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Monday, March 20, 2017, 12:01

24 Solar Terms: 5 things you may not know about the Spring Equinox

By Agencies

24 Solar Terms: 5 things you may not know about the Spring Equinox
A painting of Spring Equinox from Li Xiaolin. As a popular young Chinese artist, Li combined the customs during a solar term and the associated food and created a series of illustrations named "24 Solar Terms and Chinese Delicacies". (Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn)

The traditional Chinese lunar calendar divides a year into 24 solar terms. The Spring Equinox (Chinese: 春分), as the fourth term of the year starts on March 20 and ends on April 3 this year.

The Spring Equinox signals the equal length of the day and night time. On the day of the Spring Equinox, sun is directly above the equator. After the equinox, the sun moves northwards, resulting in gradually longer day time in the Northern Hemisphere and longer night in the Southern Hemisphere.

Here are 5 things you may not know about the Spring Equinox.

Swallows fly north

The ancient Chinese people divided the fifteen days of the Spring Equinox into three "hou's," or five-day parts. As the old saying goes, swallows fly back to the North in the firsthou; thunder cracks the sky in the secondhou; lightning occurs frequently in the third hou, which vividly reveals the climate feature during the Spring Equinox.

24 Solar Terms: 5 things you may not know about the Spring Equinox
Swallows and Sweet Spring Rain, by Shi Lihua. (Photo/artron.net)

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