The traditional Chinese lunar calendar divides the year into 24 solar terms. Minor snow, the 20th solar term of the year, signals the arrival of snow but only in small quantities. Minor snow begins on Nov 22 this year.
A folk saying goes: "Snow on minor snow brings about a prosperous harvest next year." Snowfall during minor snow can protect wheat from pests and act as insulation to keep the fields warm.
People in ancient China started preparing warmer clothing for the winter during minor snow, as well as handy items such as hand warmers. Cotton curtains were also hung to combat the cold weather.
People in South China often eat glutinous rice cake in the 10th lunar month, around the time minor snow arrives. Glutinous rice cakes were festive offerings in ancient China.
After minor snow, temperature declines sharply and the air becomes dry. It is the best time to start making preserved pork, which will be ready to eat right before the Chinese New Year.
Drinking soup is one folk tradition during minor snow. The Tujia ethnic group of Xiangxi Tujia and Miao autonomous prefecture would slaughter a pig to make "pao soup" on minor snow to entertain their family and friends.
Fishermen in southern part of Taiwan start making dried fish upon arrival of minor snow. Schools of mullets arrive at the coast of Taiwan this time of the year, as well as swordfish.