The traditional Chinese lunar calendar divides the year into 24 solar terms. Major snow, the 21th solar term, signals the arrival of snow in large quantities. Major snow begins on Dec 7 this year.
Wintersweet usually blossoms in mid- to late-December in southern China. Wintersweet originated in China and is highly appreciated in Chinese culture for its endurance in severe winters. With pine and bamboo, it is referred to as one of the Three Friends of Winter.
Water freezes firmly in North China, creating a perfect spot to enjoy skating. Skating was referred to as "ice play" in ancient China. Emperor Qianlong and Empress Dowager Cixi have been pictured watching people skate in many famed paintings.
Rime starts to appear in North China and the Yangtze river basin from November to February. Rime is formed when water vapor from rivers meet the cold air, creating a spectacular scene of white rarely seen elsewhere.
A bowl of porridge can warm up both the body and the soul in the cold harsh winter. In northern part of Shandong province, people often eat sweet potato porridge on the day of major snow.
A saying in China goes: "Radish in winter does more good to the body than ginseng". Radish meat balls have always been a popular street snack in Nanjing, Jiangsu province in the winter months.