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A solar term is any of 24 points in traditional East Asian lunisolar calendars that matches a particular astronomical event or signifies some natural phenomenon.[1] The points are spaced 15° apart along the ecliptic[2] and are used by lunisolar calendars to stay synchronized with the seasons, which is crucial for agrarian societies. The solar terms are also used to calculate intercalary months in East Asian calendars;[3] which month is repeated depends on the position of the sun at the time.

(Twenty-four) solar terms
Chinese name
Traditional Chinese(二十四)節氣
Simplified Chinese(二十四)节气
Vietnamese name
Vietnamese alphabet(hai mươi tư) tiết khí
Chữ Nôm(𠄩𨒒四)節氣
Korean name
Hangul(이십사)절기
Hanja(二十四)節氣
Japanese name
Kanji(二十四)節気
Hiragana(にじゅうし)せっき

According to the Book of Documents, the first determined term was the Winter Solstice, also named Dongzhi by Zhou Gong, while he was trying to locate the geological center of his kingdom, by measuring the length of the sun's shadow on an ancient timekeeper instrument named Tu Gui(土圭)[4]. Then four terms of seasons were set, which were soon evolved as eight terms; until 104 B. C. in the book Taichu Calendar, the entire 24 solar terms were officially included in Chinese calendar[5].

Because the Sun's speed along the ecliptic varies depending on the Earth-Sun distance, the number of days that it takes the Sun to travel between each pair of solar terms varies slightly throughout the year. Each solar term is divided into three pentads [ja] (候 hòu) (ja), so there are 72 pentads in a year. Each pentad consists of five, rarely six, days, and are mostly named after phenological (biological or botanical) phenomena corresponding to the pentad.

Solar terms originated in China, then spread to Korea, Vietnam, and Japan, countries in the East Asian cultural sphere. Although each term was named based on the seasonal changes of climate in North China Plain, peoples living in the different climates still use it with no changes.[6] This is exhibited by the fact that traditional Chinese, Hanja, and Kanji characters for most of the solar terms are identical.

On December 1, 2016, 24 Solar Terms were listed as UNESCO's Intangible Cultural Heritage.[7]

Contents

List of solar termsEdit

Sun's
ecliptical
longitude
Chinese
name [8]
Korean name
[9]
Vietnamese
name
Japanese
name
Gregorian
Date [10]
(± 1 day)
Reference for
Month Intercalating
Remark[11][12]
315° 立春
lìchūn
立春 (입춘/립춘)
ipchun/ripchun
Lập xuân 立春(りっしゅん)
risshun
Feb 4 1st month initial spring begins
330° 雨水
yǔshuǐ[13]
雨水 (우수)
usu
Vũ thủy 雨水(うすい)
usui
Feb 19 1st month midpoint more rain than snow
345° 驚蟄 (惊蛰)
jīngzhé[14]
驚蟄 (경칩)
gyeongchip
Kinh trập 啓蟄(けいちつ)
keichitsu
Mar 6 2nd month initial hibernating insects awaken
春分
chūnfēn
春分 (춘분)
chunbun
Xuân phân 春分(しゅんぶん)
shunbun
Mar 21 2nd month midpoint spring center (equinox)
15° 清明
qīngmíng[15]
淸明 (청명)
cheongmyeong
Thanh minh 清明(せいめい)
seimei
Apr 5 3rd month initial clear and bright
30° 穀雨 (谷雨)
gǔyǔ[16]
穀雨 (곡우)
gogu
Cốc vũ 穀雨(こくう)
kokuu
Apr 20 3rd month midpoint wheat rain
45° 立夏
lìxià
立夏 (입하/립하)
ipha/ripha
Lập hạ 立夏(りっか)
rikka
May 6 4th month initial summer begins
60° 小滿 (小满)
xiǎomǎn
小滿 (소만)
soman
Tiểu mãn 小満(しょうまん)
shōman
May 21 4th month midpoint creatures plenish
75° 芒種 (芒种)
mángzhòng
芒種 (망종)
mangjong
Mang chủng 芒種(ぼうしゅ)
bōshu
Jun 6 5th month initial seeding millet
90° 夏至
xiàzhì
夏至 (하지)
haji
Hạ chí 夏至(げし)
geshi
Jun 21 5th month midpoint summer maximum (solstice)
105° 小暑
xiǎoshǔ
小暑 (소서)
soseo
Tiểu thử 小暑(しょうしょ)
shōsho
Jul 7 6th month initial a bit sweltering
120° 大暑
dàshǔ
大暑 (대서)
daeseo
Đại thử 大暑(たいしょ)
taisho
Jul 23 6th month midpoint most sweltering
135° 立秋
lìqiū
立秋 (입추/립추)
ipchu/ripchu
Lập thu 立秋(りっしゅう)
risshū
Aug 8 7th month initial autumn begins
150° 處暑 (处暑)
chǔshǔ
處暑 (처서)
cheoseo
Xử thử 処暑(しょしょ)
shosho
Aug 23 7th month midpoint heat withdraws
165° 白露
báilù
白露 (백로)
baekno/baekro
Bạch lộ 白露(はくろ)
hakuro
Sep 8 8th month initial dews
180° 秋分
qiūfēn
秋分 (추분)
chubun
Thu phân 秋分(しゅうぶん)
shūbun
Sep 23 8th month midpoint autumn center (equinox)
195° 寒露
hánlù
寒露 (한로)
hanlo
Hàn lộ 寒露(かんろ)
kanro
Oct 8 9th month initial cold dews
210° 霜降
shuāngjiàng
霜降 (상강)
sanggang
Sương giáng 霜降(そうこう)
sōkō
Oct 23 9th month midpoint frost
225° 立冬
lìdōng
立冬 (입동/립동)
ipdong/ripdong
Lập đông 立冬(りっとう)
rittō
Nov 7 10th month initial winter begins
240° 小雪
xiǎoxuě
小雪 (소설)
soseol
Tiểu tuyết 小雪(しょうせつ)
shōsetsu
Nov 22 10th month midpoint snows a bit
255° 大雪
dàxuě
大雪 (대설)
daeseol
Đại tuyết 大雪(たいせつ)
taisetsu
Dec 7 11th month initial snows a lot
270° 冬至
dōngzhì
冬至 (동지)
dongji
Đông chí 冬至(とうじ)
tōji
Dec 22 11th month midpoint winter maximum (solstice)
285° 小寒
xiǎohán
小寒 (소한)
sohan
Tiểu hàn 小寒(しょうかん)
shōkan
Jan 6 12th month initial a bit frigid
300° 大寒
dàhán
大寒 (대한)
daehan
Đại hàn 大寒(だいかん)
daikan
Jan 20 12th month midpoint most frigid

