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5 things we need to know about Minor Cold

minor cold.jpg

Minor Cold is the 23rd solar term of the 24 traditional Chinese solar terms. It will last from Jan 6 to Jan 19, 2016. For most areas of China, it marks the start of the coldest days of the year. Many Chinese sayings use the weather and climate situation during Minor Cold to predict the weather in the following spring.

小寒,中国农历传统24节气中的第23个节气,今年小寒从1月6日持续到1月19日,小寒标志着开始进入一年中最寒冷的日子。很多中国谚语根据小寒的气候特点和天气情况来预示春季的天气状况。

Still, bitter cold can't prevent people from enjoying their lives. Here are some things that help us stay warm during Minor Cold.

进入小寒,尽管开始一年中最冷的日子,但也无法阻挡人们享受生活,以下是小寒期间养生保暖的几条贴士。

1. Stocking up for New Year

置办年货 准备过年

During Minor Cold, people always start stocking New Year goods, which include Spring Festival couplets, New Year pictures, paper-cuts for window decoration, fire crackers, incense and lanterns.

进入小寒年味渐浓,人们开始置办年货,准备过年,买春联、年画、窗花、炮仗、香火和灯笼等等。

2. Mutton hot pot, chestnuts and baked sweet potato

涮羊肉火锅 吃栗子、烤地瓜

Mutton hot pot, chestnuts and baked sweet potato are three recommended foods for Minor Cold. According to traditional Chinese medicine theories, people need to eat food that contains more yang energy to prevent cold from harming their organs. The yang energy in the three types of food is strengthened through their method of cooking: boiling, stir frying and baking.

羊肉火锅、栗子和烤地瓜是小寒三样暖胃圣品,根据中医传统理论,为保护身体器官免受寒气损伤,人们需要多吃阳性的食物。而这三种食物通过煮、炒、烤三种不同的做法能保留最大的阳性。

Beef, sesame, walnuts, almonds and raisins are also good choices for Minor Cold.

牛肉、芝麻、核桃、杏仁和葡萄干也是小寒不错的驱寒选择。

3. Eating Laba porridge

喝腊八粥

Another important traditional food for Minor Cold is Laba porridge. It is made from more than 20 kinds of nuts, cereals and dried fruits. Local people in Beijing often cook Laba porridge on the night of the seventh day of the twelfth lunar month. After one night's slow simmering, all the ingredients melt into the porridge in the morning of the eighth day, becoming a warm delicacy to enjoy on cold days.

饮食上,小寒节气中还有一个重要的民俗就是吃腊八粥。腊八粥由20余种坚果、谷物和干果熬制。北京人通常在农历腊月初七晚上煮腊八粥,经过一晚上小火慢熬,所有食材融入粥中,初八早上软绵香滑的腊八粥就出锅了,人们便可以在寒冷冬日享受这暖心佳肴。

4. Tasting Nanjing vegetable rice

品尝南京蔬菜饭

People in Nanjing used to take Minor Cold quite seriously, and they still keep a custom of eating vegetable rice to celebrate this solar term. The rice is steamed with aijiaohuang (a kind of green vegetable), sausage and salted duck that are all the specialties in Nanjing.

在南京,人们将小寒看作非常重要的节气,直至如今,南京人还保留着在小寒吃蔬菜饭的习俗。蔬菜饭是用南京特产矮脚黄(一种绿叶蔬菜)、香肠、咸鸭蛋烹制。

5. Making Chinese traditional herbal medicine

制作中国传统草药

Minor Cold is also the busiest time for doctors and pharmacies of traditional Chinese medicine. Many people need them to prepare new medicines, which will be consumed before the Lunar New Year.

小寒同时也是中医和中医药馆最忙的时节,这时候他们要为人们准备过年前需要的草药。

2016-06-24

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