The traditional Chinese lunar calendar divides the year into 24 solar terms. Rain water, the second solar term of the year, signals a gradually warmer climate with less snow and more rain. This year's rain water begins on Feb 19.
A saying goes: "Spring rain is as precious as oil". Rain in spring is crucial for the growth of crops. Some dry areas depend heavily on spring rain to assure a year worth of harvest.
It is said that during rain water, otters start fishing, wild goose fly back to the north and plants begin to sprout amidst the silent and soft spring rain.
Although it is much warmer during rain water, cold waves are still common this time of the year. It is crucial to protect crops, which may have already sprouted, from the changeable weather.
In western Sichuan province, married women often return home to visit their parents during rain festival, which falls during rain water. They would often bring canned meat and chairs as gifts to thank their parents for their love.
A Chinese folk saying goes: "Dress warmly in spring and lightly in autumn." Weather can still be quite chilly in North China during rain water, so it is crucial to dress warmly this time of the year.