Vernal Equinox: A balanced bite for spring
By Ye Qing
According to Chinese Astronomical Almanac, the "Vernal Equinox", or "Chunfen" solar period will start at 5:58 a.m. BJT on March 21 this year.
Zhao Zhiheng, astronomical education expert and member of Tianjin Astronomical Society said that the annual solar calendar starts around March 21, for the beginning of the Vernal Equinox solar terms. 
The Vernal Equinox is a solar term with great balance. At the equinox, earth's two hemispheres are receiving the sun's rays equally. On the day of the vernal equinox, night and day are often said to be equal in length. 
Spring bamboo shoots are the seasonal food during spring. /CGTN Photo

Spring bamboo shoots are the seasonal food during spring. /CGTN Photo

"At this time, the natural scenery is fully equipped with the beautiful spring, the real meteorological sense of the spring has come," said Zhao.
Spring is the growing season of all things; especially after the equinox, the day time gradually increased, people also spend more time outdoors. The equinox is the moment in Earth's orbit when the sun appears to cross the celestial equator. It means longer and warmer days as the northern hemisphere begins to tilt towards the sun.
After the equinox, rainfall increased in both northern and southern China. Under the moistening of spring rain, a variety of seasonal spring vegetables are also out of the ground.
As spring rushes in, spring bamboo shoots are hitting local grocery stores and wet markets across China. The tender sprouts make an ideal ingredient during the Vernal Equinox, which marks the beginning of spring.
"Braised Spring Bamboo Shoots", the traditional Chinese dish belongs to Zhejiang cuisine.

"Braised Spring Bamboo Shoots", the traditional Chinese dish belongs to Zhejiang cuisine.

Bamboo shoots are a major specialty of Zhejiang, especially in the western mountainous areas of Zhejiang, such as Anji, Mogan Mountain and West Tianmu Mountain, which are all great bamboo shoots producing areas.
"Braised Spring Bamboo Shoots", the traditional Chinese dish in this issue of the video belongs to Zhejiang cuisine. It is selected from the spring bamboo shoots unearthed around the Qingming Festival, which is cooked with heavy oil and sugar. The dish tastes salty and sweet, with distinct characteristics of Zhejiang cuisine. In 1956, it was recognized as one of 36 famous Hangzhou dishes by Zhejiang Province.

What else?

The last time 'supermoon' of the year
After January 21 and February 19, the third and final supermoon of the year will appear in the sky on March 21. Astronomical experts said that as long as the weather is fine, the public throughout China can enjoy a beautiful picture of the supermoon.
Watch out for cold snap and pollen allergies
Health care experts warned that in this season, it's important to stay warm and be aware of pollen allergies. Experts suggested that people with allergies should limit their outdoor exposure or take precautionary measure before stepping out, such as wearing sunglasses or masks.
Video by Anosi Wang
Videographer: Hua Xuyang
Cover image by Du Chenxin