[Tell Chinese Stories, Spread Chinese Culture] Autumn Equinox of the 24 Solar Terms

Created by ancient ancestors in China, the“24 solar terms” reflect climate changes and guide the agricultural affairs and farming activities. With abundant folk customs, they embody Chinese profound cultural background and long history.

Tell Chinese stories and spread Chinese culture. The German Library will publish the German and English versions of the “24 Solar Terms” introduction and related customs in order to arouse the interest of international students in learning Chinese culture, to better spread Chinese culture and to promote the exchange between different cultures.

Theme of this time: Autumn Equinox.

Pictures below are selected from wonderful photography of the beautiful campus scenery of Tongji University Siping Compus, so that you can feel the beauty of the 24 solar terms on campus and understand related customs at the same time. The copyright of the images is owned by the University Publicity Department.

The traditional Chinese lunar calendar divides the year into 24 solar terms, and Autumn Equinox is the fourth one in autumn on September 22 to September 24 each year.

As is said in Chinese ancient books, it is on Autumn Equinox day that the Yin and Yang are in a balance of power, thus the day and night are of equal length, and so are the cold and hot weather.

Autumn Equinox brings a cool breeze and sends away the hot summer; after Autumn Equinox, the sky is clear with no traces of clouds, so there is also the saying “short as spring dreams, thin as autumn clouds".

Customs of Autumn Equinox

Eating Qiucai

Qiucai is a kind of wild amaranth. In Lingnan Area, Hakka people have the custom of eating Qiucai on Autumn Equinox day. People pick Qiucai in the wild and make “Qiutang” (autumn soup) with fish slices.

Sticking birds’ beaks

Hakka farmers eat sweet dumplings on the day of Autumn Equinox. In addition, they also string the glutinous rice used to make dumplings on bamboo sticks and stick them in the fields to feed them to birds. It is hoped that the birds can stick their beaks after eating the glutinous rice, so that they will not eat crops any more. This is called “sticking birds’ beaks”.

Flying kites

It is a good time for children to fly kites on the day of Autumn Equinox, when the sky is high and the air is crisp. Children run and fly kites of various patterns, competing with each other to see whose kite is bigger and whose kite flies higher.

秋分 英语横

Text Reference:




Text: Yang Yi, Wu Jing, Hu Qiuyu
Picture: Yang Yi
Translated by: Hu Qiuyu


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