The traditional Chinese divides the year into 24 solar terms. Cold Dew, the 17th solar term of the year, begins on Oct 8 and ends on Oct 23.
During the Cold Dew, temperatures are much lower than in White Dew in most areas of China. The dew is greater and colder and there will be less rain. Here we introduce some features and traditions summarized by Chinese about Cold Dew.
Temperatures drop significantly in October. When the cold air encounters autumn rain, the abundant water vapor in the air soon reaches saturation, and then it turns into misty rain or fog. When the humidity is high, there will be foggy regions formed in many areas of China.
Season for fishing
People always say that fishing in shallow water in autumn is a lot of fun. That’s because during the Cold Dew period, temperatures decrease quickly and sunshine cannot reach the deep water thoroughly. Fish all swim to shallow water areas where the water temperature is relatively high.
Season for eating pomegranates
Pomegranates have been cherished for their exquisite beauty, flavor, color, and health benefits for centuries. In China, autumn is the season to harvest pomegranates. Every family will put pomegranates on the table.
Season for drinking chrysanthemum wine
Chrysanthemum is a symbol of Cold Dew. To prevent autumn dryness, many regions in China have the custom of drinking chrysanthemum wine. This is a tradition of the Double Ninth Festival (on the ninth day of the ninth month in the Chinese calendar), which often falls around Cold Dew. According to ancient records, drinking the wine made with chrysanthemums, poria cocos and pine oleoresin grants people long lasting youth.
Season for eating hawthorns
There is a saying that goes "It is time to harvest hawthorn during Cold Dew." Extracts of hawthorns have long been used in herbal medicine. The antioxidants in hawthorn are thought to boost heart health by strengthening blood vessels and stimulating blood flow.
A great time for hiking
During Cold Dew, North China will be expecting white clouds, red leaves and early frost. On the day of the Double Ninth Festival, people often climb hills with cornus, a kind of plant. This custom originated in the Eastern Han Dynasty (AD25-220) aims to dispel evils.
Season for making kippers and pickles
People western China has the custom of making kippers and pickles during Cold Dew. It is said that the kipper made on the day of the Cold Dew with accessory foods such as rice wine, salt, glutinous rice, pepper powder, paprika powder and ginger are especially delicious.