Lixia, summer begins
Updated: 2014-05-05 10:29
Tourists view blossoming tulips at People's Park in Xining, capital of northwest China's Qinghai proince, May 4, 2014. [Photo/Xinhua]
Origin of Lixia, the Start of SummerThe Start of Summer solar term always begins on the 5th or 6th of May. On this day, the point on the earth’s surface at which the sun’s rays are perpendicular to the ground reaches 45 degrees. This solar term, which means the transition of season, was set during the end of the Warring States Period (239BC). During this period, sophora flowers are in full blossom.
In ancient times, Chinese people divided the fifteen days of the Start of Summer into three "hou’s", or five-day parts. It is said that crickets chirp in the first hou. Then in the second hou, earthworms crawl out through the soil. In the third hou, plants such as watermelon begin to grow at a fast pace.
During the Start of Summer time, all vegetation is in luxuriant growth. It’s a crucial time for the harvest of wheat, rape and other summer crops. For this reason, the Start of Summer solar term has been labeled with great importance since ancient times in China. In Zhou Dynasty (1050-221 BC), the emperor himself led his officials to welcome the Start of Summer and encouraged his residents to seize the opportunity to cultivate.
During the Start of Summer, the temperatures of North and West China increase quickly, but the rainfall is still insufficient. In spring, heavy winds accelerate evaporation from the soil making the dry air and soil unfavorable for the growth of crops. Weeding is every important during this period. It can remove the grass, combat drought and flood, raise the temperature of soil, and accelerate the decomposition of soil nutrients.How to calculate the first day of Start of Summer
Formula: [Y*D+C]-L Key: Y = the last two digits of a year (e.g., 10 in 2010, 08 in 2008), D = 0.2422, L = the number of leap years, 21st Century C = 5.52, 20th Century C = 6.318
Example: The first day of Start of Summer in 2088 = [88×.0.2422+5.52]-[88/4]=26-22=4, so the first day of Start of Summer is May 4th.
Exceptions: For 1911, add one to the calculated result.
Tips: For some years, the first day of Start of Summer is the 5th or 6th of May; this depends on whether that year is a leap year.