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发表于 2018-2-7 22:04:13 | 显示全部楼层 |阅读模式
  The traditional Chinese lunar calendar divides the year into 24 solar
terms. Start of Spring (Chinese: 立春), the first solar term of the year, begins
this year on Feb 4 and ends on Feb 19.
          中国传统的农历把一年分为24个节气,其中立春(Start of Spring)是第一个节气,今年的立春从2月4日开始,至2月19日结束。
          Start of Spring lifts the curtain of spring. After that everything turns
green and full of vigor; people clearly see that the daytime is becoming longer
and the weather is becoming warmer.
          Here are nine things you should know about Start of Spring.
          Start of Spring and Spring Festival
          As a solar term, Start of Spring had already entered people’s lives in the
Spring and Autumn Period (770-476 BC). At that time, there were eight solar
terms. According to some experts, the 24 solar terms were used for the first
time in books during the Western Han Dynasty (206 BC-AD 24), when the Start of
Spring was set as the Spring Festival. In 1913, the first day of the first month
of the lunar year was mandated as the Spring Festival.
          Flying a kite
          Spring is the best season for kite-flying. A traditional folk activity, it
has a history of more than 2,000 years. It can help build one’s health and
prevent diseases. It also has the effect of promoting blood circulation and
speeding up metabolism. A breath of fresh air outside can discharge the foul
smell accumulated in winter.
          Erecting the egg
          In China, it is said that the egg can be set upright on the first day of
the Start of Spring, Spring Equinox day and Autumn Equinox day. It is believed
that if someone can make the egg stand on the first day of Start of Spring, he
will have good luck in the future.
          According to astronomers and physicists, setting the egg upright has
nothing to do with time, but with mechanics. The most important thing is to
shift the egg’s center of gravity to the lowest part of the egg. In this way,
the trick is holding the egg until the yolk sinks as much as possible. For this,
people should choose an egg about 4 or 5 days old, whose yolk is inclined to
sink down.
          Wearing fabric swallows
          Wearing fabric swallows is a custom in some regions in Shaanxi. Every Start
of Spring, people like to wear a swallow made of colorful silk on their chests.
The custom originated during the Tang Dynasty (618-907). The swallow is a
harbinger of spring and a symbol of prosperity and happiness.
          Biting the spring
          In many parts of China, people observe the custom of "biting the spring" on
the first day of Start of Spring. They eat spring pancakes, spring rolls, or a
few mouthfuls of carrots.
          Making a Spring Ox
          This custom in Shaanxi is practiced right before the Start of Spring. The
local government hires some skilled artisans and gathers them to build the frame
of an ox out of bamboo strips and the legs with wood. Then they paste some paper
and paint onto it—and, voila! The image of an ox is complete. It is said that if
more red and yellow paper is used, then there will be a good harvest that year;
if black paper is pasted, then the year will be poor. When the paper ox is
ready, there is a ritual to paint the eyes. After that, people will set up an
altar for it and worship it.
          Posting spring calligraphy and paintings
          The custom of posting calligraphy and paintings on one’s door in the spring
first appeared during the Tang Dynasty (618-907). People would do so to welcome
spring and pray for good luck on the first day of Start of Spring.
          Appreciating plum blossoms
          Plums blossom from the 12th lunar month to the second month of the next
year. The plum blossom, as it fights against the cold, is the most highly
regarded. In China, the plum blossom, orchid, bamboo and chrysanthemum are
praised as the four gentlemen of Chinese flowers.
          Welcoming spring
          People in China began holding a special ceremony on the first day of Start
of Spring about 3,000 years ago. They made sacrifices to Gou Mang, the god of
Spring, who is in charge of agriculture. By the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911),
greeting spring had become an important folk activity. In Beijing, government
officials welcomed spring in the wild field near Dongzhimen (the east gate of

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