Friday, December 21, 2012

Hark! The End of the World is Nigh...

Today is the end of the world, according to the Mayan calendar, or, at least, the end of the era of the Corn People, according to 2012: A Time for Change. To celebrate, I spent twelve hours in bed until I was rousted by a colleague asking if I knew about the fire at 7.8 Mall last night. (Alas, it is the beginning of the end!) I got up and ate candle sausage (腊肠) for breakfast.

Today is also the beginning of winter in China, which has 24 special days to mark the year. Some of the names will sound familiar; others are pure poetry.

立春 the Beginning of Spring

雨水 Rain Water

惊蛰 the Waking of Insects

春分 the Spring Equinox

清明 Pure Brightness

谷雨 Grain Rain


立夏 the Beginning of Summer

小满 Grain Full

芒种 Grain in Ear

夏至 the Summer Solstice

小暑 Slight Heat

大暑 Great Heat


立秋 the Beginning of Autumn

处暑the Limit of Heat

白露 White Dew

秋分 the Autumnal Equinox

寒露 Cold Dew

霜降 Frost's Descent


立冬 the Beginning of Winter

小雪 Slight Snow

大雪 Great Snow

冬至 the Winter Solstice

小寒 Slight Cold

大寒 Great Cold