24 Solar Terms -- Insect Awakening

"Insect Awakening" is the third solar term among the twenty-four solar terms. It corresponds to when the sun reaches the celestial longitude of 345°, occurring around March 5-6 in the Gregorian calendar. Insect Awakening reflects the state of nature’s creatures being influenced by the rhythmic changes of the season, beginning to sprout and grow. With the arrival of Insect Awakening, yang energy rises, temperatures warm, spring thunder begins abruptly, rainfall increases, and all living things are brimming with vitality. Agricultural production is closely linked to the rhythms of nature, making the Insect Awakening solar term of significant importance in farming. It represents the reflection of ancient agricultural culture on the natural seasons.


Generally, on March 5 or 6 each year, the temperature rises quickly, and spring thunder begins to stir. According to general climatic patterns, the weather starts to warm up around Insect Awakening, with increasing rainfall. From the Insect Awakening solar term, most regions in China have entered the spring plowing season. Folk sayings like "Spring thunder sounds, all things grow" and "At Insect Awakening, hearing thunder wakes the hibernating insects" reflect the characteristics of the Insect Awakening solar term. During Insect Awakening, spring energy begins to stir, and nature gains new vitality, presenting a thriving scene.


"Insect Awakening" is also called "Jingzhe" in Chinese. "Zhe" means "to hide," referring to insects hiding in the ground during winter; "Jing" means "to awaken," with the spring thunder awakening the hibernating insects. The phrase "spring thunder awakens all insects" refers to the beginning of Insect Awakening when the spring thunder first sounds, waking the insects that hibernate underground. In ancient times, on the day of Insect Awakening, people in some places would use fragrant herbs and mugwort to fumigate the corners of their homes to drive away "snakes, insects, mosquitoes, and rats" and the smell of mold, gradually evolving into the custom of beating effigies to drive away bad luck during Insect Awakening. Additionally, there are customs like "covering drum skins," "eating pears," and "worshipping the White Tiger to resolve conflicts."


Insect Awakening is divided into three pentads: "The first pentad is when peach blossoms begin to bloom; the second pentad is when the oriole sings; the third pentad is when eagles transform into doves." This description indicates the arrival of mid-spring, a time when peach blossoms are red, pear blossoms are white, orioles are chirping, and swallows are arriving. According to general climatic patterns, the weather starts to warm up around Insect Awakening, with increasing rainfall, and most regions have already entered the spring plowing season. It is the time when various insects hibernating in the soil are awakened, and the overwintering eggs also begin to hatch. Thus, it is evident that Insect Awakening reflects the phenological phenomena of nature.


During the Insect Awakening period, there are significant weather changes, so it is important to be cautious of the fluctuations in temperature to prevent the outbreak of seasonal diseases such as colds.

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