Awakening Insects – Jīngzhé 惊蛰
In ancient China, 24 solar terms, or Jiéqì, existed to guide farmers in agricultural affairs and farming activities throughout the year – each of these periods lasting approximately 15 days. The Jiéqì are based on the sun’s position in the zodiac and reflect changes in climate, agricultural production, natural phenomena and other aspects of living.
Today is Jīngzhé 惊蛰, also known as Awakening Insects. Jīngzhé is the third solar term. It occurs annually around March 7th and signals a rise in temperature and increased rainfall. Following Jīngzhé, insects hibernating in winter are awakened by spring thunder and a rise in temperature and humidity—the earth coming back to life. It is a crucial time for spring agricultural activities, as is made evident by the following Chinese proverb:
“Once the Awakening of Insects comes, spring ploughing never rests.”
With our bodies existing as a microcosm of the world that surrounds us, health care should focus on following nature’s progression. As the period of Awakening Insects begins, the air becomes warmer, and the wind from the north blows stronger leading to a rise in allergens and pollen in the air. In turn, this can trigger asthma attacks and other respiratory illnesses, and lead to a build-up of internal heat or inflammatory conditions. It is a time when people may suffer from sore throats and parched mouths due to the dry air. Additionally, as the temperature varies greatly between day and night, it is also easy to catch a cold. Protecting the Lungs, therefore, is of critical importance during this period.
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