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Chinese Traditional Festival — Mid-Autumn Festival

The Mid-Autumn Festival falls on the 15th day of the eighth lunar month. It is one of the most important Chinese traditional festivals and a day for family reunions. On this day, we will express our longing for our hometown and loved ones by admiring the moon. In addition, people enjoy the moon cakes, which was for the purpose of sacrifice in the ancient time. Till now, enjoying the moon cakes has become an indispensable activity in the Mid-Autumn Festival, it is a symbol of family reunion and happiness as well. On this day, people have a variety of celebration activities, such as guessing riddles, tidal bore watching, fire dragon dancing and so on.

There is a myth named Chang’e flying to the moon related to the Mid-Autumn Festival. In ancient times, there were ten suns shining in the sky, causing all the crops dried up and died, which greatly affected the lives of the people. A hero named Hou Yi sympathized with the people and shot down nine of them, ordering the last one to rise and set on time. Therefore, Hou Yi gained admiration and support from the public. And there were many people who came to learn from him, including a guy named Peng Meng. Soon after that, Hou Yi married a beautiful wife named Chang’e.

One day, Hou Yi was on his way to the Kunlun Mountains to visit friends when he met the Queen Mother and got a package of “immortality medicine”. It was said that he could instantly ascend to heaven and become an immortal once he took the medicine. Deeply in love with his wife, Hou Yi didn’t take the medicine and gave it to Chang’e. Chang’e put it in a little box and hid it behind the dresser, unfortunately, the scene was peeked by Peng Meng. Three days later, Hou Yi went hunting with a group of disciples, except Peng Meng, who malingered and stayed at home. Soon after Hou Yi left, he broke into the backyard with a sword in his hand and threatened Chang’e to hand over the “immortality medicine”. Under such an emergency situation, Chang’e immediately took out the medicine and swallowed it. Then, Chang’e flied to the sky uncontrollably and finally landed on the moon.

Finished hunting, Hou Yi got to know the whole thing and was very angry to retaliate against Peng Meng, but he had already fled. Hou Yi was so sad and he shouted his wife’s name toward the sky. At this time, he found that the moon was particularly bright and there was a shadow looked like Chang’e. He immediately set a large table on the backyard, putting fresh fruit and desserts on it to long for her. The people followed his example in setting the table to pray for peace and happiness. From then on, the custom of admiring the moon on the Mid-Autumn Festival had been popular.

The Mid-Autumn Festival with rich cultural connotations is a historical and cultural heritage of the Chinese nation. Reunion is an expectation of all Chinese people. In modern life, in addition to admiring the moon and enjoying moon cakes, people have other activities, such as gathering with relatives and friends and going out for fun, which add the Mid-Autumn Festival new connotations.



  1. 中秋節的來歷和風俗的簡短介紹 中秋節的由來及傳說:
  2. 中秋節的獨特文化內涵:
  3. 釋放中秋節的文化內涵:
  4. 《嫦娥奔月》:
Chinese Traditional Festival — Mid-Autumn Festival2022-01-26T11:33:55+08:00

Chinese Traditional Festival – Double Seventh Day

There is a folklore about Double Seventh Day widely spread among Chinese people. It was said that there was a beautiful girl named the Weaver Girl, who was a daughter of the Emperor of heaven, living at the east of the Milky Way. She sat beside the loom every day, weaving the wonderful scene like the beautiful morning glow and the magnificent sunset. She was so busy and therefore had no time to dress up herself. The emperor of Heaven took pity on her and introduced the Niulang, who lived in the west of the Milky Way, to her. They fell in love with each other and got married. However, Weaver Girl gradually gave up the textile work as falling into marital life after marriage, which made the Emperor angry. As a result, he made an order that Weaver Girl must back to the east of the Milky Way and more importantly, the couple was allowed to meet only once year on the 7th July of lunar month. In the dead of night when lying prone under the grape trellis can listen to their whisper.

Every year on the seventh day of autumn, we always notice that magpies with fewer feathers on their heads. As the story told us, magpies gather at the milky river that day, lining a bridge with their head for Niulang and Weaver Girl’s meeting, as a result, their feathers on heads were trampled bald. There is another saying that magpies would use Five-color thread that people wore in Dragon Boat Festival to make a rainbow bridge for the sweet couple.

