Tie the rope in summer and play the game of fighting eggs … Why do long summer have these customs?

  Beijing, May 5 (Reporter Shangguan Yun) "The trees are shaded in summer, and the balcony reflects into the pond." Long summer is the seventh solar term in the traditional twenty-four solar terms and the first solar term in summer, indicating the official start of the Meng Xia season.

  Because of its important guiding significance to agricultural activities, long summer has been attached great importance since its establishment. At the same time, in order to cope with the increasingly hot weather, people have gradually formed a series of interesting folk customs, and activities such as "fighting eggs" and "weighing people" are still popular.

  The significance of solar terms in long summer

  Among the 24 solar terms, long summer was established earlier. It indicates the change of seasons, which was considered as the beginning of summer in ancient times.

Data Map: The "long summer" solar term indicates the end of spring and the arrival of summer. The picture shows that the corn seedlings in the fields in Ganzhou District of Zhangye are thriving in the morning light. Photo by Chen Li

  For the meaning of this solar term, twenty-four solar term explains: "It is also the beginning of the establishment, the summer, the holiday, and everything is fake at this time." The "false" here means "big", which means that the plants sown in spring have grown upright.

  In terms of climate, people are accustomed to regard long summer as an important solar term for the growth of crops in the peak season, with the obvious increase of temperature and thunderstorm.

  In long summer, everything is flourishing. It is recorded in the ancient book: "On the day of Meng Xia, heaven and earth began to meet, and everything was beautiful." At this time, the summer harvest crops have entered the late growth stage, and their year is basically a foregone conclusion, so there is a saying that "long summer sees summer".

  Why did the ceremony of welcoming summer be held in ancient times?

  The ancients believed that summer was the season when the yang was high, and welcoming and spending summer were the main contents of seasonal beliefs and ceremonies in summer. Folk expert Xiao Fang mentioned in "Twenty-four solar terms and folk customs" that "long summer, as the beginning of summer, has been valued by people since ancient times."

  In ancient times, on this day in long summer, the emperor would lead hundreds of officials to the southern suburbs of Beijing to welcome the summer and hold a ceremony to welcome the summer. Both the monarch and the minister should wear a scarlet dress with a scarlet jade pendant, and even the horses and car flags should be scarlet to express their good wishes for a bumper harvest.

  With the passage of time, long summer customs have become richer and more perfect.

Data Map: Children have an egg-fighting competition. Photo by Dou Yuewen

  Liu Dong, a Ming Dynasty man, recorded in "A Brief Introduction to the Scenery of the Imperial Capital": "Open the ice in summer and give it to the civil and military ministers." It can be seen that in the Ming Dynasty, on the day of long summer, Ling Guan, who was in charge of the ice administration in the imperial court, would dig out the ice stored in the winter cellar, cut it up and give it to the officials by the emperor.

  In the folk, ordinary people will drink cold drinks to cool off the heat. In the Song Dynasty, there were already many kinds of cold drinks. It is said that there is also the custom of cooking tender broad beans in summer in Jiangnan water town.

  Tie the "summer rope" and "weigh people" to check fat and thin.

  Around long summer, the people have also formed interesting customs, involving various aspects such as diet and games.

  Due to the high temperature in summer, people are prone to discomfort, such as not thinking about diet and so on. Therefore, to "weigh people" in the summer is to weigh people, mainly the elderly and children, with scales.

Data Map: The "long summer" solar term means that summer is no longer far away. In Wanzai County, Jiangxi Province, local people have carried out traditional folk activities such as playing with eggs, eating peas and glutinous rice and weighing themselves to welcome the arrival of summer. Photo by Deng Longhua

  Then, after the summer is over, weigh yourself again and compare it with the previous weight, so as to check your health and adjust your body in time. In addition, people will tie a "summer rope" to their children: tie a five-color silk thread to their wrists and other places to express their desire to eliminate summer heat.

  Or, adults will cook a few eggs, and children will play "egg-fighting" games in groups of three or five. The egg is divided into two ends, the tip is the head, and the round one is the tail. When fighting eggs, the egg head hits the egg head, and the egg tail hits the egg tail. The loser gives up and finally wins.

  At this time, "long summer Rice" is a special diet: people mix rice with beans of five colors, such as red beans and soybeans, and eat it after steaming. According to folklore experts, this kind of long summer rice is also called five-color rice, which means to balance the five elements and give people spiritual encouragement.

  Xiao Fang said that the 24 solar terms are a cultural technology for us to grasp the growth time of crops, observe the laws of animal activities and understand the rhythm of human life. It is also a traditional interest in time life to taste spring in beginning of spring and enjoy tea in Qingming Festival.

  In addition, people live in nature, and only by conforming to nature can they live a happier life. He believes that people should consciously inherit the civilized wealth of the 24 solar terms, respect natural time, respect the rhythm of life, and enjoy colorful natural time life.