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Things you might not know about Rain Water

rain water, solar term, chinese culture

The traditional Chinese lunar calendar divides the year into 24 solar terms. Rain Water starts on Feb 19 and ends on Mar 5 this year.

中国传统的农历将一年分为二十四节气。今年的雨水从2月19日开始,在3月5日结束。

Rain Water signals the increase in rainfall and rise in temperature. With its arrival, lively spring-like scenery starts blossoming: the river water defreezes, wild geese move from south to north, and trees and grass turn green again.

雨水的到来预示着降雨量的增加和气温的升高。随着雨水的到来,生机勃勃的春天景象开始繁茂:河水解冻,大雁北飞,草木新绿。

Here are five things you may not know about Rain Water.

以下是有关雨水,你可能不知道的五件事

No.1 Water as precious as oil

1. 春雨贵如油

According to an old Chinese saying, the rainfall in spring is as precious as oil. In northern China, the spring drought is common and the precipitation of this season accounts for only 10 to 15 percent of annual average rainfall.

据中国古谚语所说,春雨贵如油。在中国的北方,春旱是常有的,春季降水只占年均降雨量的10%~15%。

Therefore, Rain Water is considered as a key period for irrigation when the day gets warmer and rainfall increases.

因此,在天气渐暖、雨量增加的时候,雨水被认为是灌溉的关键时期。

No.2 Return of cold spell

2. 倒春寒

Extra care is needed to cope with a returning cold spell in the late spring that often happen during Rain Water period. The fast increase in air humidity due to rainfall can result in lower temperature and wet weather. It is strongly advised not to take off the thick coats too early and to keep warm, especially elderly and children.

倒春寒通常出现在雨水时期,也就是晚春时节,这个时候需要额外的呵护来应对倒春寒这种寒冷。由于降雨引起的空气湿度的迅速增加,可能会导致低温和潮湿的天气。强烈建议不要过早脱下棉衣,注意保暖,尤其是老人和小孩。

No.3 Visit to in-laws

3. 拜访岳父母

One of the main customs during Rain Water is husbands visiting their in-laws and giving gifts.According to the tradition, gifts are usually two cane chairs winded with four meters of red belt, which symbolizes good health and longevity. Another typical gift is a pot of cooked dish that contains pig’s knuckles stewed with soya and kelp, by which the son-in-law expresses his respect and gratitude.

雨水时主要的习俗之一便是:女婿登门拜访岳父岳母,并奉上礼品。依据传统,礼物通常是缠有4米红腰带的两把藤椅,象征着健康和长寿。另一个经典礼物是一壶煮好的菜:包含用大豆和海带炖的猪蹄。这份菜品可以表达女婿的尊重和感激之情。

No.4 Finding godfather

4. 寻找教父

Another old custom is to find a godfather for little kids. Rainfall brings vitality to the earth; therefore people in the past believed that this practice would give their kids healthy and safe growth.

另一个古老的习俗是为小孩子找一个教父。降雨为土地带来生气;因此过去的人们认为这种做法会让他们的孩子健康平安地长大。

The custom can be traced back to the health services of the past when many children’s diseases could not be cured at all. Therefore, parents wanted a godfather to shower their blessings and good luck on their children. This old practice was popular in Sichuan area.

这一习俗可以追溯到过去的卫生服务状况,那时很多孩子的疾病根本没办法治愈。因此,父母想要一个教父为他们的孩子带来福佑和好运。这一习俗在四川很盛行。

No.5 Nutritious porridge

5. 营养粥

The wet and damp weather during Rain Water period is considered harmful for people’s spleen and stomach according to Chinese medical practice. Therefore, a bowl of nutritious porridge is the best choice to nourish the body.

中医临床认为:雨水期间的湿冷天气对人的脾胃有害。因此,一碗营养粥是滋养身体的最佳选择。

People in Beijing often eat porridge cooked with rehmannia glutinosa libosch, a kind of Chinese herb medicine, to resist cold and wet weather and eliminate heat from the blood. It is also good for people with constipation, arthritis and headaches.

北京人经常用地黄煮粥,地黄是一味中药,可以抵御寒冷和潮湿,同时清除血液中的热量。它对便秘、关节炎和头痛患者也有好处。

2016-06-24

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