An Introduction to the Chinese Traditional Calendar: Winter Begins

Ke Shi, Ed.

PureInsight | January 13, 2003

[] "Winter Begins" is the first solar term (jieqi) of winter. It usually falls on November 7th or 8th of each year of the western calendar when the sun reaches a celestial longitude of 225 degrees. In the book Illustrations of 72 Times in the Lunar Calendar, it mentions that the "Arrival means the start or the beginning" and "winter means the end and ending of all things." Lu's Spring and Autumn Annals (Lu Shi Chun Qiu), written in the third century B.C., already recorded the establishing of eight solar terms (jieqi) of the Chinese calendar. The terms are as follows; Spring Begins, Vernal Equinox, Summer Begins, Summer Solstice, Autumn Begins, Autumn Equinox, Winter Begins, and Winter solstice. Out of the 24 solar terms, these eight are the most important. They clearly and accurately indicate the changing of the four seasons.

In traditional Chinese medicine, the arrival of winter means positive qi is decreasing with negative qi becoming very strong. At this stage, plants begin withering and insects are ready to hibernate. All things tend to stop or decrease their activities in order to conserve energy in a state of hibernation preparing for vitality in the coming spring.

Translated from:

Add new comment