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  • Writer's pictureElizabeth Lee

"Spring rain is as precious as oil"

Feb. 19th in China begins 雨水 (Yǔ Shuǐ) the second Solar Term, Rain Water, marking heavy rainfall. (This was actually yesterday in the USA.)

The Chinese saying "Spring Rain is as precious as oil" comes from the essential need for water, especially with such a large population as China. Rainwater harvesting is used in China and many other countries as a method to alleviate drought and water scarcity.

Each solar term from this ancient system is divided into three pentads, lasting roughly 5-6 days. The pentads for this second term are:

1. 獺祭魚, 'Otters make offerings of fish'.

(By hunting the fish who swim upstream, the otters offer them to heaven.)

2. 鴻雁來, 'The wild geese arrive'.

(Northern geese migration)

3. 草木萌動, 'Trees and grass put forth shoots'.

Enjoy these rainy days. We definitely need them in California to counterbalance the fire season.

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