Introduction of Solar Terms and Pentads in Winter:the Light Snow,the Winter Solstice,the Greater Cold.

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24 Solar Terms and The Seventy-Two Pentads.

 Winter 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.

  Winter:

 Li Dong,the Beginning of Winter Li Dong,the Beginning of Winter 19.The Li Dong, or the Beginning of Winter, is the 19th solar term of the 24 solar terms, the 1st solar term of the winter.Its date is around 7th to 8th of November, the sun reaches the celestial longitude 225°.After the Beginning of Winter, the duration of sunshine(the day length) will turn shorter, the midday sun height will keep lowering.In ancient China, the solar term Beginning of Winter is divided into 3 pentads,"In the days of the 1st pentad, the water starts frozen and turn into ice; In the days of the 2nd pentad, the ground was frozen; In the days of the 3rd pentad, the pheasant turn into big clams in sea.",the ancient folks hardly saw a pheasant but saw some big clams appear at the shore which color looks like the feather of the pheasant, so they misunderstood the clams are the metamorphosis of the pheasant.The Beginning of Winter, is one of the four important solar terms(the Beignning of Spring, the Beginning of Summer, the Beginning of Autumn, the Beginning of Winter) in ancient society.After the Beginning of Winter, grass and trees withered and fallen, small creatures and small animals hidden in tunnels for hibernation, although human beings do not hold a habit of hibernation, but held some habit enjoy some tonics in the days to supply energy and prepare for the cold winter.The diet tonics in winter should follow principles "Nourish Yin in Autumn and Winter, Not disturb Yang", "Tonify the deficient conditions, Warm up the coldness conditions", enjoy a principal food, and supply with proper amount of mutton, quail, sea cucumber or other food which are rich in protein, fat and carbohydrate, these are known as heat production nutrients. Take some foods which are rich in iodine, the food rich in iodine could prompt the secretion of the thyroxine(tetraiodothyronine), the thyroxine could accelerate the oxidation of tissue cells of the human body, boost up the calory generating ability of the human body, increase the basal metabolic rate(B.M.R.), accelerate the blood circulation in skin layer, increase the anti-coldness ability, food rich in iodine are known as kelp, laver, jellyfish, spinach, celery cabbage, corn seeds, etc. Enjoy some animal liver and carrots,which are rich in vitamin A and vitamin C, will increase the cold tolerance and cold adaptation, show protection on blood vessels, vitamin A are rich contained in some type food sources such as animal liver, carrot, dark green vegetables, vitamin C is rich contained in fresh fruits and vegetables.Enjoy some food rich in methionine,such as sesame seeds and sunflower seeds, milk products, yeast, leafy vegetables,the methionine requirement of the human body increase to some higher level in winter,it could provide some necessary methyl group to the cells via transferring effects,the methyl groups are necessary for human body to change the cold adaptation.

 XiaoXue,the Light Snow XiaoXue,the Light Snow 20.The XiaoXue, or the Light Snow, is the 20th solar term of the 24 solar terms, the 2nd solar term of the winter.Its date is around 22nd or 23rd of November, the sun reaches the celestial longitude 240°.In the days of the Light Snow, the Big Dipper pointed to the north-west(equal to 10 clock direction), the Cassiopeia rise up at night and substitute the Big Dipper as a direction at night.In ancient China, the solar term the Light Snow is divided into 3 pentads,"In the days of the 1st pentad, the rainbow disappeared; In the days of the 2nd pentad, the Qi of the Sky rising upward, the Qi of the Ground falling downward; In the days of the 3rd pentad, the interaction of the sky and the ground stopped, the Winter comes.",for the Yang Qi(Yang Energy) rising upward, the Yin Qi(Yin Energy) hiding in-depth in the ground, the interaction of the Yang and the Yin stopped, creatures in nature lose vitality and hid, so winter and coldness days comes!In the days of the Light Snow, the cold wave and severe cold air will become frequent, the first snow may come at the North Hemisphere area, the farmers start pruning fruit trees.Local folks hold habit enjoying instant-boiled mutton.In the days of the Light Snow, the weather normally turns somber and gloomy, less sunshine, depression, and melancholy will turn serious.Better take some food which nature warm and tonifying kidney, such as mutton, beef, chicken, wild yam, walnut, etc.Those folks who suffering from Qi deficiency, normally show symptoms asthma, fatigue and no strength to speak, spontaneous perspiration(sweating), looks pale or white, pale tongue, weak pulse, better take some tonics of Panax Ginseng Root, the Ginseng nature warm, taste sweet and slight bitter, greatly tonify the Primordial Qi of the human body, is a key herb for Qi tonics, modern research proved, the Panax Ginseng preparations could regulate the system functions of the reticular skin, the constituents ginsenosides show anti-aging effects, take the Panax Ginseng decoction will help tonifying Qi and preventing exhaustion(nourishing Qi to stop collapse), boost up the disease resistance ability of human body, especially good for those old people.Those folks who suffering from Blood deficiency, normally show symptoms unbearable of labor, looks pale and pale complexion, gray face, forgetful(poor memory,amnesia,forgettery), insomnia, pale tongue, pulse fine,etc, better take some herbal tonics for replenishing blood, such as longan aril decoction, etc.

