1.What are 24 Solar Terms？
The 24 solar terms is a gross name of the system that comprises of 12 major solar terms and 12 minor solar terms interlaced with each other. It reflects the climate change, guides agriculture arrangements and also affects people’s life.
2.The origin of 24 Solar Terms
In Spring and Autumn Period and Warring States Period, people began to use solar terms as the supplementary calendar. Chinese people decided 4 Solar Terms would be mid-spring, mid-summer, mid-fall and mid-winter. It was in 104BC that the 24 solar terms were finally decided upon. In that year, the 24 solar terms were arranged into Taichu Calendar by Deng Pin and other astronomers in the Western Han .
3. What is the significance of 24 Solar Terms?
As we all know, China is a country with a long history of agriculture. The laws of nature were extremely important to agricultural production. In ancient times, peasants arrange their agricultural activities according to the move of the sun. The 24 solar terms takes into account the position of the sun. The sun travels on the path of ecliptic and it comes back to the original position after a year, which is called a tropical year. Each time it travels 15 degrees on the ecliptic longitude, the solar period changes and this is why we have 24 solar terms.
1.24 Solar Terms originally were from the Yellow River. Therefore they accurately describe the natural phenomenon of that place. However they may not accord with the climate change of other parts in China because China is really a vast and diversified land.
2.The titles do not mean the exact weather of that solar term. For example, Heavy Snow does not necessarily mean it will snow heavily on that day. It actually makes general reference of that period.
In order to make it easy to remember, Chinese people created a 24 Solar Terms song.
chūn yǔ jīng chūn qīng gǔ tiān,
xià mǎn máng xià shǔ xiāng lián,
qiū chù lù qiū hán shuāng jiàng,
dōng xuě xuě dōng xiǎo dà hán.
shàng bàn nián lái liù niàn yī,
xià bàn nián shì bā niàn sān,
měi yuè liǎng jié bù biàn gēng,
zùi duō xiāng chā yī liǎng tiān .