Tomorrow is equinox. Do you know what equinox means? There is a proverb that says: "after eating the spring equinox, the day is long.". It means the equinox of day and night. Vernal equinox, as one of the only two equinox days in the 24 solar terms, is also the equinox of spring, which is an important solar term.
Origin and custom of vernal equinox
The vernal equinox starts on March 20 (or 21) and ends on April 4 (or 5). Vernal equinox, on March 20 or 21 of the Gregorian calendar, begins when the sun reaches 0 degrees (vernal equinox). This day is an average day and night, half of the nineties in spring, so it is called the 'equinox'.
On the Equinox Day, the sun shines directly on the equator, and the day and night are almost equal. Then the position of direct sunlight gradually moves northward, and the days begin to be longer and the nights shorter. Equinox is a relatively important solar term, which not only has astronomical significance: the northern and southern hemispheres Equinox Day and night; in terms of climate, it also has more obvious characteristics. During the equinox season, except for the Qinghai Tibet Plateau, Northeast China, Northwest China and northern North China, China has entered a beautiful spring. In the vast land of Liaoning, willows are green, yingfeicao is long, wheat is jointing, and rape is fragrant.
"Yueling 72 Hou Ji Jie": "(summer calendar) in February, the cent is half, this is the half of 90 days, so it is called the cent. Autumn is synonymous with autumn. In Dong Zhongshu's spring and autumn complex dew: as for the moon in the middle of spring, Yang is in the East and Yin is in the west, it is called the equinox. Spring equinox, yin and Yang phase half also, so both day and night and cold and heat flat. '
The custom of equinox
1、 Vertical egg
On the equinox every year, tens of millions of people around the world are doing the experiment of erecting eggs. It is difficult to find out why this "Chinese custom" has become a "world game". But it's easy and fun to play: choose a smooth, well proportioned, fresh egg that has just been born for four or five days, and gently stand it up on the table. Although there are many losers, there are also many winners.
Spring is divided into the best time of the egg game, so there is a saying that when the equinox comes, the eggs are pretty. The egg that stands up is not beautiful.
2、 Eating spring food (Lingnan custom)
The surname Xie of Cangcheng town in Kaiping, formerly Siyi (now with Heshan as Wuyi), has a non festival custom, which is called 'eating spring vegetables on the equinox'. 'Chuncai' is a kind of wild amaranth, which is called 'chunbihao' by villagers. On that day, the whole village went to pick spring vegetables. When searching in the field, it is usually light green, thin trees, about the length of palm. Spring vegetables are usually boiled with fish fillets at home, which is called spring soup.
There is a doggerel: "spring soup, wash the liver and intestines. The whole family, young and old, is safe and healthy. Since the spring of the year, what people pray for is peace and health in their homes.
3、 Spring cattle
The spring equinox arrived, and the picture of sending spring cattle from house to house appeared at that time. The picture is printed on the red or yellow paper with the lunar solar terms of the whole year, as well as the pattern of farmers' farming, which is called the picture of spring cattle. The people who send pictures are all good folk singers. They mainly say that spring ploughing and auspiciousness do not violate the farming time. Every time they go to a family, they are even more improvised. They say what they see until they give money to the owner. Although words come out casually, every sentence has its own rhyme. It is commonly known as "spring", and people who say "spring" are called "spring officials".
4、 Sticky sparrow mouth
On the spring equinox, every farmer has a holiday according to the custom. Every family has to eat more than ten or twenty or thirty soups that don't need to be wrapped in the heart. They use bamboo branches to place them on the side of the field outside, which is called sticky sparrow mouth, so as not to damage the crops.
It's also a good time for children to fly kites during the equinox. Especially on the equinox. Even adults are involved. There are three types of kites: Wang Zi kite, silver carp kite, MI moth kite, Lei Gong insect kite and Yue Er Guang kite. The bigger one is two meters high, and the smaller one is two or three feet high. There are kites on the market. Most of them are small and suitable for children to play. Most of them are bigger and paste by themselves. They have to compete with each other to see which one is higher.
5、 Spring Festival
On the spring equinox of February, we began to sweep tombs and offer sacrifices to ancestors, also called spring sacrifice. Before sweeping the tomb, a ceremonious ancestor worship ceremony should be held in the ancestral hall. Pigs and sheep should be slaughtered, and drummers should be invited to play. The ritual students should chant the sacrificial rites and lead the three sacrificial rites. At the beginning of spring equinox tomb sweeping, the first thing to do is to sweep the graves of kaijizu and Yuanzu. The whole family and the whole village have to go out. The scale is very large, and the team often reaches hundreds or even thousands of people. After the tombs of kaijizu and Yuanzu were swept, they were divided into different rooms to sweep the tombs of their ancestors, and finally each family swept the private tombs of their families.
In most Hakka areas, spring ancestor worship and tomb sweeping begin at the vernal equinox or earlier, and finish at the latest during the Qingming Festival. There is a saying all over the country that the tomb door will be closed after the Qingming Festival, and the ancestors' spirits will not be used.
6、 Worship God
The folk festivals around the spring equinox include the birthday of kaizhangshengwang on February 15: kaizhangshengwang, also known as chenshengwang, was Chen Yuanguang, a military scholar of the Tang Dynasty. He made great contributions to Zhangzhou and became the patron saint of Zhangzhou after his death. On February 19, the birthday of Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva. On every birthday, many believers go to all the temples to worship. February 25 Sanshan King's Memorial Day: Sanshan King refers to the mountain gods of Dushan, Mingshan and Jinshan in Jieyang County, Chaozhou Prefecture, Guangdong Province. In the early years, spring was the patron saint of Hakka immigrants from Chaozhou, so the believers were mainly Hakka.