Animals and solar terms: Yushui
Xu Chenlu, Gao Yuxin

"Rain during the spring time is as precious as oil" is a famous ancient Chinese saying. 

Saturday marks the beginning of Yushui, the second solar term of the Chinese lunar calendar. As Yushui arrives, the weather is getting warmer and rain will become more frequent.

Ancient Chinese divided every solar term into three pentads, each constituting five days. Usually these pentads reflect the climatological and phenological changes during the solar term, and some of them indicate changes in animals' activities. 

In Yushui, the first pentad is: otters will hunt for fish. When Yushui comes, the ice melts and otters start fishing. Otters often neatly arrange the fish they catch on the shore, and they won't enjoy their feast until they catch enough fish.

After the first five days, wild geese begin to migrate north. Wild geese fly back to Siberia and northeast China to breed. In summer, northern regions are rich in aquatic plants, fish, shrimp and crabs, which are very conducive to reproduction.

In the last pentad, trees and grass put forth shoots, and nature moves into the deep spring.

(Images via VCG)

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