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THE 24 CALENDAR PERIOD SEGMENTS
For the purpose of "life destiny analysis", the Chinese calendar year is made up of “twenty-four period segments”, known as [jie]. Typically a segment occurs every fifteen days throughout the four seasons of the year. The segments were originally designed as a guide to farmers, the segment names or characteristics themselves indicate the weather and its relationship to agriculture. These “period segments” are considered in weather forecast. The segments are:
“Beginning of spring” [lichun] . Around 5th February. The start of all activities.
“Rain Water” [yushui] . About 20th February. The beginning of rain. At the same time snow begins to melt. If this is supplemented by rain, there would be ample water for agriculture.
“Awakening of insects” [jingzhe] . About 5th March. Time when hibernating reptiles, insects become active again.
“Mid spring” [chunfen] . About 21st March. The sun is over the Equator, with equal day and night times. Hereafter the weather gets progressively warmer.
“Clear and bright” [qingming] . About 5th April. Weather is warm and clear. Plants begin to sprout. This is also a festival day, the day when the Chinese visit their ancestors’ graves to pay their respects.
“Rain for the grains” [guyu] . About 20th April. After having sown their grains rainfall at this time is much welcome.
“Beginning of summer” [lixia] . About 5th May. The weather gets progressively warmer.
“Partially filled grains” [xiaoman] . About 21st May. Summer grains are partially filled, and could be harvested in the near future.
“Seed sowing” [mangzhong] . About 6th June. Time to sow winter grains, especially those requiring a longer time to ripen.
“Summer Solstice” [xiazhi] . About 21st June. Summer Solstice, the longest day and shortest night in the Northern Hemisphere, is also the warmest day
“Slight Heat” [xiaoshu] . About 7th July. Weather gets warmer, though still not too warm. Grains quality will be affected if the weather is too warm at this time of the year.
“Great Heat” [dashu] . About 23rd July. The weather is at his hottest, the air sultry.
“Beginning of autumn” [liqiu] . About 7th August. Ripening of crops at this time.
“End of heat” [chushu] . About 23rd August. Accumulated heat in the house over the past two months would dissipate.
“White dew” [bailu] . About 8th September. Surface moisture forms dew, forming a white, glittering surface, while the weather gets cool.
“Autumn Equinox” [qiufen]. About 23rd September. Equal periods of day and night, the sun having returned to the equator. From now on night gets progressively longer.
“Cold dew” [hanlu] . About 8th October. Frost appears, the weather gets distinctly colder. Trees shed their leaves the migrating birds fly south to a warmer climate. Chrysanthemum blossoms.
“Frost descends” [shuangjiang] . About 23rd October. Frost forms, winter is approaching.
“Beginning of winter” [lidong] . About 7th November. Crops have been harvested and stored for the winter.
“Slight snow” [xiaoxue] . About 22nd November. The sky becoming grey, beginning of snow fall.
“Big snow” [daxue] . About 7th December. Weather getting colder, more snow.
“Winter solstice” [dongzhi] . About 22nd December. Longest night and shortest day, though coldest weather is yet to come. This is also a festival day when families make little glutinous rice balls in sugary soup called [tangyuan], a symbol of unity in the family.
“Slight cold” [xiaohan] . About 6th January. Weather getting progressively colder.
“Extreme cold” [dahan] . About 22nd January. This is around Chinese New Year and about the coldest day of the year. Ponds and lakes are frozen. After this day weather gets warmer and another season begins.
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