Chinese Summer Solstice Health Tips: How to Prepare for the Heat

Monday, June 17, 2024

The Chinese Summer Solstice, did you know it's just around the corner? Summer Solstice is one of the traditional twenty-four solar terms in China, mostly falling around June 21st each year. After the Summer Solstice, we will enter a month-long period of scorching heat! Be sure to make adequate preparations to beat the heat. As the weather gradually warms up, people naturally need to adjust their daily habits accordingly. Are you aware of how Chinese people generally cope with these sweltering days? The following article will enlighten you on this topic!

Traditional Foods People Enjoy During the Summer Solstice

Cold Noodles, a Cooling Delicacy

In regions like Shandong, people enjoy savoring cold noodles as the Summer Solstice approaches. This dish involves cooking noodles, cooling them in cold water, and then dressing them with various condiments and fresh vegetables. Not only does it effectively alleviate the summer heat, but the tangy and spicy flavors also stimulate the appetite, making it a refreshing and delightful delicacy during the summer season.

Summer Solstice Eggs, Auspicious and Prosperous

In certain areas of Hunan, there is a tradition of consuming Summer Solstice Eggs on the day of the Summer Solstice. Eggs are boiled, sometimes dyed with natural colors to enhance the festive atmosphere. Eating Summer Solstice Eggs is considered an auspicious symbol, embodying people's beautiful wishes for a happy and prosperous future life.

Zongzi, Farewell to the Solar Season

Zongzi, popular not only during the Dragon Boat Festival but also during the Summer Solstice in the northwest region. Zongzi typically contains glutinous rice as the main ingredient, intricately wrapped with ingredients like red dates. According to traditional Chinese medicine, glutinous rice and red dates are both warm-tonifying ingredients representing Yang energy. Eating Zongzi symbolizes the transition from the Yang season to the Yin season, signifying the seasonal change and harmonious cycle of nature.

Summer Solstice Health Tips

Diet Adjustment, Emphasize Lightness

  • Essential Melons and Fruits: Fruits like watermelon, cucumber, winter melon, abundant in water content and minerals, can quench your thirst and dispel heat. Tomatoes, watermelons, and cherries, particularly suitable for summer consumption, are beneficial for the heart and help nourish blood and heart.
  • Embrace Bitterness for Better Health: Incorporate bitter foods like bitter gourd, lotus seeds, and lettuce, which aid in clearing heat and detoxifying, promoting digestive comfort.
  • Sweat Profusely, Remember to Replenish Salt: Excessive sweating on hot炎热的(yán rè de) days leads to the loss of electrolytes. Enjoy a bowl of green bean salty soup to easily replenish them.

炎热的 (yán rè de), adjective, hot

Examples:

  1. Do you like this hot weather?
    你喜欢这种炎热的天气吗?
    nǐ xǐ huɑn zhè zhǒnɡ yán rè de tiān qì mɑ ?
  2. I don't like hot weather.
    我不喜欢炎热的天气。
    wǒ bù xǐ huɑn yán rè de tiān qì 。 

Maintain a Balanced Lifestyle, Adjust your Routine

As the ancient text "Huang Di Nei Jing" mentions, with the early sunrise and late sunset in summer, we should also adjust our daily routines accordingly. Sleep slightly later at night and rise earlier in the morning. Don't forget to take a short nap at noon to stay fresh throughout the day.

Sun Protection and Heat Avoidance are Crucial: The weather is scorching, especially during midday to afternoon, when the sun's rays are most intense. Try to stay indoors, seek shade to prevent heatstroke 中暑 (zhònɡ shǔ), and take good care of yourself.

中暑 (zhònɡ shǔ), noun, heatstroke

Examples:

  1. I think she must have got heatstroke.
    我想她可能是中暑了。
    wǒ xiǎnɡ tā kě nénɡ shì zhònɡ shǔ le 。
  2. It is necessary to prevent heatstroke.
    预防中暑是很必要的。
    yù fánɡ zhònɡ shǔ shì hěn bì yào de 。 
  • Mental Adjustment, Stay Calm"An undisturbed heart brings coolness": during the Summer Solstice, it's crucial to maintain inner tranquility and keep emotions stable, avoiding agitation and irritability.
  • Stay calm and composed for a cooler experience.Bathing Etiquette: When showering in summer, ensure the water temperature isn't too cold to prevent dispelling the body's internal Yang energy.
  • Protect yourself from catching a cold.Sunscreen, Plus Exercise: When out and about, ensure thorough sun protection to shield your skin from sunburn. Engage in physical activities during the cooler early morning or evening hours, such as strolling or practicing Tai Chi, relaxed and safe in avoiding the intense sun rays.

Regardless, prioritizing one's health is always paramount. Let's spend a healthy and joyful Summer Solstice with family and friends! May everyone enjoy a refreshing and comfortable summer, spending the Summer Solstice season in good health and happiness! Wishing you all a happy Summer Solstice!

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