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Beautiful views of the 24 solar terms (7)

(People's Daily Online)

08:57, May 24, 2012

Summer Begins

Edited and translated by Xue Meng, People's Daily Online

Summer Begins

Introduction
“Summer Begins” comes on May 5 or May 6 every year. When the sun reaches the celestial longitude of 45 degrees, it’s the beginning of the summer season. Usually people consider this period as the time where temperature begins to rise obviously, thunderstorm becomes more frequent and crops’ growth enter the peak season. Many crops seeded in spring can be harvested in the summer. Wheat grain begins to grow full and rapeseed is nearly ripe. It’s also the peak season for transplant rice seedlings. As an old saying goes, “You can see the outcome of summer at the ‘Summer Begins’”. Since the ancient times, people had paid important attention to this day. In the Zhou Dynasty, emperors would take a trip outside the palace together with his officials to welcome the summer, and send out orders to local officials encouraging farmers working harder.

Traditional Customs
As mentioned above, in ancient times, emperor led all his officials outside the palace to welcome this day. Everyone wore vermilion clothes, with vermilion accessories. Even horses, chariots and flags were vermilion. This was to show people’s prayer for good harvest. The emperor also awarded his officials some ice stored from the previous winter.

In folk, people relieve the summer heat with cold drinks. People along the Yangtze River have the customs of boiling and eating broad bean.

Healthy Living Tips
Since the temperature rises continuously, people should take food which are easier to digest and are with more vitamins. It’s better to avoid oily and spicy food. Another principle is to eat something good for the heart, for example, milk, bean products and chicken. More vegetables and fruits can help increase the cellulose, Vitamin B and Vitamin C and thus prevent arteriosclerotic diseases.

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