The traditional Chinese lunar calendar divides the year into 24 solar terms. Minor Snow, (Chinese: 小雪), the 20th solar term of the year, begins this year on November 22nd and ends on December 6th.
Minor Snow refers to the time when it starts to snow. An ancient Chinese book about plants explains that “in Minor Snow, the weather is cold and it is going to snow; while the earth is not frozen enough and the snow is light.” The temperature of most areas in the north drops to zero degrees and below. While in the lower and middle reaches of the Yellow River, the average time of the first snow is in the Minor Snow solar term. The snow is light and frozen at night, but melts quickly during the day.
During Minor Snow, in most northern places, indoor heating begins to work. Thus the air indoors is dry and most people might feel their nose and mouth are dry. According to practices in traditional Chinese medicine, this accumulation of “inner heat” in one’s body can cause problems, including oral ulcers and break outs. The solution is to drink more hot soup, such as cabbage with bean curd soup, spinach with bean curd soup and mutton with radish soup.