The traditional Chinese lunar calendar divides the year into 24 solar terms. Awakening of insects, the third solar term of the year, signals the end of hibernation for insects. This year's awakening of insects begins on March 5.
Awakening of insects, as the name suggests, refers to insects waking up after hibernation, most often by the sound of thunder in spring, or so people in ancient China believed.
In fact, it is not thunder that stirs the insects, but the rising temperature and ground temperature. The phrase "99 sunny days" is often used to describe this time of the year for the warm weather and radiant sunshine.
Awakening of insects has always been a key point for agriculture. Wheat in North China resume growth and cole flowers in the south start blooming. Most of China will enter a season for spring farming.
Cold fronts are still common during awakening of insects. Diurnal temperature difference can be large and the weather unstable at times. It is crucial to dress accordingly.
The god to worship during awakening of insects is the god of thunder, who enjoys top status among the nine gods in China. Some regions in China still worship the god of thunder during awakening of insects for a fruitful and peaceful year.
Pear, li in Chinese, is homophonic to the word "leave". Folk customs believe that eating pears on awakening of insects can keep pests away from crops to ensure a good harvest for the whole year.