Xiaoxue (Minor Snow), the second solar term of winter, begins this year on November 22 and ends on December 6. Minor Snow refers to the time when it starts to snow, mostly in north China, and the temperature continues to drop to zero degrees Celsius and below. Ancient Chinese believed that, “in Minor Snow, the weather is cold and it is going to snow, while the earth is not frozen enough and the snow is light.”
In some areas of south China, people have glutinous rice cakes in the 10th month of the Chinese lunar calendar, which is around Minor Snow. In ancient times, glutinous rice cakes were a traditional festival offering to the bull god by peasants.
After Minor Snow day, the temperature declines sharply and the air becomes dry. It is the best time to start making sausages and preserved pork. By the time the Chinese Spring Festival is celebrated, the pork and sausages will be well made and delicious.
During Minor Snow period, indoor heating is activated. Thus the air indoors is dry and many people might feel their nose and mouth are dry. Their inner heat energy can’t be released. Symptoms that may appear include dental ulcers or more pimples on the face. The way to alleviate this is to drink more hot soup, such as cabbage with tofu soup and mutton with radish soup.
During this period of time, it is drier and colder, so people should drink more water. On cold days, people want to have some hot and spicy food to keep warm. Experts say that it is wise not to eat too much spicy food, since that will enhance people’s inner heat. Warm porridge could help increase people’s personal heat and nourish the body in cold weather.