 Da Xue,the Great Snow Da Xue,the Great Snow 21.The Da Xue, or the Great Snow, is the 21st solar term of the 24 solar terms, the 3rd solar term of the winter.Its date is around 7th or 8th of December, the sun reaches the celestial longitude 255°.In the days of the Great Snow, the snow normally turns heavy and wide scope at the North Hemisphere, temperature normally lower to below 0 degree C, big snow or storm snow will come too.In ancient China, the solar term the Great Snow is divided into 3 pentads,"In the days of the 1st pentad, the crybird stop twittering; In the days of the 2nd pentad, the tiger curtship behavior; In the days of the 3rd pentad, the Li Ting grass sprouts out from the ground.",The crybird or Hanhao Bird, is a kind of bird fond of twittering in cold days, when the coldest days comes it stop crying; the Yin Qi(Yin Energy) turns extreme during the Great Snow period, the Yang Qi(Yang Energy) starts to rising up, the tigers behavior curtship; the Li Ting is a kind of orchid, it grow out new sprouts in the period for the rising up of the Yang.In the cold winters days, folks should take some digestible food rich in proteins, vitamins, enjoy some fruits such as oranges, grapefruit, could help prevent nasitis, eliminate phlegm and relieve pains, drink some soup of jujube fruit and ginger regularly could help resist coldness.

 Dong Zhi,the Winter Solstice Dong Zhi,the Winter Solstice 22.The Dong Zhi, or the Winter Solstice, is the 22nd solar term of the 24 solar terms, the 4th solar term of the winter.Its date is around 21st to 23rd of December, the sun reaches the celestial longitude 270°.

 the Winter Solstice:Position of the Sun and the celestial equator At the date of the Winter Solstice, the sun shining directly on the tropic of carpricorn, the day time of the North Hemisphere is the shortest in one year, and as shorter as north, the altitude of the sun at the North Hemisphere turns lowest at the date of the Winter Solstice, the sun radiation received at the North Hemisphere comes to the lowest in one year, the hot summer comes at the South Hemisphere.

 the Winter Solstice:Length of Daylight and Angle of the Sun In ancient China, the solar term the Winter Solstice is divided into 3 pentads,"In the days of the 1st pentad, the earthworm curled its body; In the days of the 2nd pentad, the horn of the moose starts to decompose; In the days of the 3rd pentad, the spring water moves.",in the legend,the earthworm is a kind of small creature curl itself when the Yin Energy accumulated, and stretch itself when the Yang Energy rising up, in the days of the Winter Solstice, although the Yang Qi(Yang Energy) starts rising up but still weak, the Yin Qi(Yin Energy) still in extreme, so the earthworm still curl itself in the soil;The moose is an animal fond of the Yin Qi(Yin Energy), in the days of the Winter Solstice the Yang Energy start rising up, so the moose sense our the degrading of the Yin Energy and its horns starts to decompose; For the Yang Qi(Yang Energy) starts rising up from the ground, the spring which from the deep soil of the valley area starts flowing and warm.From the Winter Solstice to the Greater Cold, the coldest days comes, those people troubled with heart disease and hypertension may possibly turn more serious in the cold days, the patient number of "stroke" increased, frostbite(cold injury) will make some folks suffering too.In the coldest days, people should take measure to prevent cold and keep warm, regulate diet and No drink, No smoking, No overstrain, hold a good and stable mood, keep pleasure, avoid anger, anxiety, and depression.

 Xiao Han,the Lesser Cold Xiao Han,the Lesser Cold 23.The Xiao Han, or the Lesser Cold, is the 23rd solar term of the 24 solar terms, the 5th solar term of the winter.Its date is around 6th of January, the sun reaches the celestial longitude 285°.The coldest days comes at the North Hemisphere area.In ancient China, the solar term the Lesser Cold is divided into 3 pentads,"In the days of the 1st pentad, the swan goose fly toward north; In the days of the 2nd pentad, the magpie starts to nesting; In the days of the 3rd pentad, the pheasant start twittering.",the swan goose is migrant bird, in the Lesser Cold days, the Yang Qi(Yang Energy) starts rising up, so the swan goose sense the Yang energy and leave the hottest area at south;the magpie sense the Yang Energy and starts to nesting; the pheasant starts twittering when sensing the rising up of the Yang energy.In the TCM theory, cold is the main Qi(main energy) in winter, the Lesser Cold is the coldest period in one year,the coldness will hurt the Yang Qi(Yang Energy) of the human body, the principle for health reservation in the coldest days should follow principles "collect and hide, nourish the kidney and prevent coldness", better take some food which nature hot or warm to tonify the body and prevent the hurt from coldness.Common food which nature hot known including:red pepper,cinnamon, pricklash;common food which nature warm known including:fennel seed, pumpkin, ginger, scallion, garlic bulb, almond, peach, jujube fruit, longan aril, cherry fruit,pomegranate fruit, smoke plum, walnut kernel, mutton,chicken liver, ham, chicken, goose egg, shrimps, sea cucumber,wine,etc.Folks of China hold habit enjoying Spicy Hot pot, Stewed Lamb in Brown Sauce, etc.

 Da Han,the Greater Cold Da Han,the Greater Cold 24.The Da Han, or the Greater Cold, is the 24th and the last solar term of the 24 solar terms, the 6th solar term of the winter.Its date is around 20th of January, the sun reaches the celestial longitude 300°.The coldest days comes at the North Hemisphere area.In the days of the Greater Cold, the temperature come to the lowest level, coldness comes to extreme, so it named the Greater Cold.In the days of the Greater Cold, folks should follow principle of "Hiding" for health care, which means, should better control own spirit activity, keep calm and quiet, hide the vitality and spirit inside the body, keep the mental energy and not let it leak out from the body, help for passing the coldest days safely.Should pay attention to prevent cardiovascular disease, pneumonectasis(emphysema pulmonum), Chronic bronchitis, better not outdoor at early morning or toward evening, keep warm when outdoor, should open the window to air the room a while in the morning and at night, should drink enough water.

 
References:
  • 1.Introduction of Solar Terms and Pentads in Winter:the Light Snow,the Winter Solstice,the Greater Cold.
  • 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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