Awakening of Insects (jīng zhé惊蛰)
Introduction In the Gregorian calendar, the Awakening of Insects usually falls around March 5, and more often refers in particular to the day when the sun is exactly at the celestial longitude of 345°. During that time, the temperature is rising rapidly and is at an average of 12 °C to 14 °C. The traditional Chinese farming culture believed that on Awakening of Insects, thunders begin and wake up the hibernating insects. As the weather gets warmer and the rainfall increases, it is the best time for farmers to plant. Customs Awakening of Insects, an important solar term since ancient times has long been regarded as the beginning of spring planting. According to farming customs, if the first thunder of the year happens on this day, it will bring good luck to the entire agricultural production year, but if the first thunder happens before this day, the following period will be rainy and the autumn harvest will be bad. There is an old saying that describes the scene: “thunder happens in the Awakening of Insects; rain never stops in February.” Most Awakening of Insects customs are related to eating snacks like pancakes, parched beans, pears, and fried corns, all symbolizing harmful insects in the field. Eating these snacks is akin to killing the pests and wishing for a good harvest. For example, in some area of Shandong Province, farmers start a fire and bake pancakes in the yard during the day; in Shannxi Province, people eat parched beans; in the Yanshan area of Shanxi Province, farmers prefer to eat pears; and the Yao people in Jinxiu County of Guanxi Province get together to eat fried corn, called “fried insects,” and compete with each other to see who can eat the most.