Beating the Heat
July 15, Wuhan, Hubei Province: People play in a water park. A lengthy heat wave drove many citizens to the water park for cool fun. China entered Toufu, the first phase of Sanfu Days, also known as the dog days of summer, on July 12.
“Fu” means lying with one’s face down, a reference to weather so hot that people rest on the floor to keep their body cool. “Sanfu Days” refer to the hottest days of the year, which are split into three periods: Toufu (first fu), Zhongfu (middle fu) and Mofu (last fu). This year, Sanfu Days last for 40 days stretching from July 12 to August 20.
When the Sanfu Days arrive, many Chinese people line up at clinics to receive Sanfutie, a bandage made of traditional Chinese herbal medicine that is used to treat coughing, asthma and arthritis. In many parts of China, it’s a tradition to eat special dumplings on the first day of Toufu, that is, Toufu Dumplings.