Da Shu or Great Heat is the twelfth solar term of the 24 traditional Chinese solar terms, and also the last solar term of the summer season. It falls between July 22 and 24 in the Gregorian calendar, but this year it falls on July 22nd. Great Heat period is the time with the highest temperature of the year. In most areas of China, especially in the eastern part of South China, they will witness the most frequent occurrence of high temperature which is more than 35℃. Crops grow most rapidly on these days, but at the same time, meteorological disasters such as drought, flood and windstorm frequently happen. During the days of the Great Heat, it is a custom for some people to drink herbal tea, dry ginger in the sun, burn summer incense etc. as well as paying attention to health preservation.
Some areas in southern China, such as Zhejiang, hold an event called “Boat of Heat” during the Great Heat. The “Boat of Heat” is a big wooden boat stuffed with many types of food. Many fishermen take turns carrying the “Boat of heat” on the streets and then send it to the river, and burn it down when it arrives at the sea. By doing this, they believe that the bad weather and bad luck will leave with the boat, after which the weather will become better and the risk of the flood will be eliminated. On the day of the Great Heat, people in Putian in Fujian-province have the custom of eating lychees and lambs, which is called “to celebrate Great Heat.” Many areas in Shandong have the custom of “drinking sheep during the summer”. There are also many places in Guangdong that have the custom of eating mesona. In Taiwan, there is the custom of eating pineapples during the Great Heat, because the people think that pineapples are the best in this season. In addition, the taiwanese pronunciation of pineapple is the same as “Wang Lai”, which means the prosperous is coming. Therefore, in some areas it is also used as a symbol of praying for peace and prosperity.
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