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Hello Spring!

DATE:2016-02-06       SOURCE:Xinhua News Agency
 

Source: Xinhua | 2016-02-04 18:36:27 | Editor: huaxia

 

Green seedling grows out of the soil. (Photo edited by Zhang Hui)

 

Even though many places in the Northern Hemisphere still shudder in chill, Spring has already arrived in China on Thursday, according to the Chinese lunar calendar.

 

The traditional Chinese lunar calendar divides the year into 24 solar terms. "Lichun", or Start of Spring in English is the first solar term that kicks off on Feb. 4 and ends on Feb. 19 this year.

 

A branch of flower. (Photo edited by Zhang Hui)

 

Everything turns green with vigor and the weather gets warmer after the Spring starts. More interestingly, Chinese people observe the custom of "bite the spring" on the first day of "Lichun", eating carrots or spring pancakes and rolls wrapped around fresh vegetables and meat to celebrate the arrival of Spring.

 

Spring pancakes. (Photo edited by Zhang Hui)

 

Children in north China's Shijiazhuang city eat pieces of carrots to observe the custom of "bite the spring" on the first day of "Lichun". (Xinhua/Wang Xiao)

 

In rural areas, it's a folk tradition for farmers to "beat the spring cattle" by using a colorful club or a whip to beat an earthen cattle after worshiping the God of Grain to dispel laziness of the cattles and pray for a good harvest. In ancient China, Start of Spring is when farmers begin their work in the field after a long winter break.

 

People take part in a celebration for Lichun in Guangnan Village, Guilin City, south China's Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, Feb. 4, 2016. The Dong people here have a tradition of dancing the "spring cattle", a cattle-like symbol made with bamboo and colourful cloth, along the streets to wish for good harvest in the coming new year on the first day of Lichun. (Xinhua/Shi Nongbing)

 

On the day, many households also paste spring couplets or paper swallows onto their doors for good luck.

 

Young ladies paste spring couplets onto their family doors for good luck on the day of Lichun in Wen'an county of north China's Hebei Province. (Xinhua/Li Xiaoguo)

 

As a Chinese saying goes, "the whole year's work depends on a good start in spring", it's also customary for people to make plans for the year on the first day of Start of Spring.

 

Coming after Start of Spring is the solar term The Rains, or "Yushui" in Chinese, which starts on Feb. 19 this year when a warmer but more humid weather is expected.

 

Raindrops on sprouts (Photo edited by Zhang Hui)

 

The Chinese 24 solar terms, based on the sun's position in the zodiac, have been guiding agricultural activities and daily life for centuries. The traditional wisdom reflects the changes in climate and natural phenomena and still greatly influences people's daily life even in today's China.

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