｜Ch2 Solar Terms
With the suddenly appearing drizzle, one can sense the coldness in the air in January. When the Sun’s ecliptic longitude reaches 285 degrees, approximately on January 5th, Slight cold approaches. At this time of the year, the cold wind frosts the land and whispers the message of blooming flowers, which forecasts the arrival of Spring. There are 3 kinds of blooming flowers in eight solar terms from Slight Cold in Winter to Grain Rain in Spring. This results in 24 different blooming flowers spreading the message of the blooming flowers and forthcoming Spring.
There are three pentads in this time of the year. In these three pentads, birds sense the ‘yang’ in the air and get ready for their moves. In the first pentad, wild geese commence to fly north. In the second pentad, magpies start to make their own nests for their expected descendants. In the last pentad, pheasants begin to make sounds merrily to attract their fellows.
Slight Cold is in December of Lunar Year, which is also known as Laba Month. ‘Laba Congee’ is traditionally eaten on the Eight of Laba Month. Regardless of the diverse recipes from place to place, rice, beans, nuts and dried fruit are all the must-have ingredients in this delicacy. People are accustomed to choosing eight ingredients because ‘eight’ is the homonym for ‘progress’ and represents a positive meaning. At the end of the year, families get together and enjoy Laba Congee. This tradition not only keeps people warm but also implies a prosperous future in the coming year.
Great Cold is the last Solar Term in Winter; therefore, its advent announces the end of Winter. When the Sun’s ecliptic longitude reaches 300 degrees, approximately on January 10th, Great Cold approaches. It is well understood that the new year will come after Great Cold. Expecting the coming of Chinese New Year, people busily and merrily prepare for this most important holiday in Chinese culture.
There are three pentads in this time of the year. In the first pentad, hens sense the arrival of Spring and get ready to hatch their baby chicks. In the second pentad, Spring approaches and eagles dive for their prey. In the third pentad, the great coldness is perfectly described by the frozen water on the rivers and lakes.
Chinese New Year comes during Great Cold. People go on a shopping spree to stock up for Chinese New Year, write Spring Couplets, cut paper-panes, do a thorough house clean-up, feast with their family, and receive red-envelopes filled with lucky money. With all these festive customs, harsh coldness ends and lively feelings come. The old year was gone with the set-off of firecrackers. The new one comes along with more hopes and anticipations. Finally, Winter is gone and Spring is here.
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 張雅涵
Photographer: Design Department of Natural Way School, Yahan Chang