Monday, September 8, 2008


The traditional East Asian calendars divide a year into 24 solar terms . Lìchūn or Risshun is the 1st solar term. It begins when the Sun reaches the celestial longitude of 315° and ends when it reaches the longitude of 330°. It more often refers in particular to the day when the Sun is exactly at the celestial longitude of 315°. In the Gregorian calendar, it usually begins around February 4 and ends around February 18 .


Each solar term can be divided into 3 pentads . They are: first pentad , second pentad and last pentad . Pentads in Lichun include:

; China
* First pentad: Dōng Fēng Jiě Dòng
*: ''Yuè Lìng Qī Shí &'' explains the name of this pentad:
It is not called the 'winter ice meets the spring wind and melts in the spring wind' thaw, but the 'east wind' thaw, because ''Lü Shi Chun Qiu'' said that the east is associated with wood, and wood generates fire, so the air is warm and causes ice to thaw.

* Second pentad
* Last pentad

; Japan
* First pentad: 東風解凍
* Second pentad: 黄鶯睍睆
* Last pentad: 魚上氷


Lichun signifies the beginning of in East Asian cultures. Chinese New Year is celebrated around this time. Farmers often celebrate the beginning of Lichun with special village events, worship and offerings to the gods and ceremonies for a blissful and prosperous new year. In China, people eat ''chūnbǐng'' on this day.

In the lunisolar calendar, New Year's Day might be before or after Lichun. A year without Lichun is called 無春年 . 無春年 is also known as 寡婦年 in northern China or 盲年 in southern China. Marriage is believed to be unlucky in a year without Lichun.

In the Republic of China, Lichun has been Farmer's Day since 1941.

Popular culture


Lichun was frequently mentioned in literature. The most famous reference is probably Du Fu's '''' , simply titled ''Lìchūn'' :

This poem tells us about the traditional custom of eating ''chūnbǐng'' on this day.

Further reading

* ''Yuè Lìng Qī Shí &'' by Wu Cheng

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