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The Waking of Insects, China's third solar term

(People's Daily Online)    09:07, March 06, 2019

Jingzhe, otherwise known as the Waking of Insects, is the third of China's 24 solar terms and usually starts around March 5. As the name indicates, this term sees hibernating insects begin to wake and marks the start of mid-spring. At this time, the weather gets warmer, and animals awaken under the call of the spring thunder. Farmers seize this chance to begin plowing fields all over China.

Villain hitting

"Villain hitting" is a popular custom in Guangdong province and Hong Kong. This sorcery is not a curse, but a blessing to drive away bad luck. People use a variety of symbolic objects such as shoes or incense sticks to hit or hurt a "villain" made of paper, before burning it to ashes.

Sacrifice to Bái Hǔ

People often leave sacrifices to Bái Hǔ, a white tiger made of paper. During this solar term, a small piece of pork is soaked with pig blood and then put inside the mouth of the paper tiger so that Bái Hǔ won't hurt others after being fed. Sometimes people will also smear fatty pork on Bái Hǔ's mouth, leaving it unable to open its mouth to judge others.

Disease prevention

As flowers start to bloom in the warm weather, viruses and bacteria also begin to grow more readily. People should be more cautious of viruses such as influenza during this period.

Keeping warm

Although it gets warmer during the Waking of Insects, the air can still be chilly. People should keep warm and wear appropriate clothing to handle sudden cold spells in late spring.

Rest and exercise

People are prone to be tired and sleepy in the newly warm weather. Enough sleep, a regular daily routine and exercise are good for your physical and mental health.

Bland diet

Dry weather during the Waking of Insects makes people feel thirstier than usual. It is beneficial to dine on lung-moistening foods including white pear, lotus seed and loquat, while greasy and spicy food should be avoided. 

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(Web editor: Liang Jun, Bianji)

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