24 Solar Terms: Summer Solstice(Xiazhi) 24节气之夏至
“Summer Solstice” comes on June 21 to June 22 each year when the sun altitude arrivethe highest in north. This day has the longest day time of the year in the NorthernHemisphere and the sunshine in many cities in south China may last fourteen hours perday. After this day, the spot of the direct sunlight gradually moves southward. Although,this day has the longest daylight, it’s not the hottest. As traditional Chinese booksdescribed, there are three periods of the hot season. It starts around “SummerSolstice” and ends around “Autumn Begins”. The temperature rises day by day and thehottest days come around mid-July to mid-August, where temperatures of some cities inChina reach 40 degree Celsius. After this day, thunderstorms often come aroundafternoons and evenings. Old poems also describe this season as, “with sunshine inthe east and rain in the west, you can’t tell whether it’s fine or not.” People in ancienttimes called this day as “Summer Festival” and during the Song Dynasty, officials weregiven 3 days holiday to rest at home.
In some provinces, there is the tradition of eating cold noodles on this day. Accordingto old customs in Beijing, when it comes to “Summer Solstice”, people can start eatinguncooked vegetables and cold noodles safely to stimulate the appetite and at the sametime don’t need to worry about having diarrhea. In Guangdong province, people oftencook soups that will help insider system cool down and drink cold tea and sweet-sourplum juice.
Healthy Living Tips
During this period, to comply with the Yin and Yang in the natural world, people shouldsleep late, get up early and have a nap during the lunch time. Aged people shouldmake sure they have at least seven hours sleep every day by sleeping early and getup early. Actually most of the people feel tired and sometimes even headache duringthis period. This is because when the temperature rises, people can only send out theheat by perspiration, which may cause dehydration and thus the insufficient bloodsupplying to the brain. Therefore, remember to drink a lot of water if feelinguncomfortable.