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China's 24 solar terms: Qiufen

By Zhang Xiaoyu (People's Daily Online)    13:42, September 22, 2018

Qiufen or “Autumnal Equinox,” the 16th of the 24 solar terms in the Chinese Lunar Calendar, will fall on September 23 this year. During this period, autumn colors can be seen in many parts of China. Chinas first "Chinese Farmers’ Harvest Festival" will be held on the same day to celebrate the harvest season.

Qiufen is the midpoint of autumn. From here on, days will be shorter and nights will be longer in the Northern Hemisphere.

In the past, Qiufen was the day for people to worship the moon. However, the specific date of Qiufen was unfixed, so the “moon-worship day” was rescheduled for the Mid-Autumn Day, when the moon was at its brightest and roundest.

On Qiufen, people in South China would pray for good health by eating "Qiucai"——also known as autumn vegetable, which is a kind of wild amaranth.

Eating sticky sweet dumplings was a tradition for farmers, and they would put dozens of dumplings in the fields to “stick” sparrows’ mouth and prevent them from eating the crops. This custom expressed farmers’ wishes for a good harvest.

“Qiu Niu Tu” was a picture printed with solar terms and farming patterns and it was sent from house to house by folk artisans who greeted people with auspicious words.

Although the Qiufen period will witness a drop in temperature, the autumn sky will be clearer and the air will be crisper. At the same time, Qiufen is also important for agricultural production, for it marks the beginning of the autumn harvest season in most parts of China.

This year’s Qiufen coincides with the Mid-Autumn Festival holiday, so it will definitely give us a stronger sense of autumn. 

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Web editor: Bianji, Du Mingming)

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