The Origin of Frost’s Descent

Every year around October 23rd comes the beginning of Frost’s Descent, the last solar term of autumn. In autumn, temperatures drop suddenly below 0℃ and water vapor in the air condenses into ice crystals or hexagonal frost flowers on the ground and plants.

People in ancient China recorded that dew froze into frost in September and the atmosphere became solemn. During Frost’s Descent, the weather becomes much colder than before and frost begins to appear. The frost of the Frost’s Descent period reflects the climatic characteristics of the Yellow River regions.

The days of the year when frost appears vary a lot across China. There is no frost at all in some places, such as Hainan province and Taiwan, while there is frost even in summer in some places on the Tibetan Plateau. Frost is considered ruthless and cruel because plants damaged by frost seem lifeless.