In China, although there are many different versions of the story, what remain the same was people’s praise of love, and yearn for a happy marriage life.

In fact, the Double Seventh Day was not started with the theme of love, with the widely spread of the love story, it started to known as Chinese Valentine’s Day. Initially, the Double Seventh Day was a festival exclusively for girls, also called Girls’ Day or Qi Qiao Day. On this day, girls would dress up themselves and pray to Weaver Girl for wisdom, beauty, skill and love. After the ceremony, girls would take colored thread and pass it through the needle’s hole, who could pass seven needle could be called DeQiao (have skillful hands), otherwise, they were called Shu Qiao (miss skillful hands). After the Double Seventh Day, girls would exchange their handicrafts with friends. And one distinctive food in Double Seventh Day was Qiao Guo, which was made from flour, oil, sugar and honey. Some girls would knead a variety of patterns related to the story as well.

[1] 謝雲沖.從文學作品中“牛郎織女”傳說的演變看文化的傳承發展.文化與傳播.2021-04-15:10-14
[2] 鄭嵐.丁嘉藝.中日七夕傳說中信仰的對比研究.大眾文藝.2019-9-20:51-52
[3] 餘永紅.乞巧——母性智慧崇拜的文化傳統及當代傳承.民族藝林.2021-2-20:18-23
[4] 乞巧的來歷和風俗


Chinese Traditional Festival – Double Seventh Day2021-10-26T17:30:23+08:00

Four Treasures of the Study

In ancient China, intellectuals were usually capable of both writing and drawing. Writing brush, ink, paper and inkstone were essential tools for them, and they were often called the “Four Treasures of the Study 文房四寶 (wén fáng sì bǎo)”. The name “Four Treasures of the Study” originated from the Southern and Northern Dynasties (420-589 AD), and “文房 wén fáng” specifically refers to the study room of intellectuals. Because writing brush, ink, paper, and inkstone are commonly used in the study room, they are hailed as the “Four Treasures of the Study”. In addition to the four treasures, there are pen holders, pen washes, paperweights, stamps, etc., which are also essential items in the study room.

The writing brush is a unique writing and painting tool in ancient China. Brushes are generally made of animal hair. Rabbit hair was first used. Later, people also used animal hair such as sheep, ferrets, wolves, chickens, and rats. According to the “Four Books of the Study” by Su YiJian of the Song Dynasty. Ancients also used human hair or beard to make brushes. The barrel of a brush is usually made of bamboo or other materials. The pen tip is round and pointed, with various lengths and sizes, which are used for different traditional writing and drawing needs. After archaeological discoveries, writing brushes first appeared in the Warring States Period, but since it was too long ago, most of the written work are no longer available.


Ink is a black material used in calligraphy and painting. It was born in the same era as the writing brush. There were ink marks on the oracle bone inscriptions of the Yin and Shang era, but the ink at that time was only a kind of natural graphite. China’s artificial ink originated in the Warring States Period. Judging from the bamboo and wood slips unearthed at that time, the ink treatment technique was very mature at that time. In the Han Dynasty, with the expansion of the scale of ink making, the scale of ink making workshops became larger and larger. Wei Dan, the calligrapher of the Three Kingdoms period, is the earliest master ink maker recorded in China. Over time, after the Han and Wei Dynasties, ink-making technology became more and more developed, and Huizhou (Anhui province) became the national ink-making center in the Song Dynasty. The “Hui Ink” produced here is famous all over the world, and the famous ink producers Hu Kaiwen and Cao Sugong are still famous.


In ancient times, there was no paper. People often carved or wrote characters on tortoise shells, animal bones, bamboo slices, or silk. Papermaking was invented in the Western Han Dynasty, and Cai Lun’s improvement to papermaking during the Eastern Han Dynasty opened up broad prospects for the development of China’s paper industry. After the Song Dynasty, papermaking technology has improved gradually, with more and more paper varieties and better quality. The most famous one is Xuan paper, which is named after being produced in ancient Xuanzhou (now Xuancheng, Anhui) and has a history of more than a thousand years. Xuan paper has a thin texture, tough cotton, white color, and well-knit. It is resistant to aging, has strong tensile force, and is not easy to change color. It is known as the “thousand-year-old paper”.

