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Things you may not know about China's 13th solar term: Start of Autumn

By Kong Qi (People's Daily Online)    17:00, August 08, 2019

According to the traditional Chinese lunar calendar, a year is divided into 24 solar terms. The Start of Autumn is the 13th solar term, this year falling on August 8.

Initially, the 24 solar terms were created to guide agricultural production. However, in modern times, they have become a guide for cultural ceremonies, seasonal food, and health tips that correspond with the changing seasons.

(Photo/Official Weibo account of People's Daily)

The arrival of the Start of Autumn indicates the end of summer and the beginning of a fruitful autumn.

Did you know all of these facts about the Start of Autumn?

Autumn Tiger

Although the Start of Autumn symbolizes the approach of fall, it's not to say that the hot summer days have come to an end. After the Start of Autumn, the warm weather will last for another 30 days, giving this solar term the alternative name "Autumn Tiger."

Bulk out in autumn


On this day, people will weigh themselves and compare it to what they weighed during the Start of Summer. Due to the hot summer weather, people often lose their appetite, leading to weight loss. If one has lost weight during the summer months, then he or she needs to bulk up by eating delicious food, especially meat, during the beginning of this solar term.

Eating peaches

In the southern part of China, including Hangzhou, people eat peaches on the Start of Autumn, and the peach stones are kept until New Year's Eve when people throw them into the stove. In ancient times, people believed that plagues could be eradicated and health could be safeguarded by burning the peach stones to ashes.

Eating longans

The Start of Autumn period is the harvest time for longans. In some parts of China, people believe that eating longans will bring good luck to their descendants and help them become successful in their careers.

Eating red beans

Starting from the Tang Dynasty (618-907), people in Yiwu, Zhejiang province, would take several red beans and swallow them with well water on this day, to avoid dysentery during the coming autumn.

Health tips


Even though the Start of Autumn sees cooler weather approaching, we need to take good care of ourselves to avoid catching a cold. As for diet, it is suggested in traditional Chinese medicine to eat more pears, tremella, lilies, grapes, pomegranate and mango, which can nourish the lungs and spleen. 

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

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