The Customs of Autumn Begins
Start of Autumn is one of the 24 solar terms, and people of Lingshui Village in Jingxi Province call it the “Autumn porridge festival.” According to historical records, Lingshui Village has a history of thousands of years. During the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) and the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911), there was a good atmosphere then to take the governmental exam and become an officer. Once, the village had more than ten people with the title of Ju’ren. It is said that the autumn porridge festival is in memory of the benevolent actions of a father and son, both of whom were Ju’ren of the village. Since then, the custom was held for more than 300 years.
After June in the seventh year of the emperor Kangxi of the Qing Dynasty , heavy rains came down day after day. Most of the people who lived beside Zhaitang River were out of food. And many of them died. A Ju’ren saw the disaster and consulted with his father, after which they decided to save the people in the disaster territory. They put several huge pots of porridge in the village to feed the hungry villagers. In the twenty-first year of emperor Kangxi of the Qing Dynasty , drought struck the area again, and the Ju’ren father and son saved the villagers again. As a result, people changed the name of the Start of Autumn to the“Autumn Porridge Festival” to express their respect and thankfulness to the Ju’rens, and the porridge made that day is called the “Ju’ren Porridge.”