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24 Solar Terms: Summer solstice
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The traditional Chinese lunar calendar divides the year into 24 solar terms. Summer solstice, the 10th solar term of the year, begins on June 20 this year and ends on July 6.

Summer solstice was observed by a ceremony to celebrate the Earth, femininity, and the “yin” forces. It complemented the winter solstice that celebrated the heavens, masculinity and “yang” forces.

Much of the northern hemisphere receives the most hours of daylight at this time of the year, but the hottest temperature of the year usually arrives 20 to 30 days later.

Summer solstice was celebrated in ancient China as early as the Han Dynasty (260 BC-220). Before the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911), people even had a one-day holiday on summer solstice. Officials could get three days off during summer solstice according to Song Dynasty (960-1279) records.

Due to the local climate, dragon boat races have been held on summer solstice in Shaoxing, East China’s Zhejiang province rather than on Dragon Boat Festival since the Ming (1368-1644) and Qing (1644-1911) dynasties. This tradition is still in practice today.

There is a famous Chinese saying: “have dumplings on the winter solstice and noodles on summer solstice.” Chinese people often like to have a bowl of noodles on summer solstice, some served chilled, to cope with the summer heat.

Traditional Chinese medicine advices people to increase water intake and eat foods that are “cool” in nature in order to combat the summer heat and avoid heatstrokes. A bowl of chilled green bean soup would be a good choice.

Sponsored by: General Office and Foreign Affairs Office of Changzhou Municipal People’s Government
All rights reserved.Jiangsu ICP Record No. 05003616
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