The Beginning of Autumn (Chinese: 立秋lì qiū) is the thirteenth solar term, as it indicates, represents the beginning of Autumn. However, just like Start of Spring and Start of Summer, it does not mean that it is already the season. In most part of China, the heat would still linger during this time. “The sun of the early Autumn could burn an old cow”, as it says. As this term falls on the last period of Dogs, the sun is still intense. Thus, it is nicknamed by people as “Autumn Tiger”. The date of The Beginning of Autumn is August 7th, 8th, or 9th each year depending on the movement of the sun. In 2021, The Beginning of Autumn starts from 7th of August and ends on 22nd of August. Moreover, it will get chillier with each rain pour after this day.
Biting into Autumn
In China, people usually eat watermelons to celebrate Beginning of Autumn, which is called "Yao Qiu"(Chinese：咬秋 yǎo qiū), meaning "Biting into Autumn". It is said to stave off bad health and prevent ailments related to the changing of seasons. Some agree that it can avoid diarrhea in Winter and Spring. Some southern people believe it can prevent autumn prickly heat.
Getting Autumn Fat
In northern China, savory meat dishes are preferable at this time of a year. Since people have little appetite during the hot summer, a cool autumn will simulate appetite again. On the day of Beginning of Autumn, people will eat lots of meat, such as braised pork and stewed meat, to prepare themselves with nutrition, also prepare themselves for the cold weather, thereby “getting fat with meat for autumn".
In southern of China, people will choose a shady place to lie down on The Beginning of Autumn. This is called "Autumn Lies". “Autumn Lies” means that summer is about to pass, the weather slowly turns cool, people can have a good sleep. It also means that the busy and hard work of summer farming is over and people can take a break. In addition, because of the hot weather in summer, people tend to lose weight. "Autumn Lies" can stop losing weight, so it usually coincides with "Pasting Autumn Fat".