Grain Rain: A refreshing dish for the end of spring
By Yang Meng
The sixth solar term – "grain rain" or "guyu" in Chinese  – falls on April 20, and marks the end of spring.
According to the saying, "Qingming ceases snow, grain rain ceases frost." When this term arrives, cold weather finally ends, and the temperatures start to rise. 

Gold time for agriculture

A farmer plants grain during the Grain Rain period. /VCG Photo

A farmer plants grain during the Grain Rain period. /VCG Photo

Grain Rain, just as the name implies, is a crucial time for grains to grow. There is an old saying, "Rain brings up hundreds of grains," which indicates the importance of this season.
In the northern part of China, the first heavy rain usually occurs during this time of year, which is the peak time for planting rice, corn, and the growth of cotton.

Time to eat Chinese toon 

Chinese toon is a delicious seasonal plant to eat during this period of time. Its new grown leaves are as tender as silk. It does not only tastes good, but is also very good for health. It is very nutritious and can improve the immune system. 
Chinese toon has a special taste, thus it is often cooked with lighter foods such as stirring it with eggs and tofu. 
Stirred tofu with Chinese toon is a traditional cold dish for people in the northern part of China. Freshly made tofu and fresh picked Chinese toon is all you needed. 
Cut the tofu into cubes and blanche them for about two seconds to get rid of the smell of raw soybean. Get the rest of the water out of tofu. 
Quickly blanche the Chinese toon for about ten seconds and get the rest water out of it. 
Mince the Chinese toon, add salt, sesame oil and scallion oil in a large bowl. Add the tofu cubes into the bowl, and using a spoon mash the tofu into the mixture until it turns into a paste. Use spoons to form the paste into bite-sized pieces. Then you can enjoy a refreshing taste of spring. 

Drinking tea

Tea trees /VCG Photo

Tea trees /VCG Photo

Drinking tea is an old custom in the southern part of China. The moderate temperatures and abundant rainfall in the season makes the spring tea leaves plump, rich in a variety of vitamins and amino acids, giving the taste of spring tea a fresh and pleasant aroma.

The Grain Rain Festival

Along the northern coast of China, fishermen have celebrated the grain rain festival for more than 2,000 years. On this day, fishermen in coastal areas set up an altar for the god of the sea, and pray for safety and a good harvest.
Altar set up for the god of the sea /Sina Photo

Altar set up for the god of the sea /Sina Photo

Video by Wu Chutian
Videographer: Ma Jian
Cover Image by Du Chenxin