Grain in Ear (Chinese: 芒种Máng Zhòng) is the ninth solar term of the year. The name of Grain in ear is also about crops: "Ear" refers to awns, the needle-shaped parts on the husk of grains; "Grain" refers to seeded crops. During this period, wheat barley and other awn crops are ripe and ready to be harvest. Meanwhile, seeded crops such as corn, soybeans, peanuts, etc. must be planted. Thus, this is the busiest time of a year for farmers. Regarding the date of Grain in Ear, it varies from June 5、6 or 7 each year depending on the movement of the sun. In 2021, Grain in Ear starts from 5th of June and ends on 20th of June.
Harvest and Sow
"Grain in Ear, we harvest, and we sow". With the need to harvest and sow at the same time, farmers usher in the busiest time of a year. Farmers in the north and south, apparently, are busy with different things. In the north, people are racing against time to cut wheat and grow corn. In the south, people work around the clock to top dress early-season rice and middle-season rice, while sowing late-season rice. During this period, the whole country is in a busy and hassle motion.
Plum Rain (Rain Season)
During this solar term, the middle and lower reaches of the Yangtze River rain continuously for about a month. This is also the time when plums ripen, so this period is also called "Plum Rain". The beginning of the Plum Rain is called "Plump In", and the end is called "Plump Out".
In Grain in Ear, the mulberries are fully mature. The best fruit to eat during this period is mulberry. Around two thousand years ago, mulberry had already been considered as royal food and among the folk, it was called the "holy fruit". It has abundant glucose, cane sugar, Vitamin A, B and C and many mineral substances and is very good for humans' heart, liver and kidney.