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Major Heat

source:chinadaily.com.cn release date:2018/07/23 hits:397


The traditional Chinese lunar calendar divides the year into 24 solar terms. Major Heat, the 12th solar term of the year, begins this year on July 23 and ends August 6.

A season of harvesting and planting

During Major Heat, the sunshine, high temperatures, and heavy rainfall are good for agricultural crops. But like Minor Heat, many natural calamities such as floods, droughts and typhoons also happen during Major Heat. Therefore, it’s important to harvest and plant in time to avoid setbacks caused by natural disasters.

Cricket fighting

Major Heat is a season with the largest number of crickets that can be found in the fields along the countryside. Cricket fighting is a popular pastime for some people in China during this period. The custom dates back more than 1,000 years to the Tang Dynasty (AD 618-907).

Eating litchi and mizao

On the day of Major Heat, there is a custom of eating litchi, Mizao in Putian, Fujian province, as a celebration of Major Heat.

Litchi is a nutritious fruit containing glucose and vitamins. People usually soak litchi in cold well water first and eat it. It is said that litchi during Major Heat is as nourishing as ginseng.

Mizao is made of fermented rice. On the day of Major Heat, people cook them with brown sugar. It can reinforce the vital energy of the human body.

Eating pineapples

There is a saying in Taiwan which goes, "eating pineapples in Major Heat." During the period of Major Heat, pineapple tastes best.

Drinking mutton soup

There is a custom in southern Shandong province where people drink mutton soup on the day of Major Heat. Many people go to local restaurants to drink mutton soup, which is called "summer mutton soup."

Eating grass jelly

Grass jelly, "Xiancaodong" in Chinese, is made with a special grass whose stems and leaves can be made into herb jelly after being dried in the sun.

With the amazing ability to quell the summer heat, grass jelly is described in a popular saying in Guangdong province that goes, "eating herb jelly in Major Heat will make you stay young like the immortals."

The herb jelly looks and tastes like another jelly-like Guilinggao, or called Turtle Jelly, but without the bitter taste!

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