Hey Hey and a Big G'Day toya,
So, there I was on an outing with the Kinder last Friday when my phone went Beep Beep, or Deet Deet as Beep Beep is known here in China. Why Deet Deet and not Beep Beep? I never really got it until the other day. It’s not actually the car, truck or bus horns that sound like Deet Deet because they in fact do sound like Beep Beep, but it’s the little motor scooters and Escooters that do actually make a Deet Deet sound.
As for why many other sounds are so different when vocalised by the Chinese compared to me or 'us’ from the west, they just are.
Anyhow, where was I before you all side tracked me regarding Beep Beep and Deet Deet and why Chinese frogs say Gwok Gwok and not Gribbit Gribbit, Oh, so my phone went Deet Deet Gwok and I got a message from Ting Ting saying, I’ve got four days off, I’m on my way now and I’ll be there at 18:00.
Messages like that are so cool, they are just one huge, Deet Deet Gwok full of warmth and surprise! How’s the weather lately?
Well, up and down. Can be anywhere from 14 to 25 during the day. A lot of rain, far too much rain, the rains becoming a pain, it allows no gain…well, except for sleep. How was the weekend? Two bottles of vodka and many Bloody Mary's were partaken in, much walking and most of all a hell of a lot of snacks were eaten.
More of more of the places you see in the photos below later. For now here are eight things you will probably remember or think of again about what's called, the Chinese ‘Start of Winter’.
The traditional Chinese lunar calendar divides the year into 24 solar terms. Start of Winter, the 19th solar term of the year, begins this year on Nov 7 and ends on Nov 21. Start of Winter is the first solar term of winter, which means winter is coming and crops harvested in autumn should be stored up.
Beginning of winter or not
In ancient times, the Chinese people took the Start of Winter to be the beginning of the winter. However in fact, the Start of Winter is not the beginning of winter in terms of meteorology. The climate every year is different, so the beginning of winter could be quite different and with the vast territory of China, winter in every area doesn’t begin at the same time.
Welcoming the winter in ancient times
The four beginnings of the seasons were important festivals in ancient times. Before the Start of Winter, the ancient emperor would take a shower and have no more meat. On that day, the emperor would lead his officials to the suburbs and perform the ceremony of "welcoming the winter."
Legend has it that at the end of the Eastern Han Dynasty (AD25-220), "Medical Saint" Zhang Zhongjing saved many people in Henan province from a typhoid epidemic and their ears' from being frostbitten around Start of Winter.
He cooked mutton, hot peppers and herbs to dispel the cold and increase body heat. He wrapped these ingredients into a dough skin and made them into an ear shape. Since then, people have learned to make the food which became known as "dumplings". Today there is still a saying that goes "Eat dumplings on Start of Winter Day or your ears will be frostbitten".
Yifan Festival of Mulam Ethnic Minority
Yifan Festival is one of the most important festivals of the Mulam ethnic minority in Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region. It is held around the Start of Winter every three to five years and lasts one to three days. The festival includes inviting the god, offering sacrifices, asking the god to enjoy the sacrifice, singing praise of the god, drinking wine with the blood of chicken, and sending the god off.
"Nourishing the winter"
On the first day of Start of Winter, there is a custom, "nourishing the winter", in Southeast China in places such as Fujian, Guangdong and Taiwan provinces. To prepare for the oncoming cold winter, people there like to eat high-calorie food such as chicken, duck, beef, mutton, and fish, which are usually stewed with the four Chinese medicines: angelica, ligusticum wallichii, Chinese herbaceous peony and rehmannia glutinosa libosch, to enhance the effectiveness of the nourishment.
Eating Chinese pumpkins
In Tianjin, on the first day of Start of Winter, people eat dumplings stuffed with Chinese pumpkins (wogua). It is a common vegetable in North China. Generally, the pumpkins are bought in the summer and stored until the Start of Winter when they are taken out.
Beers N Noodles toya…..shane ___________________________________________________________
The soundtrack to this entry was by Dave Brubeck The album was ‘Take Five His Greatest Hits’ ____________________________________________________________