After Summer Solstice, the weather is getting hotter and hotter. The hot days are coming and now we have the eleventh solar term. Slight Heat（Chinese: 小暑xiǎo shǔ）, of which "Xiao" indicates the heat level, and"Shu" equals to"Heat'. The date of Slight Heat is July 6th, 7th, or 8th each year depending on the movement of the sun. In 2021, Slight Heat starts from 7th of July and ends on 21st of July.
Slight Heat is followed by three hot periods and we call them Dog Days. As the saying goes, "The real heat is in the Dog Days." Dog Days imply the coming of the hottest season. Dog Days are called"Sanfu” (Three Fu三伏）in Chinese. The first two "Fu" are around ten days each. The third "Fu" may have ten to twenty days. In order to avoid sunburn or heatstroke, try not to do outdoor activities in mid days of the Dog Days.
According to Chinese legend, Slight Heat is the day for the emperor to sunning clothes. So Chinese people develop the custom of sunning clothes. The sun has strong ultraviolet ray with the effect of sterilization. Therefore, sunning clothes helps to keep clothes clean and our health. In addition to clothes, crops and books can all be taken out and dry in the sun to prevent mildew and moth.
Enjoy mutton dishes
Eating mutton and drinking mutton soup on the first day of Dog Days is a custom in China. Especially among the people in northern Jiangsu, Shandong, and Anhui. Mutton soup in Dog Days has the effect of dispelling heat and dispersing toxin, which can play the role of "treating winter diseases in summer". And it is also good for relieve rheumatism and cold leg. When you enjoy the hot mutton dishes, the harmful substances in the body can be expelled with dripping sweat.