Introduction of Solar Terms and Pentads in Summer:the Grain Buds,the Summer Solstice,the Greater Heat.

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24 Solar Terms and The Seventy-Two Pentads.

 Summer Introduction:The Seventy-Two Pentads system is one of China's earliest calendar, it is also a combination of astronomy, meteorology, phenology of knowledge, and used as the calendar of agricultural activities. It originated from the Yellow River basin, its complete version literature record was found in an ancient book of the 2nd century BC, its name is known as the Yi Zhou Shu(the Lost Book of the Zhou Dynasty).The Seventy-Two Pentads is an important pentad calendar of ancient China, the system defined 5 days as one Pentads, 3 Pentads as 1 solar term or 1 lunar term, 3 solar term as 1 Season, 4 Season as 1 Year, total 12 solar terms plus 12 middle solar terms, total 24 solar terms, added up total 72 pentads. Each Pentad is corresponding to one phenomenon of natural things, which known as Hou Yin(or the natural phenomena pair of the Pentad), to represent the general change conditions of the natural things and climate. The Hou Yin(or the natural phenomena pair of the Pentad) could be classified into 3 types, one type defined according to natural creatures, such as activities of birds,insects,earthworms,etc, a second type defined according to plants, such as peach blooming,duckweed grow out,grain crops mature, etc, a third type defined according to climate changes, such as water frozen, storm and thunder heard, soil turn moisture,etc.The change in the 72 pentads in orders reflects the general situation of climate change in the year.
 the Earth and the Celestial Equator The celestial equator is a great circle on the imaginary celestial sphere, in the same plane as the Earth's equator. In other words, it is a projection of the terrestrial equator out into space.As a result of the Earth's axial tilt, the celestial equator is inclined by 23.4° with respect to the ecliptic plane.Directly above the Earth’s equator lies the celestial equator, a circle which goes all the way around the sky and which divides the northern half of the celestial sphere from the southern half.In the precession of the equinoxes, motion of the equinoxes along the ecliptic (the plane of Earth’s orbit) caused by the cyclic precession of Earth’s axis of rotation.The Celestial Sphere "rotates" on the Celestial Axis, which goes through earth’s north and south poles and extends out to the Celestial Sphere intersecting it at the North Celestial Pole (NCP) and the south Celestial Pole (SCP).The Celestial Equator is an imaginary line around the middle of the Celestial Sphere, equidistant from the NCP and SCP and on the same plane as the earth's equator. It intersects the Circle of the Horizon at East and due West.


 Li Xia,the Beginning of Summer Li Xia,the Beginning of Summer 7.The Li Xia, or the Beginning of Summer, is the 7th solar term of the 24 solar terms, its date is around 5th to 6th of May, the sun reaches the celestial longitude 45°.The Big Dipper point to the east south, the Summer comes, natural things grow up. Once the Beginning of Summer comes, the temperature turns higher obviously, hot summer will come, rains and thunder become frequent, crops enter into a vivid growing period. The solar term Li Xia or the Beginning of Spring was known ever since the end of the Warring States of ancient China(239B.C.), it is the beginning of the summer days. The frogs start crying, the earthworm comes out on the ground, everything living looks vivid.

 Xiao Man,the Grain Buds Xiao Man,the Grain Buds 8.The Xiao Man, or the Grain Buds, is the 8th solar term of the 24 solar terms, the 2nd solar term of the summer.The meaning of "Xiao Man" is that in the days the summer harvesting crops start grouting(grain filling) but not mature yet, small full not big full, so it named "Xiao Man", its date is around 20th to 22nd of May, the sun reaches the celestial longitude 60°.Ancient classics Zhou Shu(the Book of Zhou) recorded that "sowthistle herb grows vividly in the days Xiao Man.".The snowthistle herb(Ku Cai) grows widely everywhere in China, it has a scientific name Herba Patriniae(Field pennycress), it has many folk names, such as Ku Ku Cai(Bitter Bitter Vegetable), it taste bitter with astringent and sweet, fresh and tasty, nature cooling and rich in nutrients, contains various kinds of necessary vitamins, trace elements, choline, saccharides, lactoflavin, mannitol, etc, functions clearing heat, cooling blood and detoxifying.The Grain Buds is a high-incidence season at which skin disease attacks, attentions should be paid to prevent nettle rash(urticaria, roeteln, roetheln measles).

 Mang Zhong,the Grainin Ear Mang Zhong,the Grain in Ear 9.The Mang Zhong,or the Grain in Ear, is the 9th solar term of the 24 solar terms, the 3rd solar term of the summer.Its date is around 6th or 7th of June, the sun reaches the celestial longitude 75°.In days of the Grain in Ear, wheat and barley and other awn crops are already mature, should better harvested as early as possible, for example wheat, soybean, green peas,etc; and better planting summer soybean, peanut, late mature grain, broomcorn millet, millet and other crops which suitable for planting in summer, after the Grain in Ear, the survival percent of crops will turn smaller. In the days of the Grain in Ear, the butcherbird(shrike) start twittering for sensing the Yin Qi(Yin Energy), the mockingbird stop twittering for sensing the Yin Qi(Yin Energy), plums will mature, the folks at south China hold a habit of boiling the plums with wine.In the days of the Grain in Ear, the rain becomes frequent, temperature keeps elevating obviously.