The inkstone, also known as Mr. Polish, is the oldest one of the four treasures of the study. It is an indispensable tool for ink grinding. Inkstone is generally made of stones or wear-resistant materials. The exact age of the inkstone is no longer available for examination. However, archaeological data records that people in the Neolithic Age had tools similar to inkstone. During the Tang Dynasty, inkstone-making technology made great progress. Stone inkstone appeared, and famous inkstones such as Duan inkstone and She inkstone appeared in the world. In the Qing Dynasty, the inkstone was gradually crafted. People carved various patterns on the inkstone. Since then, besides the practicality, the inkstone has the value of collection and appreciation.


[1] 張修堯.淺談毛筆的分類.美術教育研究:美術教育研究2010-09-20:1
[2] 筆墨紙硯—格式與想像.廣東美術館.
[3] 宣紙的種類.
[4] 硯說|硯盞墨香敘時光——歙硯.

Four Treasures of the Study2021-07-05T15:48:18+08:00

Chinese Traditional Festival – Dragon Boat Festival

On the fifth day of the fifth lunar month is the Dragon Boat Festival, which is one of the most important traditional festivals of the Chinese nation. The Dragon Boat Festival has many other names such as Duanyang Festival and Yulan Festival. Although its name varies from place to place in China, the customs of different places are basically the same. At this time of the year, every house hangs calamus. This plant looks like a sword. The Chinese believe that it can turn into a sharp sword when evil spirits try to harm people, and children usually wear bracelets which are made of colorful silk threads to ward off evil spirits. The bracelets are usually taken off and placed outdoors on the Chinese Valentine’s Day. It is said that magpies will take the colorful threads to build a rainbow bridge for the Cowherd and Weaver Girl . Besides,dragon boat racing, eating rice dumplings, and drinking realgar wine are some of the customs of Dragon Boat Festival.


There are many myths about the origin of the Dragon Boat Festival. The most widely spread one is that it was used to commemorate the great writer and patriotic poet, Qu Yuan of the Warring States Period. According to the “Continuation of Qi Harmony” written by Wu Jun in the Liang Dynasty: “The Chu doctor Qu Yuan was slandered, and one day (referring to the fifth day of the fifth lunar month) that he jumped in the Miluo River.” People were reluctant to bear his death, so they rushed to save him by rowing boats. This is the origin of the Chinese dragon boat race. Since then, on this day of each year, people will commemorate him by rowing dragon boats. The purpose of this activity is to disperse the fish in the river, to prevent Qu Yuan’s body from being eaten by the fish. In addition, people also boiled glutinous rice or steamed rice cake and put them into the river to prevent Qu Yuan’s body from being eaten. According to the legend, people first used bamboo tubes to hold glutinous rice, later, reed leaf were gradually used instead of bamboo tubes.


The taste of rice dumplings (zong zi) in the north and south of China is very different. The north prefers sweet rice dumplings. They usually put  dates, red beans, and peanuts in the rice dumplings, or eat them with granulated sugar. The south prefers salty rice dumplings, and they are used to wrap them with fresh meat, salted egg yolks, shiitake mushrooms, and then add soy sauce, salt and other seasonings to marinate them.

Another important custom of the Dragon Boat Festival is dragon boat races. Macau hosts the “Macao International Dragon Boat Race” every year, and the University of Macau will also send its own team to participate. On the day of the competition, local and international dragon boat players gathered in Nanwan Lake. The shouts of the audience, the loud gongs and drums and the flying colorful flags filled the peaceful Nanwan Lake with a lively atmosphere.

