Customs at the Beginning of Summer in Taizhou

( | Updated: 2019-01-22

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The painting, Beginning of Summer, by Li Xiaolin. A popular young Chinese artist, Li combined the customs during a solar term and its associated food to create a series of works titled 24 Solar Terms and Chinese Delicacies. [Photo provided to]

The traditional Chinese lunar calendar divides the year into 24 solar terms. The "Beginning of Summer (Chinese: 立夏)" is the seventh term of the year and started on May 5, commencing on May 20 in 2018.

The Beginning of Summer occurs at the turning point from spring to summer. To avoid summer fever, people build up their health through nutrients such as eggs for healthy bones in their feet, greengage to ward off soreness in their waist, and longan for clearing the eyes.

People also weigh themselves to find out how they've physically changed. People also like eating "barley rolls", because as the saying goes, "without barley rolls in the summer, life is not worth living". However, in the past, poor families could only eat green "barley worms". As a result, people often said, "barley rolls for the rich and barley worms for the poor in the summer". People also drink a little to mark the occasion, even if they do not usually drink. For strict non-drinkers, they will customarily eat sweet fermented rice, to achieve that feeling of "summer intoxication".