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24 Solar Terms: Start of Spring
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The traditional Chinese lunar calendar divides the year into 24 solar terms. Start of spring, the first solar term in the lunar calendar, begins on Feb 4 this year.

Spring is a season of growth, surrounded by birds’ twitters and fragrance of flowers. The day gets longer and the weather warmer. It is also a turning point for increased rainfall.

Start of spring is a good season for flying kites. People used to fly kites to send away the evil spirits in ancient China. Now, the act is part of expressing hopes for the coming new year.

According to folk customs, it is easier to make an egg stand on start of spring, spring equinox and autumn equinox. People believed that getting an egg to stand can bring about good luck for the coming year.

Part of Shaanxi province have the custom of wearing jade accessories shaped like swallows on start of spring. The custom dates back to the Tang Dynasty(AD 618-907). In China, swallows are symbols of happiness and fortune.

Folk custom calls for a “spring plate”on start of springs. This custom is meant for appreciating the arrival of spring through taking a bite of it,most often radish,leak,lettuce or spring rolls.

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