What do Farmers do in Autumn Begins?
To farmers the Autumn Begins is especially important. It is said that if it thunders on the day of the Autumn Begins, corps will fail in winter. If it is sunny on the day of the Autumn Begins, the weather will be favorable and the crops will do well. If northern wind blows before Autumn Begins, it will probably rain afterwards. If northern wind blows after Autumn Begins, there will most probably be a winter drought. In the ancient feudalist society of China, the emperor, accompanied by his officials, would hold an autumn welcoming ceremony on the day of the Autumn Begins. Autumn is also the season for war affairs. Thus, you can tell how important the weather on the day of Autumn Begins is.
Sometimes in autumn, temperatures are still just as high as they are in summer. That is because after the summer dog days, large amounts of heat have been stored in the earth. Although direct sunlight has already diminished, people still feel hot. The harvest of autumn corps, just like the functions of the human body, will be affected if it lacks water. Therefore, there is a peasants’ proverb that goes, “the harvest goes hand in hand with thunders and storms”.
After the Autumn Begins, the autumn harvest has already begun in central and southern China, while wheat in northern and northeastern has still yet to mature. During the Autumn Begins, the best crop to grow in north and northeast China is probably buckwheat, which requires a shorter growing time and is very drought-resistant.
The Autumn Begins is also a prime time for planting trees. In autumn, the growth of trees slows down, sometimes even stops. Therefore, although roots may hurt during transplanting, the pain will not affect its inner balance and the tree has sufficient time to heal before the spring.
Start of Autumn comes after the Major Heat, which is a very important solar term in China. There is a saying that goes: “If there is thunder in autumn, there will be only half a harvest in winter.” “One sunny day in the Start of Autumn, the farmers will save much of their efforts.” That is to say, if you hear thunders on the day of the Start of Autumn, the crops will not be good at winter time, but if the day of the Start of Autumn is nice, there won’t be any floods or droughts in the following autumn, so farmers can spare much of their effort and wait for a good harvest.
It is also said that days after the Start of Autumn can be too hot to bear. During this time, the crops are booming, so that farmers must grab this golden chance to cultivate the field for a better harvest. In addition to fertilizing the field, the farmers must also pay enough attention on the prevention of injurious insects, for the Start of Autumn period is a big time for pests to cause damage to the crops.