The traditional Chinese lunar calendar divides the year into 24 solar terms. Frost's descent, the 18th solar term of the year and the last solar term of autumn, begins on Oct 23 this year.
The arrival of frost's descent signals a time for agricultural harvest. In southern Jiangsu province, an old saying has been calling for harvest of all crops upon frost's descent, whether or not they are ripe.
People in ancient China regarded
frost's descent a suitable time for military trainings. Archery competitions have been held during frost's descent throughout China since the Han Dynasty (206 BC - AD 220).
A saying in China goes: "Frost-bitten leaves are more crimson than blooms in spring." Leaves of maples and smoke trees begin to darken after frost's descent, offering magnificent views on mountains.
People in ancient China often held ceremonies to express their love and respect for the chrysanthemum flower, which are in full bloom during frost's descent.
A folk saying goes: "It is better to nourish the body during frost's descent than in winter." Many places in China have the habit of drinking lamb soup as the weather gets colder.
Eating persimmons during frost's descent is a folk habit in many parts of China. People believe that eating persimmons can drive away the "coldness" in the body.