 Xia Zhi,the Summer Solstice Xia Zhi,the Summer Solstice 10.The Xia Zhi, or the Summer Solstice, is the 10th solar term of the 24 solar terms, the 4th solar term of the summer.Its date is around 21st or 22nd of June, the sun reaches the celestial longitude 90°(Summer Solstice), the subsolar point reaches to the most north point at the date, almost directly shine on the tropic of cancer, the day time of the North Hemisphere reaches the longest in the whole year, at the Summer Solstice the sun radiation at the North Hemisphere almost double the South Hemisphere.

 the Summer Solstice:Position of the Sun and the celestial equator Astronomy experts told that after the summer solstice the subsolar point will move from the tropic of cancer to south, the day time of the North Hemisphere will turn shorter gradually, the height of the sun at noon of the area north than the tropic of cancer will turn lower gradually. Once the Summer Solstice comes, storms, plum rains, and high temperature come too. The Summer Solstice is one of the solar terms which was discovered and defined earliest, as early as to the 7th century B.C., ancient Chinese use the soil template(Tu Gui) to measure the sun shadow and find the Summer Solstice.

 the Summer Solstice:Length of Daylight and Angle of the Sun In the ancient epoch of China, the Summer Solstice was divided into 3 Pentads, “In the first pentad, the deer horn starts to drop off; in the second pentad the cicada starts crying; in the third pentad the Pinellia ternata grows out.”, ancient Chinese hold a viewpoint the deer is an animal which nature is Yang, since the Summer Solstice the Yin Qi(Yin Energy) starts rising and the Yang Qi(Yang Energy) starts hiding, so the deer which nature is Yang starts to lose their horns; the male cicada starts to crying for sensing the rising up of the Yin Qi(Yin Energy); the plant Pinellia ternata is a herb which nature prefers Yin Qi(Yin Energy), it grows out at wetland in the Summer Solstice so got its native name "Ban Xia"(Half of the Summer).In the Summer Solstice, some creatures which nature prefers Yin starts showing them out, but some creatures which nature prefer Yang starts degrading.In the hot summer, the digestive system of the human being become weak, better take light diet, not over eat food which nature hot, not over eat raw melons and fruits which nature cold to avoid health problems of the stomach and spleen, should avoid greasy food which nature hot and easily lead to furunculosis.

 Xiao Shu,the Lesser Heat Xiao Shu,the Lesser Heat 11.The Xiao Shu, or the Lesser Heat, is the 11th solar term of the 24 solar terms, the 5th solar term of the summer.Its date is around 7th or 8th of July, the sun reaches the celestial longitude 105°, "shu" means sweltering heat, "Xiao Shu" means heat but not extreme, the temperature keeps elevating and climate turns hot, yet not reaches to the hottest. Crops at the North Hemisphere normally come into growth stage, more field management is needed. In the days of the Lesser Heat, average temperature at most area almost reaches to 30 Deg C, heat wave attacks people, storm comes too, flood control and prevention measure needed for rain days become more in the Lesser Heat, farmer folklore tells "Da Shu and Xiao Shu, irrigate the mouse hole, drowning the vole(field mouse) and house mouse.", In the days of the Lesser Heat, people are easily feeling anxiety and upset, fatigue and lack of power, in the exercises and self-care, attention should be paid to protect the Heart Yang according to the Master Time of the Five Internal Organs, calm down the heart and Qi, to make sure the functions of the heart turn vivid.

 Da Shu,the Greater Heat Da Shu,the Greater Heat 12.The Da Shu, or the Greater Heat, is the 12th solar term of the 24 solar terms, the 6th and last solar term of the summer.Its date is around 22nd to 24th of July, the sun reaches the celestial longitude 120°.In the days of the Greater Heat, the temperature turns to highest, hottest days comes, more thunder shower.At most area of the North Hemisphere, temperature may reach to over 40 Deg C.In ancient China, the Greater Heat was divided into 3 pentads,"In the first pentad, the corrupted grass turned into fire beetles;In the second pentad, the climate hot and the soil rich in moisture;In the third pentad, storms comes frequently.",there are more than 2000 species of fire beetles in the world, the terricolous fire beetles laid their eggs on withered grass, when the Greater Heat arrives, the fire beetles hatched from the eggs,so ancient folks guess the fire beetles turned from corrupted grass;In the second pentad means the climate turns frost and the soil turn moist;In the 3rd pentad heavy storm comes,the climate switches to the Autumn.In the hot summer days, folks are easily get hurt their body fluids and exhausting Qi, herbal porridge are a good option as diet tonics.

  • 1.Introduction of Solar Terms and Pentads in Summer:the Grain Buds,the Summer Solstice,the Greater Heat.
  • 2.Shang Han Za Bing Lun:the Treatise on Cold-induced and Miscellaneous Diseases.By Zhāng Zhòngjǐng.
  • 3.Yi Zhou Shu(the Lost Book of the Zhou Dynasty).

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