| Cultural Sights

24 Solar Terms

24 Solar Terms

The traditional Chinese calendar (农历 nónglì) divides the year in 24 solar terms, introduced hundreds of years ago to guide the farmers’ activity and nowadays it still keeps shaping Chinese people’s lives. These terms correspond to the change of the Earth’s position on its orbit around the Sun and each lasts 15 days.  How did this calendar begin? Centuries ago, agriculture was the main activity in China, this is why the calendar was introduced, in order to better regulate the agricultural production. This calendar’s month follow the moon’s phase, instead of the solar calendar’s seasons. Precisely during the Western Han dynasty (202 BC–9 AD) the 24 solar terms were officially introduced. This calendar is not just used in China, it is common also in other Asian countries, such as Japan, Vietnam etc… It’s interesting to know that in November of 2016 the “24 solar terms” were included in UNESCO world heritage.

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