[1] 2021 Macao International Dragon Boat Races:
[2] 端午节的传说与端午节的起源 意义何在:
[3] 端午节的10个习俗,除了吃粽子和划龙舟,其他8个很少有人知道:
[4] 除了粽子,端午节还有哪些吃食和风俗:

Chinese Traditional Festival – Dragon Boat Festival2021-06-22T16:44:40+08:00

Chinese Traditional Festival – Qing Ming Festival

“It drizzles thick and fast on the Pure Brightness Day, I travel with my heart lost in dismay. ‘Is there a public house somewhere, cowboy?’ He points at Apricot Village faraway”. This famous Tang poem is about the traditional Chinese festival-Qingming Festival. Qingming was not originally a festival, but one of the twenty-four solar terms, usually on April 5th each year. From this day on, there is more rain and the weather becomes warmer.


Qingming Festival is also called Hanshi Festival. The main custom is to sweep the tombs of ancestors to show respect to the ancestors. This custom is said to have a history of more than 2500 years. People add some new soil to the tomb, pull out the weeds that grow on it, arrange all kinds of food and wine, burn a stick of incense, and then kowtow, salute, and worship. Now, in order to save land resources, most areas in China no longer practice burials, and tomb sweeping has gradually become a ritual to miss the deceased.


On the occasion of Qingming Festival, people in Jiangnan area are very popular to eat Qing Tuan (Qing means green). During the ancient time, people had the custom of eating cold food without making a fire in Cold Food Day. The Qing Tuan is easy to preserve and has good flavor, which has become a good choice for people to satisfy their hunger. Qing Tuan is usually mixed with fresh wormwood juice and glutinous rice flour, so it is green. The traditional inset is salty or sweet. The sweet ones include bean paste or jujube puree. And the salty ones include dried tofu, bamboo shoots, and meat. In order to cater the tastes of modern people, there are also new flavors such as pork floss and chocolate. The Qing Tuan is very fragrant, with a soft shell and full inset. Many people will definitely buy Qing Tuan on the Qing Ming Festival.


Since the Qingming Festival takes place at the time of blooming spring, in addition to cherishing the memory of the deceased, people often take the opportunity to have trips to the suburbs to breathe the fresh air, enjoy the scenery of blooming flowers, fly kites and play on swings. It is the time to delight in the splendor of spring.

This is one of the ten famous paintings handed down in China, “Along the River During the Qingming Festival”, which depicts the scene of the Qingming Festival in the capital of the Northern Song Dynasty. As shown in this famous painting of the 12th century, people have both nostalgia for the dead and love for life on the Qingming Festival, which reflects the peaceful attitude of the Chinese people to life.

After reading this article, do you now understand the Qingming Festival? If you want to know more about this topic, you can watch this video:


Chinese Traditional Festival – Qing Ming Festival2021-06-22T16:46:14+08:00

Introduction on Chinese 24 Solar Terms – Spring Solar Terms


Spring is a colorful season. Spring is bright and beautiful, the spring breeze is blowing, the flowers is blooming, everything is awakened. Next, let us take a look at the solar terms and customs in spring!

1.立春 lì chūn Beginning of Spring

Lichun is the first solar term in the twenty-four solar terms in China. “Li” means “beginning”, and it signifies that the cold winter has passed. Since spring, everything has become alive, and the four seasons of the year have also begun. There is a custom of eating spring cakes in Lichun, which is called “bite spring”. It originated in the Tang Dynasty. All kinds of vegetables sprout at the beginning of spring, people wrap colorful seasonal vegetables in dough, roll them into rolls, steam or deep-fried them and call them spring cakes, which means welcoming the spring and praying for a good harvest.

2.雨水 yǔshuǐ Rain Water

During the Rain water, the temperature rises, the ice and snow melt, and the precipitation increases. Rain water is like Grain Rain, Light snow, and Heavy snow, they are all solar terms that reflect the phenomenon of precipitation. At this time, the cold winter in most parts of China has passed, and the warmer temperature is conducive to the greening or growth of crops. Therefore, it is necessary to pay close attention to the field management of overwintering crops, and make preparations for spring ploughing and planting, so as to realize ” Plant one millet and harvest tens of thousands of seeds in autumn “.

3.驚蟄 jīng zhé Insects Awakening

“Zhe” means “insects”. When the temperature rises, the insects wake up gradually. People usually repel the insects during this period. Hong Kong and Macau also have the custom of “beating the villains”. According to the legend, the white tiger is the God of the tongue. He will come out to search for food every year. If people offend him, they will be disturbed by evil villains during the year, which will hinder the development of the future and cause all kinds of troubles. Therefore, everyone has to buy paper stocks containing paper tigers, lucky papers, villain papers, etc. to “Beating the villain”.

