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Chinese Spring Equinox 春分 (Chūn Fēn) – The Calmest Solar Term

Everybody looks forward to the first day of Spring. Because Winter is finally over, warmth will rejuvenate the land. The fresh breeze of assuaging zephyr ripples gently against all things living or not. The calm weather will enable things to prosper again, Chinese Spring Equinox comes here. Flowers will start to bloom. Trees will finally regain their once lost vitality, liveliness at its peak. Kids will start flying their kites outside wishing that these precious moments will last.

The calmest and most rejuvenating season has come. After months of unforgiving cold, finally, Spring Equinox is here.

Chinese Spring equinox 春分 (Chūn Fēn is the fourth of 24 terms in the Chinese lunar calendar. Today, we will explore the traditions and practices during this season. 

chinese character chun1
Chinese Character Chun1

1. The Meaning of the Spring Equinox 春分 (Chūn Fēn)

Usually, there are 90 days of Spring before Summer starts. These days are divided into two. That is where the name 春分 (Chūn Fēn) originated. Additionally, the Spring Equinox 春分 (Chūn Fēn) signifies that the sunlight directly hits the equator.

This year,  Spring Equinox 春分 (Chūn Fēn) starts on March 20-22. 

The Spring Equinox 春分 (Chūn Fēn) is nature’s calmest season. However, its peacefulness does not only originate from its warm, comforting weather but also from the occasional light rains and thunderstorms that give off petrichor. The Spring Equinox 春分 (Chūn Fēn) divides into three calming elements. These are the tweet of the birds, the sound of the thunder, and quick flashes from the lightning. The birds are the swallows that start to migrate back to their original habitat. The thunder is the booming sound that shakes the earth signifying that rain will come. 

2. Customs During Spring Equinox 春分 (Chūn Fēn)

Chinese  standing egg game
Chinese standing egg game

One of the most common practices during Spring equinox is the standing egg game. The custom has become integral in the celebration that it is not complete without it. Some places even launch a standing-egg competition.

The trick to this is simple. The contestants will select an egg amongst the hundreds, if not thousands, of choices. It is best if the egg is smooth, well proportioned, and fresh. These kinds of eggs have the best chance of standing upright for a long time.

The Spring Equinox 春分 (Chūn Fēn) has become the best time for standing egg games, so there is a saying that “when the Spring Equinox 春分 (Chūn Fēn) arrives, eggs are pretty.” Plus, during Spring equinox, the earth is perfectly balanced. Therefore it becomes the perfect time to do upright-egg games.  

3. Presenting Spring Cattle 放春牛 (Fàng ChūnNiú) 

Another famous custom during Spring Equinox 春分 (Chūn Fēn) is presenting the Spring Cattle 放春牛 (Fàng ChūnNiú).

The mechanics of the game is simple. People will send a picture of a spring cattle doing fieldwork. The contestants will then print the Chinese lunar calendar on two pieces of red or yellow paper with the printed picture of the spring cattle. The competition requires the contestants to sing about spring plowing. Although the competition is freestyle, each sentence must rhyme and have alliterations. People who win the event will “say spring.” This will eventually make them spring officials.

4. Explain the knowledge

春分 (Chūn Fēn) : the Spring Equinox

春 (chūn): the first tone, spring, wanton

分 (fēn): the first tone, divide, small unit of time, etc.


Chūn fēn shì èr shí sì jiē qì zhī yī.

春   分 是 二 十四节气 之一。

Spring Equinox is one of the 24 solar terms.

Chūn fēn dài biǎo chūn tiān yǐ jīng guò qù le yí bàn.

春   分  代 表   春  天 已经  过  去了一 半。

The Spring equinox means that the middle of spring has passed.


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