Calendar for Chinese 24 Solar Terms: Grain in Ear

By Wu Chaolan, Zhang Wenjie, Xian Jiangnan (People's Daily Online) 09:26, June 06, 2022

Grain in Ear is the ninth of the 24 solar terms and the third solar term of summer, indicating the beginning of midsummer. Grain in Ear, pronounced "Mang Zhong" in Chinese, literally means "awned wheat should be harvested quickly, awned rice can be planted". "Mang" is homophonic to the word "busy" in Chinese, indicating that all crops are "busy planting".

This solar term witnesses abundant rainfall and significantly increased temperatures, and most areas have now entered summer. Southern and southeastern China enter the period with most precipitation of the year. The middle and lower reaches of the Yangtze River also enter into the "plum rain season", when there are more rainy days and less sunshine. At the same time, the region can occasionally be affected by tornadoes, hail, drought, and other natural disasters.


Flower-God farewell

In ancient times, people welcomed the god of flowers with the Flower Festival on the second day of the second lunar month. Flowers begin to wither in the lead up to Grain in Ear. People usually hold rituals to worship the god of flowers on the first day of Grain in Ear, and express gratitude to the god of flowers, hoping to meet again next year. This custom has since died out, but it was described in detail in the famous novel The Dream of Red Mansion.

Farming worship

This is an agricultural custom in southern Anhui province, which began in the early Ming dynasty. During Grain in Ear, after planting rice, people hold sacrificial activities called Anmiao to pray for a good harvest in autumn. Every family uses new wheat flour to make steamed stuffed buns. They knead the flour into many shapes including animals, fruit and vegetables, and then dye them with vegetable juice. People use these as sacrificial offerings, praying for a good harvest and the safety of villagers.



Mulberries are the best fruit to enjoy at the beginning of summer. As early as 2,000 years ago, mulberries were used by the emperor as a tonic. Found naturally in the wild, mulberries have thus gained the title of "holy fruit". Ripe mulberries are juicy and have a balanced flavor of sweet and sour.

Green plum

In southern China, plums become ripe in May and June. In the Three Kingdoms period, statements referring to these plums were everywhere, for example, "commenting on a hero while warming the plum wine" and "thirst quenched by looking for plums". Therefore, these plums have a unique cultural connotation. Green plums are rich in nutrients and are beneficial to the human body. However, mostly fresh plums taste sour and bitter, and so many people choose to boil them or turn them into wine.


Calendar for Chinese 24 Solar Terms: Grain Buds

Calendar for Chinese 24 Solar Terms: Start of Summer

Calendar for Chinese 24 Solar Terms: Grain Rain

Calendar for Chinese 24 Solar Terms: Qingming

Calendar for Chinese 24 Solar Terms: Spring Equinox

Calendar for Chinese 24 Solar Terms: Awakening of Insects

(Web editor: Xian Jiangnan, Hongyu)


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