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24 Solar Terms | Minor Snow


Minor Snow, or "Xiaoxue" in Chinese, is the 20th of the 24 traditional Chinese solar terms, and will last from November 22 to December 6 this year.

It is the second solar term of winter, and indicates that snow is about to arrive.

From this solar term onwards, people in South China will begin to feel the coming of winter. With the weather becoming increasingly cold, people wait expectantly for the first snow.

Folk customs during Minor Snow

Pickling vegetables

In Nanjing, it's customary to make pickle during the Minor Snow period, and then salted meat during Major Snow. During Minor Snow, every household will begin to make pickled and dried vegetables. In Hangzhou, people will start to make sauced duck and Chinese bacon.

Eating glutinous rice cakes

In many areas of Southern China, people eat glutinous rice cakes during Minor Snow. In these places, there's a saying:"十月朝,糍粑碌碌烧." In this saying, "碌(lu)" means that people use their chopsticks to pick up a glutinous rice cake and roll it like a wheel in a bowl full of sesame and peanut sugar, and "烧(shao)" indicates that the glutinous rice cakes are steaming hot.

Cooking meat dishes

During Minor Snow, people in many regions of China will kill pigs, while during Major Snow, they will kill sheep. No matter which household kills the animal, neighbors and friends will all come to help. After the animal has been slaughtered, the host will prepare dishes and hold a party, which symbolizes unity, harmony, peace and prosperity.

Ways to stay healthy during Minor Snow

Eating more porridge and soup

Eating more porridge and soup in winter is good for your health. For instance, wheat porridge can nourish the heart, while radish porridge can improve digestion and reduce phlegm that often arrives with the changing weather. Soups also help keep people healthy and can improve the immune system. For instance, fish soup is said to invigorate the spleen, stimulate appetite, and relieve coughs and colds.

Drinking more water

We already know that drinking more water is beneficial for metabolism. During the winter months, it is highly recommended to drink a cup of warm water on an empty stomach in the early morning. In this way, blood viscosity can be reduced, and cardiovascular and cerebrovascular diseases can be prevented. During Minor Snow, honey water, white radish water and pear water are excellent choices, as honey water can moisten dryness and helpdetoxify, white radish water can clear heat, while pear can moisten the lungs and relieve stubborn coughs.

Stay warm

From this solar term onwards, the northeast wind will blow more frequently. The weather is cold, but not yet too cold. Therefore, many people forget to put on their hats and scarves, which leaves them more likely to catch a cold. If one wants to keep healthy, they should change their clothes in accordance with the weather. We suggest you prepare several sets of winter clothes.

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