Minor Heat is the 11th solar term in the traditional Chinese calendar, which means the hottest period of the year is approaching. It usually starts around July 6 or 7 and lasts for about two weeks. During this time, the temperature can soar above 35°C in many parts of China, making people sweat like pigs and crave for ice cream.
Chinese people call the warmest and dampest period of the year “San Fu” which usually starts from Minor Heat. “Fu” in Chinese means lying down, suggesting that the weather can be so uncomfortable that it is best to lie down rather than move around.
But don’t worry, there are some tips and tricks to help you cope with the heat and enjoy the summer.
One of the best ways to beat the heat is to eat foods that can dispel heat and toxic substances from your body, according to traditional Chinese medicine. Some of the most popular foods for this purpose are watermelon, bitter gourd, cucumber, green bean soup, and mung bean porridge. These foods are not only refreshing and hydrating but also rich in vitamins and minerals that can boost your immunity and digestion.
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Another tip is to avoid getting angry or agitated, as these emotions can generate more heat and make you feel worse. As an ancient Chinese idiom goes, “stop complaining about the heat and you will feel cool in no time”. Instead of focusing on the negative aspects of the weather, try to appreciate the beauty and joy of summer. For example, you can admire the lotus flowers that bloom only during the peak of heatwaves, or watch the fireflies that light up the night sky with their gentle glow.
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Minor Heat is also a good time to take advantage of the long daytime and strong sunlight to disinfect and dehumidify your clothes, quilts, bedding, and even calligraphy works that you hang on the wall as home decorations. By exposing them to the sun, you can prevent mildew and bacteria from growing on them, and also make them smell fresh and clean.
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Minor Heat is not only a time to cope with the heat, but also a time to celebrate the harvest. In ancient times, Chinese people would offer their ancestors newly-harvested rice to pray for a bumper crop. Nowadays, you can still enjoy the fruits of nature’s bounty by eating seasonal fruits and vegetables, such as peaches, plums, cherries, tomatoes, eggplants, and peppers. These foods are not only delicious and nutritious, but also symbolic of abundance and prosperity.
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So there you have it, four ways to survive the Minor Heat in China. Remember, it’s not all bad news. The heat also means that summer is in full swing, and there are plenty of fun activities to do and sights to see. Just make sure you stay hydrated, wear sunscreen, and keep cool!
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