CGTN：24 solar. terms in nature: End of Heat
The summer clouds are dispersed, and the cool breeze rises.
These two lines from Bai Juyi's Reflections on Qujiang River in Early Autumn
briefly describe how the weather feels at the Limit of Heat.
When the handle of the Big Dipper points southwest in the sky and the longitude of the sun reaches 150°,
the fourteenth solar season of the year, the Limit of Heat, arrives in China on time.
As its name implies, the word heat means high summer temperatures,
and the word limit suggests the end of the season, which means that the unbearable summer heat is coming to an end.
This year’s limit of heat will come on the 23rd of this month.
Although the current situation in Guangzhou is still a combination of hot and muggy weather and unexpectedly pouring rain,
but we can still feel the recent temperature has been slightly lower than that in July.
In the north of China, not only will the temperature drop during these 15 days,
but also the amount of solar radiation and rainfall will decrease.
Compared to festivals such as Autumn Commences,
the three subsections in the limit of heat depict the natural changes of this period in a subtler perspective.
The first is the Ying Nai Ji Niao (Eagles start to hunt birds in big quantity),
derived from the romantic misunderstanding in ancient China when it was discovered that raptors do not hunt pregnant prey,
but instead line up predators in front of their nests as a tribute to those for whom they died.
They did so in order to survive.
Therefore, it was believed that raptors had a sense of justice and could feel the energy of autumn,
which heralded the end of life for many wild animals.
The second sub-season is Tian Di Shi Su (Plants start to wither).
It continues the theme of the coming end of the life cycle of various creatures in autumn.
During this subsection,
the whole world will gradually quiet down and no new leaves or buds will appear.
While autumn may be the end of life for many organisms,
it is also the month of harvest with the mature of more and more crops such as rice, millet and sorghum.
Therefore, the last subsection is named He Nai Deng (Crops ripening).
He is the general term for all crops, and Deng means ripening.
Around the limit of heat, the heat recedes further south.
Before the cold stream comes down, the limit of heat coincides with a prime time for people to return to their hometowns or travel far away.
This period usually overlaps with the half of July, the Bon Festival or the Chinese Ghost Festival,
which usually occurs on the 14th and 15th of July in the lunar calendar.
While returning to their hometowns, people usually worship ancestors at the same time,
as mid-July is also the time when folks celebrate the harvest and express gratitude to the earth.
Generally, when the crops turn ripe, people will traditionally memorize their ancestors.
Around the Autumn Commences, it is common to make offerings such as new rice to report to the ancestors about the harvest.
Therefore, the rituals around the limit of heat are like a combination of the Qingming and Lantern Festival,
except that there are additional activities to worship the earth gods.
As the autumn breeze rises, the arrival of the limit of heat also means a change in temperature.
Around the season, the daytimes are still hot, but it gets cold in the mornings and evenings. Therefore, it becomes relatively important to keep people warm during this time,
especially paying special attention to timely add or remove clothing.
In addition, rest and diet should also be changed accordingly.
Getting enough sleep is very significant,
especially a nap in the afternoon to help eliminate fatigue and strengthen the body's immune system.
Spicy or fried food combined with the upcoming autumn dryness is harmful to human health,
so you’d better choose light food with high vitamin and protein content
during the limit of heat to strengthen the protection of the stomach and spleen.
So what is the best food during the limit of heat?
Fish and shrimp is one of the good choices, because this period is the time when a large number of fish catches begin to re-market.
With the lifting of the summer fishing ban, the limit of heat is the beginning of the harvest season for fishermen.
After the fishing moratorium, a batch of high quality and fatty catch returns to people’s table. While relatively inexpensive,
these catches also meet the requirements for vitamin and protein content around the limit of heat,
which is very beneficial to human health.
（策划/国际学院石牌校区学生党支部、文字/杨博文 吴榛溱、编辑/韩雪儿、审核/方葳 尹秋颖、终审/刘明）