source：discover shaanxi editor：马一旭
24 solar terms: 5 things you may not know about minor cold
minor cold, is the 23rd solar term of the 24 traditional chinese solar terms. this year's minor cold starts on jan 5 and ends on jan 20. many chinese sayings use the weather and climate situation during minor cold to predict the weather in the following spring. for most areas of china, it marks the start of the coldest days of the year.
minor cold literally means that it's a bit cold, not the coldest yet. however, according to china's meteorological records, north china is already in the coldest period of the year, as proved by a saying "minor cold is cloder than major cold". have you felt the coldness in shaanxi? though i'm staying at home recently, i notice that the heating system is not so useful as days ago due to the low temperature outside.
still, bitter cold can't prevent people from enjoying their lives. here are some things that help us stay warm during minor cold, like during other winter solar terms.
eating laba porridge
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.
tasting nanjing vegetable rice
while there is laba porridge in north china, there is vetagable rice in the south. 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.
making chinese traditional herbal medicine
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.
mutton hot pot, chestnuts and baked sweet potato
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. beef, sesame, walnuts, almonds and raisins are also good choices for minor cold.
though we can not have such hearty meals at this special time at home, do have more warm foods and do more exercises to prevent cold.
although it's cold, but spring is waiting us when we go through this hard period.