24 So­lar Terms added to UNESCO’s her­itage list

China Daily (USA) - - CHINA - By LIN QI linqi@chi­nadaily.com.cn

China’s Twenty-four So­lar Terms, a knowl­edge of time con­sid­ered to be the coun­try’s fifth great in­ven­tion, were added to UNESCO’s List of In­tan­gi­ble Cul­tural Her­itage onWed­nes­day.

The ad­di­tion was an­nounced by the United Na­tions Ed­u­ca­tional, Sci­en­tific and Cul­tural Or­ga­ni­za­tion, at the 11th Ses­sion of UNESCO’s In­ter­gov­ern­men­tal Com­mit­tee for the Safe­guard­ing of In­tan­gi­ble Cul­tural Her­itage, which opened on Mon­day in Ad­dis Ababa, Ethiopia.

The meet­ing con­sid­ered 37 nom­i­na­tions on the 2016 Rep­re­sen­ta­tive List of the In­tan­gi­ble Cul­tural Her­itage of Hu­man­ity.

The in­scrip­tion of the Twenty-four So­lar Terms ex­tended the num­ber of Chi­nese items on the list to 31.

An­cient Chi­nese di­vided the tra­di­tional lu­nar cal­en­der into 24 so­lar terms. The sea­son­syn­chro­niz­ing sys­tem was based on peo­ple’s ob­ser­va­tions of the sun’s an­nual mo­tion and its in­flu­ence on cli­mate, mostly car­ried out at the lower reaches of Yel­low River where Chi­nese civ­i­liza­tion was born.

The sys­tem was com­pletely es­tab­lished dur­ing the Qin (221-206 BC) and Han (206 BC-AD 220) dy­nas­ties. It was cru­cial to agri­cul­tural ac­tiv­i­ties, such as when to sow seeds and when to har­vest.

Peo­ple still use the sys­tem to bet­ter pre­pare their bod­ies for changes in cli­mate.

Daxue, or ma­jor snow, the 21st so­lar term of the year, will be­gin on Dec 8 and end on Dec 21. Dur­ing that time, tem­per­a­tures will plunge and snow, mainly in North China and some south­ern re­gions, will be­come heav­ier than the pre­vi­ous so­lar term of xi­aoxue, or mi­nor snow, which ran from Nov 22 toDec 6.

Peo­ple are ad­vised to drink hot soup with gin­ger and Chi­nese dates to fight the cold and eat or­anges to pre­vent rhini­tis and cough­ing.

The so­lar terms spread to other East Asian coun­tries such as South Korea, Ja­pan and Viet­nam. Wang Kaihao con­trib­uted to this story.


Chi­nese rep­re­sen­ta­tives ap­plaud as the Twenty-four So­lar Terms are added to UNESCO’s List of In­tan­gi­ble Cul­tural Her­itage in Ad­dis Ababa, Ethiopia, on Wed­nes­day.

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