Discover China

The Twenty-Four Solar Terms

The traditional Chinese lunar calendar divides the year into “24 solar terms”. More than 2,000 years ago, Chinese people created this framework to mark the annual passage of time. It is based on observations of the sun’s orbit. It is a marriage of astronomy and astrology.

The 24 solar terms have several applications. As it involves the rhythm of nature and the seasons, it serves as a guide to farmers. It is also used as an astrological guide, much like the Western counterpart.

In 2016, the 24 solar terms were included in UNESCO’s Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. In fact, the opening ceremony of the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics made many visual references to the 24 solar terms. With this understanding, you may appreciate this ceremony more deeply.

If you wish to learn more about “24 solar terms”, we have two links. The first gives us a background and the second one shows its beautiful application in opening ceremony of Beijing Winter Olympics

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