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Minor Snow: A forerunner of winter chills

CGTN | Updated: 2017-11-22 14:42

[Photo/CGTN]

A cold front has recently swept across China, driving out the lingering mildness of the previous season while kicking off the second solar term of the winter.

Xiaoxue, or Minor Snow in English, started on Wednesday, in the wake of a new round of temperature plummeting from 7 to 20 degrees.

It is the 20th of the 24 solar terms in the lunar lunar calendar, which usually refers to the period of time from Nov 22 to Dec 7. During this time, northwest wind usually frequents the Chinese territory, with the temperature of many areas falling below zero.

Frozen earth, a sign of a fruitful coming year

An ancient Chinese saying goes like "Minor Snow freezes the earth and Major Snow freezes the river". During this time, the earth in Northeast China would usually be frozen to the depth of at least 10 cm, which makes farm work almost impossible.

However, it does not mean that the freezing cold is not welcomed. The ancient Chinese believe that snowy weather of the Minor Snow signifies a big harvest in the coming year, and they actually had scientific support.

The snowy weather is usually the prelude of abundant rainfalls for the next year, while the snow will kill some harmful insects and bacteria and at the same time accelerate the organic decomposition - both are necessities for fertilizing the fields.

Orchard farmers will trim their trees during the time, while in most areas of China, people have the tradition of piling up Chinese cabbages in storage for the coming winter.

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