring Festival.


Flying a kite


Spring is the best season for kite-flying. A traditional folk activity, it has a history of more than 2,000 years. It can help build one’s health and prevent diseases. It also has the effect of promoting blood circulation and speeding up metabolism. A breath of fresh air outside can discharge the foul smell accumulated in winter.


Erecting the egg


In China, it is said that the egg can be set upright on the first day of the Start of Spring, Spring Equinox day and Autumn Equinox day. It is believed that if someone can make the egg stand on the first day of Start of Spring, he will have good luck in the future.


According to astronomers and physicists, setting the egg upright has nothing to do with time, but with mechanics. The most important thing is to shift the egg’s center of gravity to the lowest part of the egg. In this way, the trick is holding the egg until the yolk sinks as much as possible. For this, people should choose an egg about 4 or 5 days old, whose yolk is inclined to sink down.

Wearing fabric swallows


Wearing fabric swallows is a custom in some regions in Shaanxi. Every Start of Spring, people like to wear a swallow made of colorful silk on their chests. The custom originated during the Tang Dynasty (618-907). The swallow is a harbinger of spring and a symbol of prosperity and happiness.