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Wednesday, March 5, 2008

惊蛰: Startling Hibernated

Today we entered China's third solar term, 惊蛰 (jingzhe). This phrase translates literally as "startling/rousing hibernated" (insects). Traditional Chinese farming culture says that, during the two weeks of jingzhe, thunderstorms will wake up the hibernated insects and the weather will gradually grow warmer. In Shanghai, many people believe that a thunderstorm occurring after the New Year, but before 惊蛰 (jingzhe), foretells a bad year.

I'll be happy as long as the thunderstorms don't wake up a horde of cicadas! After living through the Cicada invasions of 1987 and 2004, I don't want to deal with THAT again for a very, very long time.