Twenty-four solar terms heaven, earth and people

  The twenty-four solar terms are the knowledge system and social practice formed by the Chinese people by observing the annual movement of the sun and recognizing the changing laws of seasons, climate, phenology, etc. and the time system created by the laws of climate change.

It is not only the embodiment of the Chinese ecological thought of "harmony between man and nature", but also condenses the ecological wisdom of adapting measures to the times, local conditions and circular development.

  The twenty-four solar terms are the basic principles for Chinese ancestors to understand and transform nature, society, and life. They demonstrate the uniqueness of the Chinese people's understanding of the universe and nature, and have important practical significance for promoting green development and building ecological civilization today.

①Provide an important reference for people to understand and adapt to nature

  For thousands of years, in this specific geographical and cultural "soil" of China, the 24 solar terms have guided people to cultivate in spring and summer, harvest in autumn and store in winter, not only raising Chinese children, but also creating a brilliant farming civilization.

  The twenty-four solar terms are an important reference for people to understand and conform to nature.

Among the 24 solar terms, there are "Si Li", which characterizes seasonal changes, "two to two points", which indicate the pole and midpoint of the sun's movement, and "three summers and two colds", which represent the temperature change curve, which indicate natural phenology and crop maturity. The degree of "stinging, clear, full, and awning", "two rains, two snows" expressing rainfall, snowfall time, and intensity, and "two dew, one frost" expressing the condensation and sublimation of water vapor.

In addition, seventy-two phenotypes are further subdivided, including 40 phenotypes that reflect animal migration, singing, etc., 13 phenotypes that reflect plant growth and flowering, and 6 that reflect water, ice, rain, dew, and spring. Hou Ying, 13 Hou Ying reflecting the sky, earth, air, wind, thunder, electricity, rainbow.

These laws of change found in the observation of nature are the basic basis for Chinese ancestors to understand nature, and also an important guideline for people to adapt to nature.

  The Warring States Period "Lv's Spring and Autumn Period": "Husband crops are made by people, born by the earth, and raised by the sky." Agriculture is a social industry that uses biological life activities for production. Its basic logic is The logic of life is also the logic of ecology.

Since the growth and development of crops are inseparable from factors such as light, temperature, air, heat, and water, agricultural production activities must conform to the seasonal and climatic characteristics of the growing environment of crops, which requires people to accurately observe the weather and grasp the agricultural time.

A proverb goes: "There are no fixed rules for farming, it depends on the solar terms." The 24 solar terms represent the distinctive features of the season, climate and phenology of each time period. It enables crops to be "appropriate at the right time and suitable for the right place", and produce products that conform to local characteristics, have regional characteristics, and give full play to local advantages according to local conditions, and obtain good harvests.

  Chinese ancestors unified astronomical phenomena, phenology, and personnel into a well-organized time order, arranged production labor, daily life and festival activities according to the characteristics of solar terms, and maintained many unifications between human time and sky time, reflecting human time and The characteristics of being based on the time of day and moving closer to the time of day reflect the characteristics that daily production and life follow the laws of nature.

This kind of taking natural time as the basis of living time contains the ecological wisdom of harmony between man and nature.

  Man is a product of nature, a part of all things in the universe, and human beings and nature are of the same origin.

This idea is called "harmony between man and nature", and it is the mainstream concept of traditional Chinese culture.

Taking "harmony between man and nature" as the theoretical origin and logical starting point, agro-ecological thoughts such as the "Three Talents Theory" came into being. "Three talents" refers to the three elements of heaven, earth and man.

The twenty-four solar terms are the time guide for people's production and life, guiding people to follow the way of harmonious coexistence of heaven, earth, man and matter.

②The achievements of artistic creativity and international expression are becoming more and more fruitful

  The successful application of the twenty-four solar terms to the World Heritage List has awakened the deep cultural memory of the Chinese nation, stimulated the vitality of the inheritance, dissemination and creative transformation of the solar terms culture, and the achievements of artistic creativity and international expression have become more and more fruitful.

The twenty-four solar terms have become the cultural focus of the people of the whole country and a typical representative of the Chinese excellent traditional culture going international.

  The sky is always there, and the four seasons are good.

Every season will come as scheduled, every solar term will come on time, and people will still look forward to it.

The rotation of the solar terms will not only bring about obvious climate changes, changes in the landscape and the rotation of the stars in the sky, but also each solar term has its customs, seasonal food and health preservation.

The twenty-four solar terms folk culture is very rich in content and has a wide range of participants.

