Know Your Lunar Calendar: Spring Equinox

According to the traditional Chinese lunar calendar, the Spring Equinox (Chinese: 春分), the fourth term of the year is today.

 

 

The Spring Equinox signals the equal length of the day and night. On the day of the Spring Equinox, the sun is directly above the equator, so the earth’s two hemispheres are receiving the sun’s rays equally.

 

 

After the equinox, daytime gradually increases, so people spend more time outdoors. Rainfall increases in both northern and southern China. Under the moistening spring rain, a variety of seasonal spring vegetables start to sprout.

 

 

 

 

Eating spring vegetables during the Spring Equinox is a commonly practiced custom in many regions of China. ‘Spring vegetables’ refers to seasonal vegetables that differ from place to place. The ancient teachings in the Chinese classic, “Huangdi Neijing”, suggests that people eat seasonal foods to help preserve health and bring good luck.

 

 

It’s also a good time to fly kites. In ancient times, people did not have good medical resources, so to pray for health, they wrote their medical issues on a paper kite. When the kite was in the air, people would cut off the string to let the paper kite float away, symbolizing the disease flying away.

 

 

Editor: Zoey