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Major Snow marks the start of midwinter in China

By Xi Xinjuan (People's Daily Online)    13:25, December 07, 2018

On Dec. 7, 2018, China ushered in the 21st of the 24 solar terms, and the 3rd solar term in winter - Major Snow, marking the start of the midwinter season. It begins when the sun reaches the celestial longitude of 255° and ends when it reaches 270°. At this time of year, it tends to snow more frequently over a wider area of the country, hence the name Major Snow.

By the start of Major Snow, most of China has already seen the start of winter, and tempera-tures have now dropped to below 0 ℃ in some northern regions. At this time of year, the snow gradually settles in the Yellow River Basin. In the far north there is heavy snow; while in the south, it is mild with less precipitation.

A timely snow promises a good harvest. Snow adds warmth and moisture to the winter wheat, preventing dry air in winter. It can also store and lock in water needed for the following year, and it kills off bacteria and pests which decreases the risk of disease.

During Major Snow, people often eat jujube cakes, made from red jujube dates which are rich in vitamin C, protein, calcium, iron, vitamins and other nutrients. There is an old Chinese saying that “three dates a day means no one gets old.” Jujube dates not only replenish the spleen and stomach, but also protect the liver, increase muscle strength, and are said to be anti-aging. Be-cause of their affordable price and high nutritional content, jujube cakes are popular all over China at this time of year.

In some areas, cured meats become a specialty product, as a way to store meat over the winter months. As the saying goes "small snow seals the ground, heavy snow seals the river." Now, many rivers are frozen, and people can go ice-skating with friends and family.

Major Snow is an excellent season for people to replenish their bodies. There is another saying, "Replenishing your body in winter means you will be strong enough to fight a tiger in early spring." Perfect winter foods include mutton, onion, yam, longan, ginger, apricot and other foods rich in protein and vitamins which are easy to digest.

Drinking a bowl of warm porridge is a common way to welcome in the chilly mornings. Wheat porridge nourishes the heart, while radish porridge is said to be good for digestion and reduc-ing phlegm. Ginger jujube soup is recommended to help keep your immune system strong and fight off illnesses such as the common cold.

You can also eat some foods that nourish your Yin (阴), such as scallions, pickles, and pears. Before and after Major Snow, a large number of citrus fruits, high in vitamin C, are in season, such as the Nanfeng Tangerine, Navel Orange, and Snow Orange.

 

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

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