Monday, February 14, 2011

Twenty-four Traditional Solar Terms and Their Dates in 2011

The ecliptic is divided evenly into 24 sections, hence the twenty-four traditional Chinese solar terms are named. They are closed related to the change of weather and phenological characteristics. The terms have been very useful for farmers along the Yellow River in China for thousands of years. They tell the farmers when to plough the fields, when to plant different crops, etc. But do you know understanding them can benefit everybody, including you and me? Chinese people think man is an organic part of the nature. Our body functions act like the cycle of the nature. In the summer, when the sunlight is the warmest and the plants are the most exuberant, human body is also full of Yang Qi and most active; when winter comes, animals go into hibernation and plants shed their leaves, man also should hide Yang Qi away and rest well. Therefore, the 24 solar terms are the best guideline for our health preservation.


Here is the list of 24 solar terms in chronological  order:


立春  the Beginning of Spring     Feb.3,4, or 5
雨水  Rain Water     Feb.18,19 or 20
惊蜇  the Waking of Insects     Mar.5,6, or 7
春分  the Spring Equinox     Mar.20,21 or 22
清明  Pure Brightness    Apr.4,5 or 6
谷雨  Grain Rain Apr.   19,20 or 21
立夏  the Beginning of Summer    May 5,6 or 7
小满  Lesser Fullness of Grain   May 20,21 or 22
芒种  Grain in Beard     Jun.5,6 or 7
夏至  the Summer Solstice     Jun.21 or 22
小暑  Lesser Heat    Jul.6,7 or 8
大暑  Greater Heat    Jul.22,23 or 24
立秋  the Beginning of Autumn    Aug.7,8 or 9
处暑  the End of Heat    Aug.22,23 or 24
白露  White Dew    Sep.7,8 or 9
秋分  the Autumn Equinox    Sep.22,23 or 24
寒露  Cold Dew    Oct.8 or 9
霜降  Frost's Descent    Oct.23 or 24
立冬  the Beginning of Winter    Nov.7 or 8
小雪  Lesser Snow    Nov.22 or 23
大雪  Greater Snow    Dec.6,7 or 8
冬至  the Winter Solstice    Dec.21,22 or 23
小寒  Lesser Cold    Jan.5,6 or 7
大寒  Greater Cold   Jan.20 or 2


The terms in brown color represent the beginning of four seasons, while the terms in pink suggest the turning point in each season. Those in red are the warmest days of the year, and those in blue are the coldest days of the year.

Can you figure out what solar term we name the present time?  Do you know how to best keep you healthy at this time of the year? (Please refer to my other posts.)
 

This poem summarizes all the 24 solar terms for easier memorization.
一月小寒接大寒,二月立春雨水连;
惊蛰春分在三月,清明谷雨四月天;
五月立夏和小满,六月芒种夏至连;
七月小暑和大暑,立秋处暑八月间;
九月白露接秋分,寒露霜降十月全;
立冬小雪十一月,大雪冬至迎新年





The dates of 24 solar terms in 2011(东经120° 标准时) Learn about these dates to better take care of yourself.

term name
dates
term name
dates
month
date
hour
minute
month
date
hour
minute
Lesser Cold
1
6
00
55
Lesser Heat
7
7
18
42
Greater Cold
1
20
18
19
Greater Heat
7
23
12
12
Beginning of Spring
2
4
12
33
Beginning of Fall
8
8
4
34
Rain Water
2
19
8
25
End of Heat
8
23
19
21
Waking of Insects
3
6
6
30
White Dew
9
8
7
34
Spring Equinox
3
21
7
21
Fall Equinox
9
23
17
05
Pure Brightness
4
5
11
12
Cold Dew
10
8
23
19
Grain Rain
4
20
18
17
Frost's Descent
10
24
2
30
Beginning of Summer
5
6
4
23
Beginning of Winter
11
8
2
35
Lesser Fullness of Grain
5
21
17
21
Lesser Snow
11
23
00
08
Grain in Beard
6
6
8
27
Greater Snow
12
7
19
29
Summer Solstice
6
22
1
17
Beginning of Winter
12
22
13
30



 

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