Selling popsicles. Draw by Zhu Biyun
The traditional Chinese lunar calendar divides the year into 24 solar terms. Minor Heat, (Chinese: 小暑), the 11th solar term of the year, begins on July 7 this year.
Minor Heat signifies the hottest period is coming but the extreme hot point has yet to arrive.
In China, the 24 solar terms were created thousands of years ago to guide agricultural production. But the solar term culture is still useful today to guide people's lives through special foods, cultural ceremonies and even healthy living tips that correspond with each term.
Lotus flower in Ningbo Botanical Garden. Photo by Tang Yan
In Minor Heat, high temperatures are good for the growth of the lotus flower. From Minor Heat to the Double Ninth Festival, the lotus flower is in full bloom, and always simple but elegant.
In the meanwhile, the lotus roots are being harvested. One custom in Ningbo has to do with enjoying lotus root with sauce on the day of Minor Heat.
Even plants grow rapidly during the hot period. Recently, farmers in Ningbo are still busy in the fields. The peasants in Yaojiaqiao Village, Yangming Street, Yuyao, are planting late rice in an orderly manner during the farming season.
By Jin Lu