Dashu 大暑


Chinese Name: 大暑

English Name: Dashu; Major Heat; the 12th of the 24 Solar Terms

Date: July 22 (or 23, or 24)

Sun Position: Celestial Longitude of 120°

Dashu 大暑
Dashu 大暑

Brief Introduction

Dashu 大暑 is the 12th of the 24 Solar Terms二十四节气. It begins when the Sun reaches the celestial longitude of 120° and ends when it reaches the longitude of 135°. It more often refers in particular to the day when the Sun is exactly at the celestial longitude of 120°. During Major Heat, most parts of China enter the hottest season of the year.

During Major Heat, the sunshine, high temperatures, and heavy rainfall are good for agricultural crops. But like Minor Heat, many natural calamities such as floods, droughts and typhoons also happen during Major Heat. Therefore, it’s important to harvest and plant in time to avoid setbacks caused by natural disasters.

Dashu 大暑
Rice 水稻

Climatic Change

In the period time of Dashu, just before and after the middle of the Dog day, the weather has entered the hottest period of the year. At this time, it is also the same season of rain and heat, and the rainfall is significantly higher than other months. The monsoon climate is the main feature of China’s climate.

In summer, affected by the warm and humid airflow from the ocean, many parts of my country are hot, humid and rainy. Although there will be hot and humid pain, it creates favourable conditions for the growth of crops, which also leads to the fastest growth of crops during this period.

Dashu 大暑

During the Dashu Period, most parts of China have entered the hottest period of the year. Except for the Qinghai青海Tibetan Plateau青藏高原 and the northern part of Northeast China, the weather in most areas is hot. The high temperature of 35℃ is a common phenomenon, and even the high temperature of 40℃ will occur. There is little difference in temperature between the north and south of the country.

Health tips in Dashu

The time to fall asleep in summer should be later, when the heat period of the day has passed, and the night is cooler and easier to fall asleep. Wake up time can be appropriate earlier, because the time of daybreak is earlier, which is in line with the corresponding health care methods of heaven and man. At this time, work should be arranged reasonably, attention should be paid to the combination of work and rest, avoid sun exposure, and pay attention to indoor cooling. Appropriately add water, people with cold constitution should drink hot drinks rather than drink too many cold juices through the temporary coolness.

During the Dashu, the digestive function of the stomach is relatively weak, and the diet is mainly light, and fatty, spicy and fried foods are not allowed. Eat more food that clears heat and strengthens the spleen, such as Lotus seed, Lilium, etc.

Folk-Custom Activity

Sending the Major Heat ship 送大暑船

Sending the “Major Heat ship” is a traditional folk custom in the coastal areas of Zhejiang浙江, especially in many fishing villages in Taizhou台州. When the “Dashu Boat” is sent, there are colourful folk performances.

Dashu 大暑
Sending the Major Heat ship 送大暑船

The ship is filled with various animals for sacrifices such as pigs, sheep, chicken, fish, and shrimps. More than 50 fishermen take turns carrying the ship as they march through the streets. Drums are played and fireworks are lit. Both sides of the street are filled with people praying for blessings.

After a series of ceremonies, the ship is finally carried to the wharf. Then, the ship is pulled out of the fishing port and burned at sea. People carry out this ritual to pray for good harvests and health.

Cricket fighting 斗蟋蟀

Dashu is the season when there are the most crickets in rural fields, and people in many parts of China have the custom of fighting crickets for fun after eating and drinking. Adults will first take children to catch crickets in the fields, and then play cricket-fighting games under the big tree, which is very interesting. The custom dates back more than 1,000 years to the Tang Dynasty唐朝 (AD 618-907).

Dashu 大暑
Cricket fighting 斗蟋蟀

Eating grass jelly 吃仙草

Chinese mesona also named Platostoma palustre仙草, whose stems and leaves can be made into herb jelly after being dried in the sun. The whole grass of jelly contains polysaccharides, which have the functions of relieving summer heat, clearing heat, cooling blood and detoxifying. Folks often use its stems to boil with water and then add thin starch to make jelly. Folks call it “grass jelly”, which is an excellent food for relieving summer heat and quenching thirst.

Dashu 大暑
grass jelly(burning fairy grass) 仙草冻

With the amazing ability to quell the summer heat, grass jelly is described in a popular saying in Guangdong province that goes, “eating herb jelly in Major Heat will make you stay young like the immortals.

Dashu (大暑)

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