4.春分 chūn fēn  Vernal Equinox

The meaning of the Vernal equinox is twofold. One is that the day is divided equally between day and night; the other is that in ancient times, spring was from beginning of spring to beginning of summer. The vernal equinox is in the middle of the three months of spring, and spring is equally divided. On the day of the vernal equinox, there is a folk custom of Li Dan (standing eggs). It is said that this custom has existed about 4000 years ago. On the spring equinox, it is neither cold nor hot, and nature is full of vitality. “Li Dan” means “more kids”, and people pray for more kids through the standing egg.

5.清明 qīng míng  Fresh Green

Fresh green is not only a solar term, but also a festival. Fresh green of the solar terms is a great time for spring plowing and planting; Fresh green of the festival is a traditional day for people to miss their dead relatives and friends and to comfort themselves. According to the traditional custom, when sweeping tombs, people have to bring wine, food, fruits, paper money and other items to the cemetery, and then offer food in front of the relatives’ tomb.Paper money is incinerated, new soil is also cultivated for the tomb. Some people fold a few verdant willow branches and insert them on the grave, then bow their heads to pay homage, and finally eat the food or drink or pack up the offerings and go back home.

6.穀雨 gǔ yǔ Grain Rain

Grain rain is the last solar term of Spring. Grain rain means that grains can only grow under rain. There is a saying in the north that “spring rain is as expensive as oil”. During the Grain rain, crops need rainwater the most, and the increase of rainfall is beneficial to the growth of crops. According to folklore, drinking grain rain tea can clear internal heat, ward off evil spirits and improve eyesight. Therefore, the southern regions have the habit of picking tea in grain rain. On this day, whether it is sunny or cloudy or rainy, people must go to the tea mountain to pick some new tea and drink grain rain tea, not only for refreshing the brain and eyesight, but also to pray for good health and longevity.

[4] All pictures of spring solar terms (author: Shao Luyun) are from:

Introduction on Chinese 24 Solar Terms – Spring Solar Terms2021-04-29T10:37:14+08:00

Chinese Traditional Festival – Spring Festival

The Spring Festival is the most important and traditional festival in China, and it is also one that Chinese are most nostalgic to. Do you know when the Spring Festival starts? How do people celebrate the Spring Festival and what do they do?

The Spring Festival has a long history of more than 4,000 years. The Spring Festival generally refers to the first day of the first lunar month, it is also called the “Lunar Year” and is commonly known as “Guo Nian”. But traditionally, the Chinese New Year starts from the La Festival to the Lantern Festival, New Year’s Eve and the first day of the first lunar month are the climax of the Festival. During the Spring Festival, people will hold various activities to celebrate it.

On New Year’s Eve, the whole family will gather for dinner, watch the Spring Festival Gala, and share the joy of the past year. There is a custom of eating dumplings on New Year’s Eve in the northern region of China. The dumplings for New Year’s Eve are generally made before 12 o’clock, and be eaten during midnight as this is the beginning of the first day of the first lunar year. In the south, there is a habit of eating rice cakes during the New Year, which symbolizes the sweetness of life in New Year and people will make progress in all aspects of their lives. For children, the happiest thing during the Spring Festival is the New Year’s money they receive from the elders. The earliest New Year’s Eve money appeared in the Han Dynasty. It was a coin-shaped anti-evil product for wearing and playing. The meaning is to suppress and avoid evil, and wish the children healthy and safe in the New Year.

