Chinese Name: 白露
English Name: Bailu; White Dew; the 15th of the 24 Solar Terms
Date: September 7 or 8
Sun Position: Celestial Longitude of 165°
Bailu 白露 is the 15th of the 24 Solar Terms二十四节气. It begins when the Sun reaches the celestial longitude of 165° and ends when it reaches the longitude of 180°.
Bailu indicates the real beginning of cool autumn. The temperature declines gradually and vapours in the air often condense into white dew on the grass and trees at night. Varying by geographical location, autumn comes earlier in the west and northeast of China. Right now Kanas喀纳斯 in Xinjiang新疆, Jiuzhaigou九寨沟 in Sichuan四川 and The Greater Khingan Range大兴安岭 in Northeastern China are entering the most beautiful season of the year.
From the first day of White Dew and as the season progresses, there is more and more dew. Although sunshine during the day makes it still hot, after sunset, temperatures decrease rapidly. At night, water vapour in the air turns into small drops of water when it encounters cold temperatures. These white water-drops adhere to flowers, grass and trees. When the morning comes, the sunshine makes them look crystal clear, spotless white and adorable.
Bailu is the watershed between hot and cold, and “white dew” represents the end of summer heat. After entering the Bailu solar term, the summer monsoon is gradually replaced by the winter monsoon, and the cold air moves southward more and more frequently. In addition, the position of the sun directly hitting the ground moves southward. The northern hemisphere’s sunshine time becomes shorter and the sunshine intensity weakens. The night is often clear and less cloudy, and the ground radiation and heat dissipation are fast, so the temperature drop also gradually accelerates
After the white dew, the temperature difference between day and night gradually widened. Although the temperature was higher at noon during the day, it was still cool in the morning and at night. Starting from the Bailu solar term, according to the standard of climatology to divide the four seasons, all regions begin to enter autumn one after another. At this time, the temperature difference between day and night across China can reach 8°C-16°C, so Bailu is a solar term with a large temperature difference in a year.
Health tips in Chushu
During the white dew season, the temperature difference between morning and evening is large, so be sure to pay attention to dressing. Avoid nasal diseases, asthma and bronchial diseases during the Bailu solar term. Diet and health care should be conducive to moisturizing the lungs and the secretion of saliva and gastric juice. You can properly eat some foods rich in vitamins, and eat more fruits, such as Sydney, sugar cane, honey, etc. You can also choose some traditional Chinese medicines that clear the lungs and resolve phlegm, such as ginseng, but it is not advisable to take too much.
Eating Longan 吃龙眼
Longan龙眼 fruit around White Dew is big, sweet and tastes great. There is a tradition in Fuzhou福州, East China’s Fujian福建 province, that eating longan on the first day of White Dew can help nourish the human body. It is said that one longan is as nutritious as an egg. Although this sounds exaggerated, longan does reinforce the spleen, nourish the blood, calm the nerves and improve one’s looks.
White Dew Tea 白露茶
Many regular tea drinkers in Nanjing南京 favour White Dew Tea. Tea during White Dew has gone through the hot summer and is in its best state of growth. White Dew Tea is different from spring tea, which is usually too tender and doesn’t last long. It is also different from summer tea, which is dry and has a bitter flavour. White Dew Tea instead tastes sweet with a sweet fragrance.
White Dew Wine 白鹿酒
For some people in Nanjing南京, East China’s Jiangsu province, whose hometowns are in Zhejiang province or the southern part of Jiangsu province, it is traditional to make White Dew Wine during this season. The wine is made of cereals, such as polished glutinous rice and kaoliang (a specific type of sorghum) and tastes a little sweet. In the past, country people in those regions all made the wine and served it to guests when entertaining.
Eating sweet potatoes 吃红薯
Many Chinese believe that the best food during White Dew is sweet potatoes. In the old days, peasants had the custom of eating sweet potatoes on the first day of White Dew. Besides being the No 1 vegetable against cancer, according to Traditional Chinese medicine中医, sweet potato can nourish the spleen. It can prolong life and reduce the risks of disease.
Offer sacrifices to Yu the Great 祭拜大禹
White Dew is a time for people in the Lake Tai太湖 area of East China to offer sacrifices to Yu the Great大禹, a hero who tamed floods by regulating rivers and watercourses. On the first day of White Dew, people also hold sacrificial rites for Yu the Great on the eighth day of the first lunar month, on Tomb-sweeping Day, and on the seventh day of the seventh lunar month.