Major Snow (Chinese: 大雪 dà xuě), the 21st solar term of the year. During Major Snow, heavy snow and even blizzards are commonplace in the north. The thick snow not only brings the children a natural playground, but also covers the winter wheat with a carpet of thick quilt for that snow can keep winter wheat warm. In addition, melted snow in warm weather can moisturize the land and prevent spring droughts. That's why people say “heavy snow ushers in a good year”. Abundant snowfall in winter announces a satisfying harvest in the coming year. The date of Major Snow is December 7th or 8th each year depending on the movement of the sun. In 2021, The Major Snow starts from 7th December and ends on 20th December.
Major Snow is a good time for tonic. As the saying goes: “Tonic in winter, fight a tiger in spring.” Tonic at this time can help us resist the coldness in winter. It's time to eat more foods rich in protein, vitamins and easy to digest. You can identify such dishes as winter tonics by their ingredients, like the ginseng chicken bone broth soup with red dates (红枣 hóngzǎo) . Red dates are an herbal remedy which improves digestion and absorption of tonic nutrients. Ginseng (人参 rénshēn), is very important in TCM, and it helps boost your wintertime recovery, giving you energy if you feel tired, or calming you if you are stressed. Such tonic herbs also help you make the most of all the nutrition in the chicken, giving you a very satisfying feeling in your stomach after your meal.
Drinking Sweet Potato Porridge
Shandong which is a northern province in China, has long developed the custom of drinking sweet potato porridge in Major Snow. In the cold winter, people use sweet potatoes and rice to cook fragrant and sweet potato porridge. Drinking a bowl of it will warm up your whole body!
“Light Snow, time for pickled vegetables; Major Snow, time for cured meat.” When the Major Snow has arrived, many families are busy preserving food for the new year. Sauced meat, sauced duck, dried fish, sausages, bacon... all kinds of meat are marinated with seasonings. Then hung at a ventilated place to dry, turning into unexpected flavors. The cured mead made during Major Snow can be ready to be served at the Spring Festival.
Days Countdown to Chinese New Year