The Chinese Lunar Calendar divides the year into 24 solar terms and starting today is Cold Dew (寒露), the 17th solar term of the year. It begins today and ends on Oct 23. Starting from now, according to this new lunar phase, temperatures will begin dropping, which causes dew to form overnight. Rains will decrease in frequency and this is when autumn crops become their most ripe.
Well here are some more details about Cold Dew to make you an instant expert.
Mist rolls in
As the temperatures drop significantly and cold air encounters autumn rain, abundant water vapor in the air turns into misty rain or fog. When the humidity is high, as it tends to be, many parts of China become foggy during this time of year.
The drop in temperature also forces fishies to seek warmer, shallower water where the fishing is much easier. The day’s catch during Cold Dew can be much larger than it usually would.
Peak pomegranate season
Pomegranates become their ripest during Cold Dew. In China and around the world, pomegranates have been cherished for their exquisite beauty, flavor, color, and health benefits for centuries.
‘Gan Bei!’ some Chrysanthemum wine
The flavor most associated with the Cold Dew period has to be Chrysanthemum, which blooms during this time and is made into wine in many places across China. It is said that chrysanthemum wine is an elixir for everlasting youth, so drink up!
Have a hawthorn
Hawthorn berries are an indelible feature of the Cold Dew time of year as they are harvested and used in snacks as well as herbal remedies. Antioxidants found in hawthorns are thought to boost heart health by strengthening blood vessels and stimulating blood flow.
Take a hike!
During Cold Dew, Northern China wears the look of late autumn with great beauty as the leaves change and skies remain crisp and blue. On the day of the Double Ninth Festival, people climb hills with cornel plants in order to dispel evils in a tradition that dates back to the Han Dynasty (AD25-220).
Season for making kippers
The people of the Dong ethnic group in western Hunan province have the custom of making kippers during Cold Dew. It is said that kippers made on the day of Cold Dew, served with rice wine, salt, glutinous rice, pepper, paprika and ginger are especially delicious.
Season for picking camellia seeds
Southern Hunan province is famous for producing tea seed oil, and it can only be collected during the Cold Dew period. In fact, people are not allowed to go to the mountains to pick the seeds until this time of year.
Source: China Daily
Editor: Allison Yeh (Intern)