The rich and colorful solar term folk cultural activities convey the profound heritage of local culture, meet the needs of the people for physical and mental health and quality of life, lead the public to sublime their understanding of the cultural value of the twenty-four solar terms, and activate people's creativity in local life. Strengthen the emotional bond between people in the community.

  In recent years, cultural and artistic creativity with the theme of the twenty-four solar terms has been very active. Judging from the participation in the annual twenty-four solar terms cultural product design competition, a total of 4,363 pieces (sets) of works participated in the first competition held in 2020. The number of entries in the second competition doubled to nearly 9,000 pieces (sets), covering four categories: visual communication, creative images, cultural and creative objects, and digital technology.

  Not only that, the film and television cultural works of solar term culture have also sprung up in an endless stream.

These film and television works dig deep into the cultural connotation of solar terms in the form of elegant and popular appreciation, and provide audiences with one after another delightful and interesting cultural feast, allowing modern people to experience the beauty of ancient solar terms culture.

  The most shocking and touching thing for the Chinese people is that the opening ceremony of the Beijing Winter Olympics ingeniously used twenty-four solar terms to count down. This short video selects a representative image from each solar term, which is magnificent in the Forbidden City, the Great Wall, the Temple of Heaven and China. Against the backdrop of landscapes and cultural landscapes, with beautiful or dynamic pictures of the Winter Olympics and ice and snow, they will appear in sequence according to the solar terms, citing a well-known ancient poem to explain the meaning, perfectly combining Chinese tradition and modern aesthetics, showing the essence of Chinese culture. unique charm.

③Cultural wealth originating from China and going to the world

  The twenty-four solar terms originating from the Yellow River Basin spread throughout the country.

During the Qin and Han dynasties, when the intensive cultivation of dry land was formed, the ancestors of China created the 24 solar terms based on the climate and phenology of the Yellow River Basin, which were incorporated into the Taichu Calendar in 104 BC and promulgated nationwide. The changing rhythm has become a universal calendar used in ancient China to guide production and life, and has continuously penetrated into all aspects of the production and life of the Chinese nation.

According to the local specific weather, climate and other characteristics, countless solar term proverbs are created in various places to guide production and life, so that they can "take root" in the local area.

  China's 24 solar terms have not only been passed down for a long time and widely spread on the land of China, but also affected many countries such as Japan, North Korea, South Korea, Vietnam, Malaysia, etc., leaving a profound solar term in the production and life of people in East and Southeast Asia. Cultural imprint.

As early as 552 AD, the twenty-four solar terms were introduced to Japan along with the Chinese calendar; during the Three Kingdoms period of Korea, the Baekje Kingdom had used the Chinese "Yuanjia Calendar" containing the twenty-four solar terms; Vietnam introduced the Chinese "Yuanjia Calendar" in 1324. Timing Calendar".

These countries have retained most of the solar terms on the basis of the Chinese calendar, and adjusted the time or names of some of the solar terms to create a calendar that suits their local characteristics.

The localized 24 solar terms system has influenced the agriculture, calendar, festivals, social interaction, language, literature and art, clothing, food, housing and transportation of East Asian and Southeast Asian countries in a rich and diverse form, and it is still alive today.

  The twenty-four solar terms are cultural wisdom with scientific quality. They represent the time sequence of changes in light, temperature, phenology, etc. It is generally applicable to the Yellow River, the Yangtze River Basin and even the northern hemisphere. Even the southern hemisphere can learn from its definition and connotation. suitability.

All human beings create their own time system by observing the movement of the sun, the cycle of the moon, and the movement of the stars.

"Two to two points" is the basis for the division of the four seasons in various countries, and many ethnic groups in Europe and Asia also have the solar terms cultural tradition of "two to" and "two points".

Although many ethnic groups determine the season by observing the sun's annual trajectory, the time knowledge system established by the ancestors of China is not only long-standing and continuous, with a complete structure and profound connotation, but also rich in historical materials and extensive influence. Nation has important reference value.

  Throughout human history, the relationship between man and nature is the basic proposition of human society.

The twenty-four solar terms indicate that human beings should be in harmony with nature and the way of heaven, embodying the concept of respecting nature, complying with laws and sustainable development, revealing the code of harmonious coexistence between man and nature, and can provide guidelines for promoting the construction of a community of life on earth , is the cultural wealth shared by mankind.

  (The author is Tang Zhiqiang, deputy director and research librarian of the Twenty-Four Solar Terms Research Center of the China Agricultural Museum)

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