On the first day of lunar month, everyone will wear new clothes, which symbolizes a new beginning to have good fortune for the new year; the second and third day are the best days to visit relatives and friends; the fourth is an important day for welcoming the God of Wealth. People offered tribute to the God of Wealth on this day, hoping that God of Wealth could bless their family’s wealth in the coming year. On the fifth day of the first lunar month, it is commonly known as breaking “The Five”. It is necessary to “drive away the five poor”, including “the poor in wisdom, poor in learning, poor in literature, poor in fate, and poor in friendship”. People set off firecrackers, cleaned, and drove out all unlucky things. On the sixth day, shops and restaurants are officially opened for business. The seventh day of the New Year is the Human Day. According to the Zhanshu—a book of divination, God created mankind on this day, we encourage people respect each other. The eighth day of the New Year is the valley day. In ancient times, people usually pray on this day for a good harvest. The ninth day of the Lunar New Year is the birthday of the Jade Emperor. On this day, people wish God a happy birthday and pray for good weather for the crops. And then, people began to prepare lanterns and other items to welcome the arrival of the Lantern Festival.

As the new year is approaching, we wish you a happy, healthy and prosperous Chinese New Year!



Chinese Traditional Festival – Spring Festival2021-10-15T17:55:33+08:00

Introduction on Chinese 24 Solar Terms – Winter Solar Terms


Autumn has passed and winter has come. In the winter of 2020, many parts of China ushered in the first heavy snowfall. Although there is no snow in Macau, the temperature is much lower than before. There is an old Chinese saying: “Medicinal tonic is worse than food tonic.” As the weather is getting colder and colder, people can easily catch colds and get sick. Therefore, Chinese people pay special attention to supplements in winter. Let’s learn about Chinese winter recipes.

1. 立冬(li dong) Beginning of winter
The beginning of winter means that winter officially comes, vegetation wither, insects dormant, and the activities of all things tend to stop. In southern China, people like to eat some chicken, duck and fish meat at the beginning of winter. Because the weather is getting colder, people need to have more energy, and meat is rich in protein, so meat is the best choice. Chinese medicine also believes that Lidong is suitable for eating meat such as beef, chicken, lamb and shrimp. While in northern China, especially Beijing and Tianjin, love to eat dumplings. On the day of Lidong, all kinds of dumplings are very popular.

2. 小雪(xiao xue)Light snow
The light snow comes, and the cold wind blows. The temperature dropped sharply after light snow and the weather became dry, which is a good time to process bacon. Some farmers have started to make sausages and bacon by hand, and reserve the excess meat in traditional methods, and then they will enjoy it in the Spring Festival. In some places in southern China, there is a custom of eating Ciba in the October lunar month. Ciba is a kind of food made by steaming and pounding glutinous rice. It is a popular delicacy in some areas of southern China. In ancient times, Ciba was a traditional festival offering in the southern region, and it was first used by farmers to offer sacrifices to the god of cattle.

3. 大雪(da xue) Heavy snow
When heavy snow arrives, the river is frozen, and the temperature is lower during heavy snow, and the days are shorter. The cold wind blows outside the house, eating a hot pot in the house with three or five friends is the best choice for many Chinese in winter. The most common food in hot pot is lamb. Lamb is rich in protein, which can help strengthen the body’s immunity. It is also rich in iron, which can help the body nourish blood, drive cold and warm the body.

4. 冬至 (dong zhi) Winter solstice
The winter solstice is the longest night of the year. After this day, the time of day becomes longer and the time of night becomes shorter. Since ancient times, China has attached great importance to the solar terms of the winter solstice. There is a saying that “the winter solstice is as big as the year”, and there is a custom to celebrate the winter solstice. On this important solar term, to commemorate the famous doctor Zhang Zhongjing, thank him for using lamb, chili and anti-cold medicine in winter to make ” dumplings soup” to treat people’s ear frostbite. Many places in China will eat dumplings this day. Now, in some areas, there is still a folk song, “Don’t put dumpling bowls during the winter solstice, and the ears will freeze and nobody cares.”

5.小寒 (xiao han) Lesser cold
Osamu marks the beginning of the coldest day of the year. There is an important folk custom in the Xiaohan Festival is eating “Laba Porridge “. The traditional ingredients of Laba Porridge include rice, millet, corn, barley, red dates, lotus seeds, peanuts, longan and various beans. Eating such a rich porridge can not only stimulate appetite, but also increase the body’s calories to warm the stomach and relieve colds.

