｜Ch3 Solar Terms
Great snow covers the sky and land. At this time of the year, the snow on the landscape is as bright as sunshine. When the Sun’s ecliptic longitude reaches 255 degrees, approximately on December 7th, Great Snow approaches. Snowflakes are the gifts in Winter. Being here in Taiwan, snow is hardly seen whereas the coldness of Winter can always be felt.
There are three pentads in this time of the year. Crossbills can’t stand the cold weather and usually tweet for daybreak at night. However, in the first pentad, the weather is so cold that they can’t even make any sounds. In the second pentad, tigers sense the transition between ‘yin’ and ‘yang’. Therefore, they exhibit the tendency for courtship. In the third pentad, the tiny climbing fig sprouts regardless of the coldness, which seemingly announces the arrival of Spring.
During this time of the year, rice is harvested, and the land is fallowed. Rapeseeds flowers and cosmos are the typical flowers you can see on a fallowed land. During Great Snow, their movements in the wind seem to invite people to stop by, dance with them, and kiln-bake some food to keep warm. For instance, baked tangerine peels are considered healthy and a great remedy for curing cough. Therefore, you might want to store some dry tangerine peels in the jar. Bathing in hot water with those tangerine peels keeps the body warm and eases tiredness.
Many things change and occur hastily without being noticed. Likewise, Spring comes soon after Winter Solstice in a blink of an eye. In Winter Solstice, ‘yang’ arises and Spring will soon arrive again. When the Sun’s ecliptic longitude reaches 270 degrees, approximately on December 22nd, Winter Solstice approaches. People welcome this solar term merrily. On the day of Winter Solstice, the sun shines on the Tropic of Capricorn and that makes Winter Solstice the shortest day in the Northern hemisphere.
There are three pentads in this time of the year. In the first pentad, although ‘yang’ arises, earthworms still swirl underground due to the cold weather. In the second pentad, moose’s horns start casting. In the third pentad, spring water in the mountain start flowing due to the warmth of ‘yang’.
It is cold in Winter Solstice, people in the north chant the ‘Counting Plum Blossom Petals’. The blooming of one petal symbolizes one day. There are nine words in nine verses in this chant because Spring will come after 81 days. People chant to kill the boredom in Winter and anticipate the arrival of Spring. The significance of Winter Solstice resembles that of Chinese New Year. In old times, Winter Solstice was once perceived as the beginning of the year. Chinese people eat ‘Tang Yuan’ on Winter Solstice. They believe that people grow one year older after eating ‘Tang Yuan’. Then, all the plans for the new year commence and people wish everything well afterwards.
撰文: 道禾幼兒園 大墩校主任 梁嫈琳
Author: Director of Daohe Preschool, Da-dun Campus,Irene Ying-Lin Liang
譯文: 專案執行 陳惠芬
Translator: Project Executive, Sino Hui-Fen Chen
英文編輯: 專案執行 Ebrima Cham
English Editor: Project Executive, Ebrima Cham
圖像設計: 道禾大墩校 陳家榮
Iconographer: Daohe Preschool, Da-dun Campus, Jack Chia-Jung Chen
攝影: 道禾設計部 林欽德、道禾大墩校 陳家榮
Photographer: Design Department of Natural Way School, Akiwa Chin-Te Lin, Daohe Preschool, Da-dun Campus, Jack Chia-Jung Chen