Introduction of Four Seasons and Twenty Four Solar Terms:Four Seasons Eight Solar Terms.

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Four Seasons Eight Solar Terms.

 Introduction:24 Solar Terms
 ✵The Four Seasons Eight Solar Terms Twenty-Four Solar Terms and 72 Pentad system is a traditional calendar system which was established in Ancient China.The Four Season are known as: Spring, Summer, Autumn, Winter.The Eight Solar Seasons: the Beginning of Spring, the Spring Equinox, the Beginning of Summer, the Summer Solstice, the Beginning of Autumn, the Autumnal Equinox, the Beginning of Winter, the Winter Solstice.The Twelve JieQi(the Twelve Solar Terms) are known as:the Beginning of Spring,the Awakening from Hibernation,the Pure Brightness,the Beginning of Summer,the Grain in Ear,the Lesser Heat,the Beginning of Autumn,the White Dew,the Cold Dew,the Beginning of Winter,the Great Snow,and the Lesser Cold.The Twelve ZhongQi(the Twelve Middle solar terms) are known as:the Rain Water,the Spring Equinox,the Grain Rain,the Grain Buds,the Summer Solstice,the Greater Heat,the End of Heat,the Autumnal Equinox,the First Frost,the Light Snow,the Winter Solstice,the Greater Cold,in the ancient epoch,native Chinese people make differences of the 12 JieQi(the twelve solar terms) and the 12 ZhongQi(the twelve middle solar terms),the JieQi normally defined as the 1st solar term in a month of the lunar calendar,the ZhongQi was defined as the 2nd solar term in the same month of the lunar calendar.In modern epoch, they are understood together as 24 JieQi, or 24 solar terms. Five days are counted as 1 pentad, there are 3 pentads in one solar term, there are total 72 pentads in the 24 solar terms or one year.

 Four Seasons✧The Four Seasons are known as:Spring,Summer,Autumn,Winter.

 The Eight Solar Terms are known as:(1).the Beginning of Spring,(2).the Spring Equinox,(3).the Beginning of Summer,(4).the Summer Solstice,(5).the Beginning of Autumn,(6).the Autumnal Equinox,(7).the Beginning of Winter,(8).the Winter Solstice.

 

 ✦The Twenty-Four Qi or the 24 Solar Terms is based on the location of the sun in the ecliptic(the ecliptic or the zodiac, is the orbit on which the earth move around the sun), and reflect the seasonal changes, it can guide the agricultural activities, and become an important part of the Chinese lunar calendar system.

 Four Seasons Eight Solar TermsEver since the Eastern Zhou Dynasty(770-256 B.C.) till the Spring and Autumn Period(770-476 B.C.),and the Warring States Period(475-221 B.C.), the ancient Chinese people already had the notion and concepts of Ri Nan Zhi(the sun move to the south) and Ri Bei Zhi(the sun move to the north).Later, ancient people observed phenomena and principles according to the sun and the moon position at the beginning of the month or the middle of the month, weather changes, animal and plant growth and other natural phenomena, till late Warring States period, in the book Lu Shi Chun Qiu, already recorded the names of 8 solar terms: 立春(Li Chun,the Beginning of Spring),春分(Chun Fen,the Spring Equinox),立夏(Li Xia,the Beginning of Summer), 夏至(Xia Zhi,the Summer Solstice),立秋(Li Qiu,the Beginning of Autumn),秋分(Qiu-Fen,the Autumnal Equinox),立冬(Li Dong,the Beginning of Winter),冬至(Dong Zhi,the Winter Solstice).These eight solar terms are the most important solar terms in twenty-four solar terms and marked the conversion of the season, clearly divided the four seasons of the year.To the Qin Dynasty(the Ch'in Dynasty,221~206 B.C.) and the Western Han Dynasty(206 B.C.-A.D.24), the twenty-four solar terms system had been fully established. The ancient book Huainan Zi had already recorded exactly the same name of twenty-four solar terms as the modern system. At the beginning of the Han Dynasty, the government still use the Zhuanxu calendar which was established in the Ch'in Dynasty(221~206 B.C.), the Zhuanxu calendar system has some errors.In the year 104 BC, followed advice from official historians 司马迁(Si Maqian) and others, the Emperor Wu of Han ordered officials 邓平(Deng Ping),唐都(Tang Du),落下闳(Luo Xiamin) to establish a new Calendar system titled the Han Calendar, till the year 103 BC, the calendar system was established, and Emperor Wu of Han changed the reign title from the Yuanfeng to the Taichu since the May of the same year, so the calendar also known as the Taichu Calendar, this new calendar surely recorded the 24 solar terms in the Calendar system, and clearly recorded the astronomical position of these 24 solar terms.The Taichu Calendar system defined 1 year equal to 365.2502 days, and defined 1 month equal to 29.53086 days; it deployed the Additive difference method to replace the previous "Subtraction difference method" to adjust the time difference. Change the first month from the October in the old calendar system to the lunar January, began to use the twenty-four solar terms conducive to agriculture; set the month which has no half solar terms as the leap month(intercalary month in the lunar calendar), adjust the inconsistent contradictions between the Sun cycle and the Lunar calendar days. This brought an epoch-making progress of the Calendar system in ancient China. Based on astronomical observations and historical records for many years, the Taichu Calendar also concluded out a hundred and thirty-five solar eclipse cycle. The Taichu Calendar system is not only China's first relatively complete calendar system but also one most advanced calendar system in the ancient world, it totally used by the government for almost 189 years.

  The 24 Solar Terms In ancient China, the solar terms are called "Qi", there are two Qi in each month: the fist Qi is named as "节气(JieQi, or the solar terms)", the second Qi is named as "中气(ZhongQi, or the middle solar terms)".The twenty-four solar terms are briefly introduced following, the solar terms have a close relation with the leap month of the Lunar Calendar system, the solar term 立春(Li Chun, the Beginning of Spring) is set as the first solar terms in the system.

 The names of the Twenty-four solar terms was originated and defined refers to the place the handle of the Big Dipper pointed and the natural climate and landscape of the period.The handle of the Big Dipper is composed of the Alioth(ε Ursae Majoris), the Mizar(ξUMa), the Alkaid(Benetnasch,η Ursae Majoris,η UMa), and pointed to different direction and positions, the position it pointed represent the months.For examples:In the lunar January(the first month of the lunar year), which is represented by the 寅(yín) in the Twelve Earthly Branches, at dusk(gloaming) the Alkaid pointed to 寅(yín,or the 3 a.m.~5 a.m. clock direction), at midnight the Mizar pointed to 寅(yín, or the 3 a.m.~5 a.m. clock direction), in day time the Alioth pointed to 寅(yín, or the 3 a.m.~5 a.m. clock direction);In the lunar February(the second month of the lunar year), which is presented by the 卯(mǎo) in the Twelve Earthly Branches system, at dusk (gloaming) the Alkaid pointed to 卯(mǎo,or the 5 a.m.~7 a.m. clock direction), at midnight the Mizar pointed to 卯(mǎo, or the 5 a.m.~7 a.m. clock direction), in day time the Alioth pointed to 卯(mǎo, or the 5 a.m.~7 a.m. clock direction).Other months of the Lunar calendar follow similar rules.

References:
  • 1.Introduction of Four Seasons and Twenty Four Solar Terms:Four Seasons Eight Solar Terms.
  • 2.Shang Han Za Bing Lun:the Treatise on Cold-induced and Miscellaneous Diseases.By Zhāng Zhòngjǐng.
  • 3.Shang Han Lun:the Treatise on Cold-induced Diseases.By Wáng Shūhé.

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