6 things you may not know about Grain Buds

Updated 2017-05-21 12:30:12 chinadaily.com.cn

The traditional Chinese lunar calendar divides the year into 24 solar terms. Grain Buds, (Chinese: 小满), the 8th solar term of a year, begins on May 21 this year, and ends on June 4. It means that the seeds from the grain are becoming full but are not ripe.

In China, the 24 solar terms were created thousands of years ago to guide agricultural production. But the solar term culture is still useful today to guide people's lives through special foods, cultural ceremonies, gardening and even healthy living tips that correspond with each solar term. Let's see what we can do during the "Grain Buds" period.

Fish and Happiness, by Zhu Da from the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644). (Photo/artron.net)Fish and Happiness, by Zhu Da from the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644). (Photo/artron.net)

A good season for eating fish

During the Grain Buds period, the summer harvest is about to begin. A saying about rain during this time mentions, "A heavy rainfall makes the river full." Because of the great increase in rainfall, rivers are full of water, which makes fish and shrimp big and fat. This is a good time to eat fish and shrimp. It is also harvest season for fishermen.

Picking Mulberries, by Xu Lele. (Photo/artron.net)Picking Mulberries, by Xu Lele. (Photo/artron.net)

A good season for eating mulberries

A Chinese farmer proverb says, "Mulberries become black during the Grain Buds period." Thus it is a good season to eat mulberries.

A rare book on wild vegetables from the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644). (Photo/artron.net)A rare book on wild vegetables from the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644). (Photo/artron.net)

Eating herb of common sow thistle

Grain Buds is a season for eating the herb of the common sow thistle, which is one of the earliest edible potherbs in China.

It tastes a little bitter and tart, but also sweet. It has the function of cooling the blood and detoxifying the body. It can be made into different types of dishes. People in Ningxia like to eat it blended with salt, vinegar, peppers or garlic. It tastes savory and helps people feel refreshed. Some people boil the herb with water and then squeeze out the juice, which can be used to make soup.

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