Winter has arrived... 立冬 Lì Dōng
Today (Nov. 7) marks the beginning of winter in China with the start of the 19th solar term in the Chinese calendar 立冬 Lì Dōng, literally 'stand up winter'. Li Dong starts when the handle of the Big Dipper points northwest and the solar longitude reaches 225 degrees. The Chinese lunar calendar is divided into 24 solar terms (节气 jiéqì) based on seasonal changes and natural phenomenon.
Each term has its own associated customs, traditions, and recipes well alive today. Also TCM makes use of the terms, each posing opportunities or threats for your holistic health with related suggestions for food, way of life or herbal medicine.
Here in Beijing, it is already getting colder and we are waiting for the central city heating system to be turned on in a couple of days. Meanwhile we keep comfortable with a little electric stove and hot tea and today we celebrated the beginning of winter with steaming hot dumplings for lunch in our school :-)
It is said that upcoming winter will be the coldest since decades, whether measured by temperature or the geopolitical climate remains to be seen. Either way good to be prepared... keep warm, resilient, solidary, happy and healthy.