Jump to content


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Chinese name
Literal meaningstart of summer
Vietnamese name
Vietnamese alphabetlập hạ
Chữ Hán立夏
Korean name
Japanese name
Solar term
Term Longitude Dates
Lichun 315° 4–5 February
Yushui 330° 18–19 February
Jingzhe 345° 5–6 March
Chunfen 20–21 March
Qingming 15° 4–5 April
Guyu 30° 20–21 April
Lixia 45° 5–6 May
Xiaoman 60° 21–22 May
Mangzhong 75° 5–6 June
Xiazhi 90° 21–22 June
Xiaoshu 105° 7–8 July
Dashu 120° 22–23 July
Liqiu 135° 7–8 August
Chushu 150° 23–24 August
Bailu 165° 7–8 September
Qiufen 180° 23–24 September
Hanlu 195° 8–9 October
Shuangjiang 210° 23–24 October
Lidong 225° 7–8 November
Xiaoxue 240° 22–23 November
Daxue 255° 7–8 December
Dongzhi 270° 21–22 December
Xiaohan 285° 5–6 January
Dahan 300° 20–21 January

Lìxià (literally "start of summer" or "inauguration of summer") is the 7th solar term according to the traditional Chinese lunisolar calendar, which divides a year into 24 solar terms (節氣).[1]

It begins when the Sun reaches the celestial longitude of 45° and ends when it reaches the longitude of 60°. The word Lixia most often refers specifically to the first day of this period, the day when the Sun is exactly at the celestial longitude of 45°. In the Gregorian calendar, this is around May 5, and the Lixia period ends with the beginning of the next solar term, Xiaoman, around May 21.[2][3]

Lixia signifies the beginning of summer in Chinese culture,[4] and due to the importance of summer in the agrarian society of ancient China, the day is associated with many cultural traditions, which vary by region.[5]


Each solar term can be divided into three pentads (). They are the first pentad (初候), second pentad (次候), and last pentad (末候). Lixia's pentads are:[6][7]

Traditional customs[edit]

According to the ancient Book of Rites, on Lixia the emperor would lead the Three Ducal Ministers, the Nine Ministers, and senior officials in greeting the summer, and the day was celebrated with gifts and music. From James Legge's translation:[8]

In this month there takes place the inauguration of summer. Three days before this ceremony, the Grand recorder informs the son of Heaven, saying, 'On such-and-such a day is the inauguration of summer. The energies of the season are most fully seen in fire.' On this the son of Heaven devotes himself to self-purification; and on the day, at the head of the three ducal ministers, the nine high ministers, and his Great officers, he proceeds to meet the summer in the southern suburbs. On their return, rewards are distributed. He grants to the feudal princes (an increase of) territory. Congratulations and gifts proceed, and all are joyful and pleased. Orders are also given to the chief master of music to teach the practice of ceremonies and music together. Orders are given to the Grand Peace-maintainer to recommend men of eminence, allow the worthy and good to have free course and bring forward the tall and large. His conferring of rank and regulation of emolument must be in accordance with the position (of the individual).

A number of Lixia traditions relate to food. Some traditions symbolize neighborliness, including a traditional Lixia food, "seven-family porridge" (Chinese: 七家粥; pinyin: qī jiā zhōu).[5] Traditionally, people would ask for rice from their neighbors, cook it into rice porridge with multicolored beans and brown sugar, and share it with family, friends, and neighbors.[5] A similar tradition, with the same significance, is "seven-family tea" (Chinese: 七家茶; pinyin: qī jiā chá): people would ask each of their neighbors for a few tea leaves and mix them together to brew tea.[5]

For farmers in parts of China, Lixia is traditionally the time of the "three new" crops: cherries, green plums, and millet.[5] These three early-ripening crops are typically ready to be eaten around Lixia, and traditionally some people would use them as religious offerings.[5] In other parts of China, other crops become available around Lixia.[5] Near Zhejiang's Guxi River, people eat Lixia cakes (made from rice or wheat), Chinese scholartree seeds, tofu, and bamboo shoots.[4] A poem from Hangzhou mentions plums, flatcakes, cherries, cured meat, fish, black rice cakes, three-colored amaranth, sea snails, salted duck eggs, roast goose, broad beans, and rice wine fermentation, all of which were associated with Lixia.[5] In contrast, in Taiwan, the arrival of crops is a less relevant part of Lixia, as the warm climate means that a variety of crops are available year-round.[5]

Lixia dogs

In Tangxi, Hangzhou, in addition to pastries and salted duck eggs, Lixia foods include colorful "Lixia dogs" made from glutinous rice.[9][10]

Another tradition is weighing people, a complicated process that dates back to ancient China, before the existence of modern scales.[4][5] Each person is weighed by sitting on a plank suspended from roof beams with hemp rope,[5] or alternatively, an iron weight is hung from one side of the plank while the person sits in a bamboo basket hanging from the other side.[11] This tradition is especially popular with children.[5][11] With modern technology it has largely disappeared,[5] but it is preserved in some communities as a symbol of good health for the coming summer.[11]

Other significance[edit]

