[Tell China Stories, Spread Chinese Culture] Great Cold of the 24 Solar Terms

"Great Cold" settles at the end of the year.

"The remnants of snow drip with the icicles, and the new spring returns with the green willows."

It condenses the deepest cold,

but also brews the most touching spring.

"The old snow has not yet melted, and new snow has fallen and accumulated in the yard."

Great Cold is an important time of the year when the yin and yang change.

This is the end of winter,

and spring will soon be in full bloom.

Customs of Great Cold

  • Eating dispelling cold cake and having chicken soup

During Great Cold, people in the north have a habit of eating dispelling cold cake, a kind of rice cake which not only has the effect of dispelling cold, but also has the same pronunciation with the word "higher in a new year" in Chinese, which symbolizes good luck and continual promotion in the new year. Southern families often stew a pot of fresh chicken soup with the effect of protection against wind and cold. After having a bowl of warm chicken soup, the cold will disappear.

  • Buying “year”

In the old days, people always fell over each other in eagerness to buy sesame straw during this period because of the old saying, "Rise joint by joint like sesame flowers on the stem." On New Year's Eve, people sprinkle sesame straw on the road outside of walking for children to crush, sharing a similar pronunciation with "trampling on the year" in Chinese with the auspicious meaning of wishing peace every year. 

  • Preparing for the New Year

With the arrival of Great Cold, people are busy preparing and running for the New Year – going to the New Year fair, doing special purchases, writing Spring Festival couplets, preparing various sacrificial offerings, sweeping the dust and cleaning houses, replacing the old with the new, pickling various kinds of sausages and bacon, or frying and cooking various kinds of dishes such as chicken, duck and fish.

The picture in the poster is selected from wonderful photography of the beautiful campus scenery, 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 image is owned by the University Publicity Department.

Text reference:

Text: Li Xinhong

Poster: Yang Yi

Translated by: Hu Qiuyu


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