The leaves on the trees in the Northern Hemisphere are beginning to change into vivacious shades of orange and purple. In some areas of China, this signals the approach of a holiday called Frost’s Descent, or 霜降 (Shuāng Jiàng).
China still uses the lunar calendar to celebrate most of its holidays and festivals. The lunar calendar is split into 24 solar terms, and Frost’s Descent is on the last solar term of autumn.
In the past, this holiday was very important for farmers. This event served as a warning for them to harvest their crops before the frost could ruin their harvests.
This year, Frost’s Descent was on October 23.
As with every holiday, there is a fair share of ways to celebrate. Here are four ways you can celebrate this ancient yet invigorating arrival of late autumn!
1. Polish Off Persimmons
With the fiery orange appearance of this fruit, it’s no wonder Chinese people believe that persimmons can warm your body and protect your bones too! Some people from the countryside even think their lips will crack if they don’t eat persimmons.
2. Dine on Duck
People usually eat duck as soon as Frost’s Descent begins. Historically, food began to dwindle during this time and eating duck meat was a surefire way to gain some weight.
There are plenty of ways to eat duck today. Some of my favorite duck dishes are Beijing Roast Duck or 北京烤鸭 (běi jīng kǎo yā), and Nanjing Salted Duck or 盐水鸭 (yán shuǐ yā), if you need a starting point.
3. Chew a Chestnut
Many Chinese people will tell you to eat some chestnuts during Frost’s Descent. Naturally warm and sweet, these nuts can invigorate blood circulation and relieve coughs and sputum.
Both of these are common during the cold season that this holiday predates.
4. Learn About the Frost’s Descent Festival!
The Zhuang ethnic group in China takes Frost’s Descent very seriously. Their devotion is so great that they hold a three-day festival in its honor.
This nearly 360-year-old festival was originally intended to celebrate Cen Yuyin. She was a legendary female warrior who defeated invading Japanese pirates on the day of Frost’s Descent.
Originally, attendees would sacrifice some of their livestock, make goods out of glutinous rice and have various sports competitions.
Now, the attendees present local culture performances, buy new goods, eat lots of good food and pay tribute to Cen Yuyin and other heroes.
How do you plan to celebrate Frost’s Descent? Let us know in the comments!
It is very pleasure to read during this season, it has rich cultural traditions to respect and embrace our daily life. Thanks!
What a nice article and I would say that you must have done a thorough research being a Chinese, I have no sands or I even don’t know all you have posted you have written to be honest, I learned a lot seriously. I just love this article
I really enjoyed reading this article. It’s full of fun and knowledge. I can feel your passion for Chinese culture and the Great Nature.