Culture Insider: 7 things you may not know about Minor Snow

2014-11-22 04:07:03 GMT2014-11-22 12:07:03(Beijing Time)  China Daily

The traditional Chinese lunar calendar divides the year into 24 solar terms. Minor Snow, (Chinese: 小雪), the 20th solar term of the year, begins this year on Nov 22 and ends on Dec 7.

Minor Snow refers to the time when it starts to snow, mostly in China’s northern areas, and the temperature continues to drop.

Here are seven things you should know about Minor Snow.

Lightly snowy winter

A close-up picture of a snowflake, captured by Iranian photographer Omid Golzar. [Photo/IC]A close-up picture of a snowflake, captured by Iranian photographer Omid Golzar. [Photo/IC]

An ancient Chinese book about plants explains that "in Minor Snow, the weather is cold and it is going to snow; while the earth is not frozen enough and the snow is light.” The temperature of most areas in the north drops to zero degrees and below. While in the lower and middle reaches of the Yellow River, the average time of the first snow is in the Minor Snow solar term. The snow is light and frozen at night, but melts quickly during the day.

Wearing hats and scarves

[file photo][file photo]

In China, starting in Minor Snow, the wind blows from the northeast a lot. Because it is not bitter yet, many people do not yet wear hats or scarves. In fact, according to an old Chinese saying, "the head is the place where all passages of the body gather". It is sensible to beware that one’s head can’t be frozen.

Drinking soup

Chicken soup.[file photo]Chicken soup.[file photo]

During Minor Snow, indoor heating begins to work. Thus the air indoors is dry and most people might feel their nose and mouth are dry. Their inner heat energy can’t get out. Symptoms appear, including dental ulcers or more pimples on a person's face. The way to solve this problem is to drink more hot soup, such as cabbage with bean curd soup, spinach with bean curd soup and mutton with radish soup

Eating glutinous rice cake

Chicken soup.[file photo]A woman paints on glutinous rice cakes in Quanzhou countyGuangxi Zhuang autonomous regionin Dec 2012[Photo by WangZichuang/]

In some areas of south China, people have glutinous rice cakes in the early 10th lunar month, which is around Minor Snow. In ancient times, glutinous rice cake was a traditional festival offering to the bull god used by peasants.

Making preserved pork

Preserved pork.[file photo]Preserved pork.[file photo]

After Minor Snow, the temperature declines sharply and the air becomes dry. It is the best time to start making preserved pork. Until the Chinese Spring Festival, it will be well made and enjoyed. In the past, when storage conditions were poor, people created many ways to store food. Preserved pork is one of them. Thus even in the bitter winter, the whole family could enjoy meat without going out. Some even say preserved pork tastes more delicious than fresh meat.

Making pickled vegetables

A dish made with pickled vegetables.[file photo]A dish made with pickled vegetables.[file photo]

For thousands of years, the people of Nanjing, Jiangsu province have welcomed Minor Snow with pickled vegetables cooked in different ways.

Nanjing is known for its pickled vegetables. In the past, due to inconvenient transportation, vegetables sold in Nanjing were few and expensive. Thus people there made pickled vegetables for the winter.

Avoiding spicy food

A dish from the Muslim Quarter, one of the most well-known parts of Xi'an, Shaanxi province.[Photo by Fan Zhen/]A dish from the Muslim Quarter, one of the most well-known parts of Xi'an, Shaanxi province.[Photo by Fan Zhen/]

On cold days, people want to have some hot and spicy food to keep warm. Experts say that it is wise not to eat overly spicy food, since that will enhance inner heat.

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