A grain of truth?

By Cheng Yuezhu | CHINA DAILY | Updated: 2022-04-19 07:43
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Farmers harvest tea leaves in Huangshan, Anhui province. [Photo/Xinhua]

Another folk custom on the Grain Rain day, also on the list, is one where fishermen in coastal villages of Rizhao, Shandong province, follow a set of rituals to offer sacrifices to the sea, praying for safety and a bountiful harvest.

For contemporary people, who may not engage in agricultural activities, the solar term is not as familiar as its predecessor Pure Brightness (Qingming), which has gained its prominence in Chinese culture as a day to remember one's ancestors, but Grain Rain still influences people's daily activities.

"The weather changes greatly during the Grain Rain period, which is closely related to healthcare. The southern areas feature frequent rainfall, and the temperature in the northern areas fluctuates. It's a time to protect our bodies from the perils of 'pathogenic dampness' in traditional Chinese medicine", Yan says.

In order to do so, Yan says that it is a particularly important time to pay extra care to one's liver, by avoiding eating raw or cold food or staying up late at night.

Going with the grain, other customary activities of the period include appreciating the peony, eating Chinese toon leaves, and taking tea, while savoring the last precious days of spring.

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