A solar term is a period of about two weeks and is based on the sun’s position in the zodiac. Solar terms form the traditional Chinese calendar system. The calendar follows the ancient Chinese belief that living in accordance with nature will enable one to live a harmonious life. This article series explores each of the year’s 24 solar terms, offering guidance on how to best navigate the season.
“Heavy Snow” (Dec. 7–20) is the third solar term of winter. Around this time, the cold yin energy reaches its peak, and the yang energy starts to evolve. The snow is getting much heavier, and the temperature is much colder in most of the Northern Hemisphere.
As the yang energy slowly starts to move and grow during this solar term, wild animals, such as tigers, who strongly reflect the yang energy of nature, start to come out of their caves and mate.
Daffodils and orchids sprout to reflect the movement and revival of the yang energy on the Earth, and in the natural realm.
In the Northern part of the world, heavy snow around this time indicates enough moisture for winter plants to grow well, such as radish, white radish, broccoli, and Chinese cabbage. In southern and warmer regions, instead of snow, ancient Chinese people would look forward to heavy rain and clouds. This would indicate sufficient moisture in the air, and would nourish plants and the soil thoroughly, for a good harvest of crops such as rice.
The fishing industry has its big catches of the year at this time, and the meat is soft and juicy due to body fat. Root plants such as radish are ripe and crunchy.
It’s also the time of year that treats start showing up in stores and food vendors offer festive fare. Holiday vibes warm us and remind us to cherish the precious moments of our life.
Effects on People
People who are born during this solar term have plenty of water element in their constitutions. As a result, they tend to be creative and full of ideas, and are believed to be very intelligent and outgoing. They’re often good in communication with strong leadership qualities.
According to traditional Chinese medicine, these people need to pay special attention to their hearts and circulatory systems. They may experience irregular heartbeat, stroke, or even heart attacks due to the constriction of the blood vessels from the colder weather.
Lung and lung-related problems are more likely to develop or even become worse around this time. To protect against that, avoid polluted areas, stop smoking, and drink a good amount of warm water to cleanse toxins from the body and maintain active blood circulation.
Generally speaking, it’s the time when people can easily get a cold or flu, so keeping warm is particularly important to maximize well-being.
Tips to Maximize Wellness During ‘Heavy Snow’
- Drink plenty of hot goji berry tea; add ginger root for those who have cold hands and feet.
- Drink chai tea or chai lattes instead of coffee to strengthen kidney function, since too much coffee flushes the yang energy out from the body.
- Eat less sugar, as it disrupts the body’s natural energy balance.
- Wear a hat, scarf, and gloves. For the elderly who live in extremely cold areas, a soft wool hat can preserve body heat during sleep.
- Use the heel of one foot to massage the inner side of the other lower calf in circular motions to promote energy flow for the whole body.
- Diffuse warm and sweet notes of essential oils (see suggestions below) to lift the energy, motivate the mind, and keep the body warm.
- Avoid anger or sudden shocks to prevent strain on the heart and brain.
Cooking with quality nut oils, such as sesame, walnut, or avocado, helps your body gain good energy and prolong the heat.
Broccoli, dill, chestnut, cashew nut, almonds, macadamia, green onion, yam, and walnut are all very good sources of protein during this time of year.
For those who have concerns, or who want to strengthen their heart and circulatory systems, try ingesting foods that are red in color to enhance these functions.
Beetroot, carrots, tomatoes, cranberries, strawberries, cherries, rosehip jam, and rose tea are all good choices.
Seasonal Herbs and Essential Oils
Spicy and warm essential oils, such as geranium, rose, sandalwood, rosewood, lemongrass, wintergreen, ginger, or cinnamon, warm your heart and energize your body.
Epoch Times contributor Moreen Liao is a descendant of four generations of traditional Chinese medicine doctors. She is also a certified aromatherapist, former dean of the New Directions Institute of Natural Therapies in Sydney, and the founder of Ausganica, a certified organic cosmetic brand. Visit Ausganica.com.au