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China Daily (Canada) - - YOUTH -

Ac­cord­ing to the Chi­nese lu­nar cal­en­dar, the Au­tum­nal Equinox ( qi­ufen) is the day when night and day are of equal length.

Af­ter that day, the lo­ca­tion of di­rect sun­light moves to the south, mak­ing the days shorter and nights longer in the north­ern hemi­sphere.

Part of the cul­tural her­itage of China, the 24 So­lar Terms em­body Chi­nese peo­ple’s ex­pe­ri­ence and knowl­edge of as­tron­omy, phe­nol­ogy and agri­cul­tural me­te­o­rol­ogy.

The 24 So­lar Terms was in­cluded in the UNESCO In­tan­gi­ble Cul­tural Her­itage Lists in Novem­ber.

On this year’s qi­ufen, which fell on Sept 23, the awards cer­e­mony for the Logo De­sign Con­test for China’s 24 So­lar Terms was held in the cap­i­tal as part of this year’s Bei­jing De­sign Week.

The con­test was open to both pro­fes­sion­als and ju­ve­niles, and 1,520 de­sign works from 97 pri­mary schools and 125 com­mu­ni­ties in Bei­jing were re­ceived in the ju­ve­nile group, of which dozens won awards of best de­sign and most cre­ative, and 60 fi­nal­ists were short­listed.

Zeng Hui, plan­ning di­rec­tor of Bei­jing De­sign Week, ini­ti­ated by the Min­istry of Cul­ture and the Peo­ple’s Gov­ern­ment of Bei­jing Mu­nic­i­pal­ity, says the stu­dents’ works em­bod­ied their own vis­ual in­ter­pre­ta­tions of the cal­en­dar.

“Teenagers learned about the so­lar terms through de­sign, which helped raise their aware­ness of na­ture and the life cy­cle of the sea­sons,” Zeng says.

Huang Yifei, 11, a 6th-grade stu­dent at the Af­fil­i­ated Pri­mary School of Bei­jing Petroleum Col­lege, won a best de­sign award for a draw­ing of White Dew ( bailu).

“I learned about the 24 So­lar Terms in kinder­garten and I’ve also learned a song about them in pri­mary school,” Yifei says.

“White Dew is my fa­vorite so­lar term as it’s very po­etic. It in­di­cates the real be­gin­ning of au­tumn.”

This year’s White Dew was on Sept 7, and Yifei read many po­ems about this so­lar term be­fore fi­nally choos­ing a poem by Du Fu, a Tang Dy­nasty (618-907) poet, as her in­spi­ra­tion.

“Du’s poem goes, ‘The dew starts to be white from tonight and the moon is brighter in my home­town’,” says Yifei.

“In Du’s poem, he ex­pressed his home­sick­ness by hear­ing Some teenage fi­nal­ists a wild goose’s au­tumn night.”

“I drew a full moon be­cause the White Dew is near mid-au­tumn and used a honk on an dark color night.

“I used a pen to draw the lines and then col­ored my de­sign with marker pens,” to show it was Yifei ex­plains.

Shao Liyuan, an art teacher at Cui­wei Pri­mary School, was awarded the best tu­tor.

“Our stu­dents were en­thu­si­as­tic and cre­ative about the de­sign con­test. More than 95 per­cent of the stu­dents in each class took part in the com­pe­ti­tion. We won a dozen awards,” Shao says.

The de­signs were all orig­i­nal ideas by the stu­dents.

“As a tu­tor, I just helped them to ac­com­plish their ideas,” Shao says.

“The com­pe­ti­tion also brought par­ents closer to their chil­dren, as they helped ex­plain the so­lar terms.”

Yin Yue, the mother of Chen Sizhuo, 10, who won awards for de­signs for six so­lar terms in­clud­ing Rain Wa­ter ( yushui) and In­sects Awak­en­ing ( jingzhe), says: “I searched the in­for­ma­tion of the so­lar terms and told my son the story of each so­lar term. We both learned to­gether.”

Many pri­mary schools in Bei­jing sup­ported the com­pe­ti­tion. Feng­tai No 1 Pri­mary School or­ga­nized hun­dreds of stu­dents to join the con­test, and they worked in var­i­ous medi­ums, in­clud­ing tra­di­tional Chi­nese paint­ing, dough mod­el­ing and seal cut­ting.

“We were sur­prised by the stu­dents’ works. They were not just paint­ings, but de­signs,” says Yin Nan, prin­ci­pal of Bei­jing Feng­tai No 1 Pri­mary School.

“The com­pe­ti­tion pro­vides a plat­form for our stu­dents, so they can be con­fi­dent about them­selves and care for na­ture at a young age.”

Some of the prize win­ners will visit UN head­quar­ters in New York in Fe­bru­ary.

“We en­cour­age our stu­dents to go out,” Yin says. “We want to see how cre­ative our stu­dents can be.”

Con­tact the writer at liy­ingxue@ chi­

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