A painting of Grain Buds from Li Xiaolin. As a popular young Chinese artist, Li combined the customs during a solar term and the associated food and created a series of illustrations named "24 Solar Terms and Chinese Delicacies". [Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn]
The traditional Chinese lunar calendar divides the year into 24 solar terms. Grain Buds, (Chinese: 小满), the 8th solar term of a year, begins on May 21 this year, and ends on June 4. It means that the seeds from the grain are becoming full but are not ripe.
In China, the 24 solar terms were created thousands of years ago to guide agricultural production. But the solar term culture is still useful today to guide people's lives through special foods, cultural ceremonies, gardening and even healthy living tips that correspond with each solar term. Let's see what we can do during the "Grain Buds" period.