An Introduction to the Chinese Lunar Calendar: Grain Slightly Full


PureInsight | June 16, 2003

"Grain Slightly Full" is one of the 24 solar terms from the Chinese Lunar Calendar. The "Grain Slightly Full" phase begins on either the 21st or 22 nd of May each year, at the moment when the sun reaches a 60-degree celestial longitude. In The Illustration 72: Time in the Lunar Calendar (Yue Ling qi Shi Er Hou Ji Jie) it states, "'Grain Slightly Full' begins in the middle of April in the Lunar Calendar; at that moment the cereals are growing and their seeds are only slightly full." At this time, grass and trees are growing fast, and the summer grain seeds are growing, but not yet ripe. That's why this lunar phase is called the "Grain Slightly Full" phase.

In the Sichuan Basin, an old farmer's saying interprets the term "Grain Fills" (Slightly Full) in a different way. One saying reads, "If there is not enough water at the time of 'Grains Slightly Full,' there will be a severe drought." Another says, "A lack of water at the 'Grains Slightly Full' could result in a great loss in farming production." Here, the word "full" is used to describe whether there has been enough rain or not. If there is not enough water during the "Grain Slightly Full," the rice should not be transplanted. According to the Chinese lunar calendar, the solar terms of "Summer Begins" and the "Grain Slightly Full" mark the right time to transplant the rice crop.

In Guangdong and Guangxi provinces, a local farmer' saying states that during the period between the "Grains Slightly Full" and the "Grain Full," the rivers are full of water. This indicates that there will be a lot of rainfall during the phase of the "Grains Slightly Full," and thus people should take precautionary measures against flooding.

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