Fire the Frost’s Descent

Yu Wanshao, an expert on folk customs in China, says that Frost’s Descent is an important solar term for harvesting in autumn. When Frost’s Descent comes, crops should be harvested whether they are mature or not.

Before the Qing Dynasty, there were grand ceremonies every year on the first day of Frost’s Descent to celebrate the withdrawal of troops. On the day of Frost’s Descent, soldiers from all different villages were armed with bows and arrows, and stood in rows to welcome the ceremony of withdrawing troops. People believed that this ceremony could help remove ill omens and keep the world peaceful. After the ceremony, armies usually fired three times, which is why the custom is called “firing the Frost’s Descent.”

Frost’s Descent is a transitional solar term from autumn to winter. Temperatures in North China are very low and frost comes into form. Meanwhile, in South China, it’s a busy time for the autumn harvest.