According to folk sayings, Lixia is a busy time for farmers.[12] South of the Yangtze River, it marks the beginning of the rainy season.[13] In some areas, it signifies the end of the spring tea-picking season.[14]

Historically, people used the sounds of animals on Lixia to predict the year's weather.[5] According to a belief mentioned in the Book of Zhou, if crickets (and according to some interpretations, frogs) do not make noise on Lixia, the year will be very rainy with a risk of flooding.[5]

Date and time[edit]

Date and Time (UTC)
year begin end
辛巳 2001-05-05 10:44 2001-05-20 23:44
壬午 2002-05-05 16:37 2002-05-21 05:29
癸未 2003-05-05 22:10 2003-05-21 11:12
甲申 2004-05-05 04:02 2004-05-20 16:59
乙酉 2005-05-05 09:52 2005-05-20 22:47
丙戌 2006-05-05 15:30 2006-05-21 04:31
丁亥 2007-05-05 21:20 2007-05-21 10:11
戊子 2008-05-05 03:03 2008-05-20 16:00
己丑 2009-05-05 08:50 2009-05-20 21:51
庚寅 2010-05-05 14:44 2010-05-21 03:33
辛卯 2011-05-05 20:23 2011-05-21 09:21
壬辰 2012-05-05 02:19 2012-05-20 15:15
癸巳 2013-05-05 08:18 2013-05-20 21:09
甲午 2014-05-05 13:59 2014-05-21 02:59
乙未 2015-05-05 19:55 2015-05-21 08:43
丙申 2016-05-05 01:41 2016-05-20 14:38
丁酉 2017-05-05 07:29 2017-05-20 20:33
戊戌 2018-05-05 13:26 2018-05-21 02:14
己亥 2019-05-05 19:05 2019-05-21 07:57
庚子 2020-05-05 00:51 2020-05-20 13:50
辛丑 2021-05-05 06:47 2021-05-20 19:37
壬寅 2022-05-05 12:25 2022-05-21 01:22
癸卯 2023-05-05 18:18 2023-05-21 07:09
Source: JPL Horizons On-Line Ephemeris System


  1. ^ Zhang, Peiyu; Hunag, Hongfeng (1994). "The Twenty-four Solar Terms of the Chinese Calendar and the Calculation for Them". Purple Mountain Observatory. Retrieved 9 March 2021.
  2. ^ Stepanchuk, Carol (1991). Mooncakes and Hungry Ghosts: Festivals of China. San Francisco: China Books & Periodicals. ISBN 0-8351-2481-9.
  3. ^ Yang, Dr Herong (10 January 2021). Chinese Calendar Algorithm - Year 1901 to 2100. HerongYang.com. p. 34. Retrieved 31 March 2023.
  4. ^ a b c 菇溪風情 (in Chinese). 寧波出版社. 1 January 2019. pp. 9, 21. ISBN 978-7-5526-3347-4. Archived from the original on 5 April 2023. Retrieved 31 March 2023.
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o 中國節日的故事 (in Chinese) (1st ed.). Taipei: 將門文物出版社. 2001. pp. 155–159. ISBN 957-755-300-1.
  6. ^ "【我们的节气】立夏:夏已至 单衫杏子红". 中央纪委网站. Archived from the original on 1 April 2023. Retrieved 1 April 2023.
  7. ^ "立夏:虫儿鸣,万物生". 新华网. Archived from the original on 1 April 2023. Retrieved 1 April 2023.
  8. ^ "Liji: Yue Ling". Chinese Text Project. Archived from the original on 31 March 2023. Retrieved 31 March 2023.
  9. ^ "传统民俗迎立夏". 新华网. Archived from the original on 1 April 2023. Retrieved 1 April 2023.
  10. ^ "杭州"立夏狗"闪亮立夏日". 今日中国. Archived from the original on 1 April 2023. Retrieved 1 April 2023.
  11. ^ a b c "浙江古村"称重""吃蛋"迎立夏". 新京报. Archived from the original on 20 August 2021. Retrieved 31 March 2023.
  12. ^ Press, Beijing Foreign Language (1 September 2012). Chinese Auspicious Culture. Asiapac Books Pte Ltd. p. 189. ISBN 978-981-229-642-9. Retrieved 31 March 2023.
  13. ^ Liu, Fang (15 November 2021). Paper Flowers Chinese Style: Create Handmade Gifts and Decorations. Shanghai Press. ISBN 978-1-938368-77-6. Archived from the original on 7 April 2023. Retrieved 31 March 2023.
  14. ^ Wu, Juenong; Blishen, Tony (15 November 2021). Illustrated Modern Reader of 'The Classic of Tea'. Shanghai Press. ISBN 978-1-938368-75-2. Retrieved 31 March 2023. In the majority of tea areas there are three tea-picking seasons: spring, summer and autumn. From the qingming (clear and bright, fifth of the 24 solar terms) to the lixia (summer begins, seventh of the 24 solar terms) is the spring season
Preceded by
Guyu (穀雨)
Solar term (節氣) Succeeded by
Xiaoman (小滿)