Chinese Frost’s Descent: last solar term in autumn

Oct. 23 marks the beginning of the Frost’s Descent, also known as “Shuangjiang” in China.

The Frost’s Descent is the 18th of 24 solar terms in the Chinese lunar calendar. It refers to the time of year when frost starts to creep across China, dew becoming icy thanks to plummeting temperatures, as recorded in ancient Chinese books.

As the last solar term in autumn, the Frost’s Descent, bringing frost and freezing winds, is considered autumn’s last chapter and the prelude to the coming winter.

Traditional customs:

The Frost’s Descent, with clear autumn skies and refreshing air, is an excellent time go hiking and catch the sights from high up in the mountains. Many Chinese believe that Shuangjiang is a good time to go walking in the highlands and enjoy the beauty of nature.

During this bright autumnal time, Chinese folks also enjoy chrysanthemum flowers, which blossom in late autumn and are known as the “flower of longevity.”

Eating persimmons during this period is also a traditional Chinese custom. An old Chinese saying goes that eating persimmons can prevent a runny nose. The Chinese think that these fruits not only keep out the cold, but also supplement the human body with necessary vitamins to fight off winter illnesses.

Healthy living tips:

Shuangjiang is the best time to adjust to a healthy lifestyle, which reflects the belief that this is a critical time to focus on health. “Keeping warm” becomes a top priority.

As the climate is arid after the Frost’s Descent, seasonal fruit and vegetables such as cabbage, green radishes, persimmons, and pears are good choices to keep healthy and hydrated.