秋分 (qiūfēn) – Autumn equinox
秋分 (qiūfēn), the Autumn Equinox, this year fell on the 22nd of September.
It’s the 16th solar term of the year and divides Autumn in two equal parts. From this moment on the days become shorter and the night longer in the Northern emisphere, the contrary will happen in the Southern emisphere. During this time of the year, temperature will start to drop all over China.
As it is said in the ancient book, The Detailed Records of the Spring and Autumn Period (770-476BC): “It is on the Autumn Equinox day that the Yin and Yang are in a balance of power. Thus, the day and night are of equal length, and so are the cold and hot weather.”
Concerning the eating habits of 秋分, it’s quite common to eat crabs as they help nourish the marrow and clear the heat inside the body. Besides, they are very delicious! In South China, on 秋分 it is quite common to eat Qiucai (秋菜 qiūcài ), a kind of wild amaranth. Osmanthus (桂花 guìhuā) and crysanthemum (菊花 júhuā) are two very common plants during this time of the year in China. 秋分 is the perfect time to enjoy them!
Originally on the Autumnal Equinox day people used to make sacrifices to the moon. However, since there might be no full moon on the Autumnal Equinox, the day was changed to the Mid-Autumn Day.