The fourteenth of the 24 Solar Terms – 处暑, or chǔshǔin Pinyin is starting. In English, it can be translated as The End of Heat. The weather in this period is a bit unstable – one day it might be very hot and on another day much cooler, so, people have to pay more attention to the balance of Yin (negative) and Yang (positive) in the body according to traditional Chinese medicine. Also, it is suggested to wear suitable clothes (not to catch a cold), drink warm water, light tea, (soy) milk, eat vegetables and fruits (fried or overly spicy food is not recommended) and you should try to get enough sleep.
Let’s have a look at the pentads that belong to this term.
– 候鹰乃祭鸟 (yīng nǎi jì niǎo): Eagles start to hunt other birds;
二 候天地始肃 (tiān dì shĭ sù): all plants start to wither, fall and are scattered about;
三 候禾乃登 (hé nǎi dēng): the five kinds of cereal crops (稻 dào，黍 shŭ，稷 jì，麦 mài，豆 dòu: rice, two kinds of millet, wheat and beans) become ripe.
For those of you who like autumn’s warm colors, this period is the best time to enjoy them. The leaves on the trees will turn yellow or red, clouds appear in the sky more often and the atmosphere itself will become more autumn-like.
There is a saying in China: “People tend to feel sleepy in spring, doze in summer and are tired in autumn.” As the weather becomes cool during the End of Heat, many people will feel languid and weary, which is called “autumn weariness”. That means that the human body needs much more rest after summer, so, get enough sleep, do some sports and put plants indoors for better air in the apartment.
The End of Heat Solar Term is the only time in the year when you can observe night-blooming cereus blossoms. This flower is full of mystery and originates in the tropical deserts from Mexico to Brazil in South America. The reason why you can see them during this period in China is that the Chinese climate during the End of Heat (hot days and cool nights) is very similar to the tropical desert climate where those plants come from.
Chushu is also the best season for fishermen – it is their so-called “season of harvest”. During this period, a Fishing Season Festival is held along the coastline of the East China Sea. The festival starts on the day when the fishing ban ends and fishermen can start fishing again. So, seafood lovers – it’s your season!
Talking about food… one folk tradition is to eat duck during the End of Heat period. There are many recipes for cooking duck such as roast duck, cooked duck with lemon, smoked duck with walnut dressing and sautéed duck with ginger shoots. Nowadays, this custom is usually still followed. If you travel to Beijing these days – don’t miss the chance to eat their most famous dish. After all – it’s tradition!