6.大寒 (da han) Greater cold
Dahan is the last of the twenty-four solar terms and the coldest one of the year. After the cold and the beginning of spring, the solar cycle of the new year will usher in. In Guangdong, before the arrival of the big cold, every family will cook a pot of fragrant glutinous rice and mix it with marinated meat, dried shrimp, dried squid and mushrooms to welcome the coldest day of the traditional solar terms.

[1] Chengye Huang. Enjoy the nature: Garden-based practice of the 24 solar terms course. Chinese Times(Principal). 2020(01).
[2] Le Zi. Follow the footsteps of the solar terms and feel the beauty of nature and traditional culture—Exploration and Practice of “Twenty-Four Solar Terms Journey” Experience Course. Shanxi Education(Preschool education). 2020(09):47-51.
[3] Feng Lin. The Twenty-four Solar Terms Unique of China. Shandong Agricultural Sciences. 1975(01): 58-63.
[4] Introduction of winter solar terms:;;
[5] All pictures of autumn solar terms (author: Shao Luyun) are from:

Introduction on Chinese 24 Solar Terms – Winter Solar Terms2020-12-31T11:43:36+08:00

Chinese Culture of Gratitude

On the fourth Thursday of November is Thanksgiving Day in the West that people usually express their gratitude on this day, and China also has its own “Culture of Gratitude”. Although it does not have a specific day as Thanksgiving Day, the culture of gratitude in China has a long history. Gratefulness is a Chinese virtue, as expressed by an idiom — “A drop of water in need, shall be returned with a spring in deed” since ancient times, which is important in the Chinese culture and has penetrated into all aspects of people’s daily life.


Gratitude is the traditional virtue of the Chinese nation. Chinese culture has always valued “kindness” since ancient times. Giving and repaying kindness are universal values ​​that China has always respected. Therefore, some expressions can be widely circulated. For example, “A drop of water in need, shall be returned with a spring in deed”, “the grace of knowledge is rewarded, the kindness is great”, “the sheep keels down when suckle from the mother and the crow knows to repay kindness by taking care of its parents”, “the father’s kindness is higher than the sky, and the mother’s kindness is deeper than the sea”. The relationship between husband and wife is also said to be the kindness of each other, so there is a saying of “A day together as husband and wife means endless devotion the rest of your life”. Thanking parents for care is called “filial piety”, Mencius said, “the most important thing of the filial piety is to respect one’s parents”; being grateful for receiving help and encouragement from someone is called “loyalty”, Sima Guang said, “to be devoted to others is loyal”; thanking friends for help is called “righteousness”, Tao Yuanming said in his poem, “Born to be brothers, there is no need to be own flesh and blood”.

The kindness praised in traditional Chinese culture is a further embodiment of the feeling of “thank you” and implements it as a concrete act of “repaying kindness.” The idiom “to repay a peach for a plum” is widely used to thank the kindness. It comes from China’s oldest collection of poems “The Book of Songs”, “You throw a peach to me, and I give you a plum in return.” It means that we always repay goodwill with greater kindness. The earliest source of “Retreat Three She to give way” was that Jin Wen Gong’s reply to King Chu Cheng’s favor when he was in exile. “Pay back one meal with one thousand gold” was Han Xin’s reward for the favor of one village woman when he was in desperation.


Thanks for the kindness of parents and return with filial piety; thank the Lord for the encounter and return with loyalty; thank the friends and relatives, return with righteousness; thanks your husband or wife for love, return with kindness; thank the motherland and return with love. This is the culture of gratitude in China.


In China, there is a popular song called “Grateful Heart”, composed by Chen Zhiyuan, lyrics by Chen Lerong, and sung by singer Ouyang Feifei. It has been enduring since its release in 1982, and its melodious melody and philosophical lyrics have made it widely disseminated and even included in the textbooks of primary and secondary schools. Our life is precious and fragile, but it is not inactive. No matter where we come from and where we are going, existence is value. If we are grateful, life will be happier.

