Each year, there are two special days when day and night are of equal length. These days are called equinoxes and the one that falls in spring is called the Vernal Equinox. In Chinese solar terms the day is called Chunfen, and it falls on March 20 this year.
Chunfen plays an important role in many cultures as a significant characteristic of the Chunfen is balance. On this day, as the sun is exactly at the celestial longitude of 0 degrees (the equator); the duration of daytime and nighttime of the whole planet is approximately equal to each other.
After Chunfen, daylight hours gradually increase as the weather gets warmer. Therefore in ancient China, emperors held celebrations on Chunfen.
Each solar term can be divided into three pentads. The pentads for Chunfen are: The "dark birds" (swallows) arrive, thunder sounds and lightning begins. This means that during Chunfen, swallows will begin to make their northward migration, while spring thunderstorms with lightning will occur frequently.
Chunfen also means more outdoor activities. As the weather turns warmer and flowers are in full bloom, Chunfen is a signal informing people to be ready for a spring outing. Though the coronavirus outbreak has scuppered some plans, people are still looking forward to enjoying beautiful nature.
Let's hope the epidemic can pass quickly so everyone can head out and bask in the warm spring weather.
(All photos via VCG)
(Video filmed by Hui Jie and Zhang Hao, edited by Zhang Hao)
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