24 Solar Terms
Solar Terms is a calendar of twenty-four periods and climate to govern agricultural arrangements in ancient China and functions even now. As we have mentioned the Chinese calendar is a lunisolar calendar, it takes into account the longest and the shortest days and the two days each year when the length of the day equals that of the night. In other words, the significant days are the Summer Solstice, Winter Solstice and the Spring and Autumn Equinoxes.
Today the year comprises 24 Solar Terms. During the Shang Dynasty they only used four; the Zhou Dynasty (11th century BC - 221BC), used eight; but it was in the Western Han Dynasty (206BC - 24) that the 24 terms were finally decided upon.
These solar terms have meaningful titles. Some of them reflect the change of seasons such as the Beginning of Spring, the Beginning of Summer, the Beginning of Autumn, and the Beginning of Winter; some embody the phenomena of climate like the Waking of Insects (Jing Zhe), Pure Brightness (Qing Ming), Lesser Fullness of Grain (Xiao Man) and Grain in Beard (Mang Zhong); and some indicate the change of climate like Rain Water (Yu Shui), Grain Rain (Gu Yu), Lesser Heat (Xiao Shu), Greater Heat (Da Shu), and so on.
These twenty-four solar terms each suggest the position of the sun every time it travels15 degrees on the ecliptic longitude. In each month there are often two solar terms; the first one is generally named 'Jie Qi' and the other one 'Zhong Qi'. Their dates are mirrored by the Gregorian calendar, so we find that during the first half of a year 'Jie Qi' is around the 6th day of a solar month, 'Zhong Qi' around the 21st; in the second half of a year, 'Jie Qi' is around the 8th and 'Zhong Qi' around the 23rd.
24 Solar Terms in 2016
|Lesser Cold (Xiao Han)||Jan. 6th||It is rather cold|
|Greater Cold (Da Han)||Jan. 20th||The coldest moment of a year|
|The Beginning of Spring (Li Chun)||Feb. 4th||Spring begins|
|Rain Water (Yu Shui)||Feb. 19th||It begins to rain|
|The Waking of Insects (Jing Zhe)||Mar. 5th||Hibernating animals come to sense|
|The Spring Equinox (Chun Fen)||Mar. 20th||Day and night are equally long|
|Pure Brightness (Qing Ming)||Apr. 4th||It is warm and bright|
|Grain Rain (Gu Yu)||Apr. 19th||Rainfall is helpful to grain|
|The Beginning of Summer (Li Xia)||May 5th||Summer begins|
|Lesser Fullness of Grain (Xiao Man)||May 20th||Kernels plump|
|Grain in Beard (Mang Zhong)||Jun. 5th||Wheat grows ripe|
|The Summer Solstice (Xia Zhi)||Jun. 21st||It has the longest daytime and the shortest night of the year|
|Lesser Heat (Xiao Shu)||Jul. 7th||Torridity comes|
|Greater Heat (Da Shu)||Jul. 22nd||The hottest moment of a year|
|The Beginning of Autumn (Li Qiu)||Aug. 7th||Autumn begins|
|The End of Heat (Chu Shu)||Aug. 23rd||Heat hides|
|White Dew (Bai Lu)||Sep. 7th||Dew curdles|
|The Autumn Equinox (Qiu Fen)||Sep. 22nd||The mid of autumn|
|Cold Dew (Han Lu)||Oct. 8th||Dew is very cold|
|Frost's Descent (Shuang Jiang)||Oct. 23rd||Frost descends|
|The Beginning of Winter (Li Dong)||Nov. 7th||Winter begins|
|Lesser Snow (Xiao Xue)||Nov. 22nd||it begins to snow|
|Greater Snow (Da Xue)||Dec. 7th||It snows heavily|
|The Winter Solstice (Dong Zhi)||Dec. 21st||The shortest daytime and the longest night of a year|
* Please select a date according to the Gregorian calendar and search for the corresponding Chinese calendar information.