Chinese Culture – 24 Solar Terms: Those Related to Winter Seasons

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Traditionally, the Chinese calendar is a lunisolar calendar. With the Gregorian calendar (the calendar prevalent in the West) in use, the traditional Chinese calendar is called yīnlì (阴历), and the Western calendar yánglì (阳历). According to the Chinese lunar calendar, there are two solar terms each month and 24 in total each year.

The wise ancient Chinese people gradually recognized the changes in climate after years of work, and they divided the days of the year into 24 equal segments based on the interrelationship between the sun and the earth, which is used to indicate the changes in seasons and weather, and guide agricultural affairs.

Language Points

lì dōng
立 冬
Start of Winter

xiǎo xuě
小 雪
Minor Snow

dà xuě
大 雪
Major Snow

dōng zhì
冬 至
Winter Solstice

xiǎo hán
小 寒
Minor Cold

dà hán
大 寒
Major Cold

Jīntiān shì shénme jiéqì?
今天 是 什么 节气?
What is solar term today?

Jīntiān shì dàxuě.
今天 是 大雪
Today is Major Snow.

Dōngtiān hěn hánlěng.
冬天 很 寒冷。
It is cold in the winter.

Wǒ hěn lěng, nǐ kěyǐ bǎ chuānghù guānshàng ma?
我 很 冷,你 可以 把 窗户 关上 吗?
I’m cold. Could you please close the window?

Wǒ kuài bèi dòngjiāng le.
我 快 被 冻僵 了。
I am freezing cold.

Do your children know how to say the above solar terms in Chinese now? Can they use those simple dialogues after this lesson? We will introduce more interesting Chinese knowledge in our future courses, so please stay tuned!

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