The "Song of Solar Terms" (simplified Chinese: 节气歌; traditional Chinese: 節氣歌; pinyin: jiéqìgē) is used to ease the memorization of jiéqì:

Regional noteEdit

In Japan, the term Setsubun (節分) originally referred to the eves of Risshun (立春, 315°, the beginning of Spring) Rikka (立夏, 45°, the beginning of Summer), Risshū (立秋, 135°, the beginning of Autumn), and Rittō (立冬, 225°, the beginning of Winter), but currently mostly refers to the day before Risshun. The name of each solar term also refers to the period of time between that day and the next solar term, or 1/24th of a year.

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "24 Chinese Feasts (Jiéqì, 节气), equivalent to the 24 Chinese Solar Terms". Chinese calendar. asia-home.com.
  2. ^ Until 1644(Chinese Empire and its tributary states) or 1844(Japan) a period of time of the solar year itself had been equally divided instead of the spatial zodiac.
  3. ^ When a lunar month's end does not reach a midpoint of the solar terms, it is regarded as the last month's intercalary one instead of the true "next" month. It is called 歳中閏月法 lit."midpoint intercalating system".
  4. ^ Book of Documents.
  5. ^ Ban, Gu. Book of Han.
  6. ^ なぜずれる? 二十四節気と季節感 (Why off-point? -solar terms and our real feeling of the seasons) An example in Japan. It compares the climate of Taiyuan with that of Tokyo and Kyoto. In maritime Japanese islands difference of the seasonal gap length is the main problem. In subtropical or tropical regions including southern china climate difference is more serious.
  7. ^ "An intro to China's 24 Solar Terms". Global Times. Retrieved 2016-12-01.
  8. ^ Simplified Chinese characters are shown in parentheses if they differ from the Traditional Chinese characters.
  9. ^ Hangul are shown in parentheses. For Hangul and romanisation, where the pronunciation differs between South Korea and North Korea, the South Korean pronunciation is given first before the slash, followed by the North Korean pronunciation.
  10. ^ Date can vary within a ±1 day range.
  11. ^ literal meaning based on the climate of North China
  12. ^ "24 solar terms中国24节气中英文对照 Flashcards | Quizlet". quizlet.com. Retrieved 2016-12-20.
  13. ^ the Yushi and Jingzhe have been exchanged by Liu Xin in Han dynasty.
  14. ^ the Jingzhe and Yushi have been exchanged by Liu Xin in Han dynasty.
  15. ^ the Qingmin and Guyu have been exchanged by Liu Xin in Han dynasty.
  16. ^ the Guyu and Qingmin have been exchanged by Liu Xin in Han dynasty.

External linksEdit