Frost Descent (shuāng jiàng霜降)
In the Gregorian calendar,the Frost Descent usually falls around October 23, and more often refers in particular to the day when the sun is exactly at the celestial longitude of 210°. As its name suggests, the Frost Descent signifies that the weather has become cold and frost has begun to fall.
During the Frost Descent, people in some parts of Guangzhou Province follow the custom of “driving away the ghost,” where children pile up tiles to create a tower and then start a fire inside the tower. Once the tiles have burned until they are red, the children destroy the tower and put taros into the ruins. After taros have ripened, the tiles are thrown away. The entire process embodies the simple wish to drive away misfortune and evil.
In some places in China, people eat persimmons to ward off the cold and to strengthen their muscles and bones. According to elders in Quanzhou, eating persimmons on the Frost Descent can help one avoid a runny nose in the winter. People in other parts of China like to eat beef on the Frost Descent.
I updated this article on April 18, 2013
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