[1] Yaxin, Cao. Introduction of Grace in Ancient Culture.
[2] Lerong, Chen. Description of the lyrics of Grateful Heart.
[3] Introduction of the song “Grateful Heart”:
[4] Yahui, Yin. A Study of Thankful Words in Teaching Chinese as a Foreign Language. Yangzhou University. 2014(03)
[5] Yanqiong, Zhou. Research on the Speech Act of Chinese “Thanks”. Guangxi Normal University. 2007

Chinese Culture of Gratitude2020-12-30T16:10:48+08:00

Introduction on Chinese 24 Solar Terms – Autumn Solar Terms


After the “Cold Dew”, even Macau, which is located in the southern part of China, gradually cools down. Autumn is the season with the greatest climate change of the year. From “The Start of Autumn” to “Frost’s Descent”, the climate changes from hot to cold, from wet to dry, almost spanning the three seasons of summer, autumn and winter.

We have introduced the summer solar terms in July, and today, let us take a look at the autumn solar terms.


立秋 (lì qiū) The Start of Autumn – August 6, 7, 8 or 9

At “The Start of Autumn”, the cool breeze begins to rise and the temperature begins to drop, indicating that the hot and difficult summer is about to pass. However, the drop in temperature is not noticeable, and most parts of East China are still in summer. Although this is “The Start of Autumn”, autumn has not yet arrived. As the twenty-four solar terms are equal in length in four seasons divided by astronomical methods, but not in meteorology, hence, “The Start of Spring” and “The Start of Autumn” happened at the end of winter and summer.


處暑 (chù shǔ) The End of Heat – August 22, 23 or 24

處 (chù) is termination, which means that the hot summer is finally over. As soon as “The End of Heat” is over, the temperature in most parts of China begins to drop. Since “The End of Heat”, the frequency of north wind in northern China increases significantly, and the average temperature drops from 26.0°C during “The Start of Autumn” to 23.4°C. In addition, the north wind not only decreased the temperature, but also the humidity.


白露 (bái lù) White Dew – September 7 or 8

“White Dew” is the solar term with the largest temperature difference between day and night throughout the year. Its arrival means that the weather is getting cold. People can feel that the hot summer is over and the cool autumn is arriving. In the early morning, many dewdrops will be found on leaves and on the ground turned white, which is why we call it “White Dew”. Starting from the “White Dew”, the temperature decreases sharply in the middle and lower reaches of the Yellow River in China.


秋分 (qiū fēn) Autumn Equinox  – September 22, 23 or 24

The length of day and night are equal on the “Autumn Equinox”, the weather is neither very cold nor very hot. The “Autumn Equinox” divides the autumn equally (the midpoint of between “The Start of Autumn” and “The Start of Winter”). In many places of China, there is a saying of “putting weight on in autumn” on the “Autumn Equinox”, which means that people need to gain more weight in the coming winter.


寒露 (hán lù) Cold Dew – October 7, 8 or 9

“Cold Dew” is in the ninth month of the lunar calendar, the weather is colder than “White Dew”, and there is more dew than before. The white and crystal dew on the ground is about to condense into frost, and the chill is getting stronger, so it is called “Cold Dew”. “Cold Dew” also represents the arrival of late autumn, and the climate gradually changes from cool to cold and snowy.


霜降 (shuāng jiàng) Frost’s Descent – October 23 or 24

降 (jiàng) means “coming”. After the frost came, the temperature dropped rapidly. The average temperature of this time in the middle and lower reaches of the Yellow River is only 11.4℃. In the early morning, temperature even drops to minus. The water drops on plant leaves are no longer dew but frozen into frost. In the latter part of “Frost’s Descent”, the middle and lower reaches of the Yellow River enter the real winter.

Related Videos:

[1]Chengye Huang. Enjoy the nature: Garden-based practice of the 24 solar terms course. Chinese Times(Principal). 2020(01).
[2]Le Zi. Follow the footsteps of the solar terms and feel the beauty of nature and traditional culture—Exploration and Practice of “Twenty-Four Solar Terms Journey” Experience Course. Shanxi Education(Preschool education). 2020(09):47-51.
[3]Feng Lin. The Twenty-four Solar Terms Unique of China. Shandong Agricultural Sciences. 1975(01): 58-63.
[4]Introduction of autumn solar terms:
[5]All pictures of autumn solar terms (author: Shao Luyun) are from:

Introduction on Chinese 24 Solar Terms – Autumn Solar Terms2020-11-11T12:17:11+08:00