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春分 Chūn Fēn: Spring Equinox

春分 Chūn Fēn, translated as Spring Equinox, is the 4th solar term in the Ancient Chinese solar calendar. This year it starts on March 20th and continues through April 3rd.

春分 Chūn Fēn: Spring Equinox

春分 Chūn Fēn, translated as Spring Equinox, is the 4th solar term in the Ancient Chinese solar calendar. This year it starts on March 20th and continues through April 3rd. It begins when the Sun reaches the celestial longitude of 0° and ends when it reaches the longitude of 15°.

During the first day of 春分 Chūn Fēn the Sun is positioned exactly above the Earth’s equator. Both hemispheres receive the Sun’s rays equally during this time, making night and day the same length.

Let’s look at the meaning of Chūn Fēn:

春 Chūn: joyful, spring time
分Fēn: to divide, to distribute

Spring Equinox in the Northern Hemisphere means rising outside temperatures and increasing rainfall.

The whole year’s work depends on a good start in spring.
– Ancient Chinese proverb

The 3 pentads of 春分 Chūn Fēn:

1st pentad – 玄鳥至 dark birds [swallows] arrive
2nd pentad – 雷乃發聲 thunder cracks

3rd pentad –始電 lightning occurs

Rapeseed, plum trees, cherry, peach, apricot and pear trees are all in bloom and willow trees are turning green.

I find the face of the vernal wind in an easy way, myriads of reds and violets reveal only spring
– Ancient Chinese proverb

春分 Chūn Fēn & Chinese Herbology

Wild medicinal herbs are also picked in the mountains during 春分 Chūn Fēn. Many are at their peak potency during this time of year and are ready for harvesting. They spend the entire winter season conserving energy and maturing, much like hibernating animals. As such this solar term is often associated with Chinese medicine.

The medicinal properties of herbs vary in accordance with the season and solar term in which they are harvested, the location in which they are grown, and various other factors such as temperature, rain fall, etc. In the Chinese culture it remains important to be in tune with nature and the seasons.

There are at least 1,000 medicinal herbs that grow in the mountains and hills of Anren, Hunan Province, China. It is known as the capital of medicine. Each year the small town of Anren hosts a legendary herbal fair at the Ganfenshe Market. Nearly 200,000 people from far and wide gather to trade herbal medicine and celebrate its significance in their everyday lives. Both the tradition and market date back to the Song Dynasty (960–1279).

春分 Chūn Fēn Traditions

Traditionally kites are flown during 春分 Chūn Fēn in China. People write wishes and prayers for healing and well being on them. It is also customary to feast on seasonal freshly harvested fruits and vegetables during the 4th solar term, the Spring Equinox.

The ancient Chinese medical classic Huangdi Neijing (The Inner Canon of the Yellow Emperor) suggests that people eat seasonal foods in order to preserve health.

“Know the origin or source of your food.”

– Confucius

春分 Chūn Fēn In Practice

Some acupoints to consider using during this time are 合谷 Large Intestine 4 Hé Gǔ, and 太衝 Liver 3 Tài Chōng as well as 支溝 San Jiao 6 Zhī Gōu. During the period of 春分 Chūn Fēn we want to be mindful of the process of equilibrium. The four gates is a perfect acupoint combination to create balance in the body. San Jiao 6 allows the smooth flow of Qi. In conjunction with the acupoints mentioned, utilize either the Free and Easy Wanderer Decoction (Xiao Yao Tang) or make sure that the blood flow to the four extremities are in equilibrium by utilizing the principles of Dang Gui Si Ni Tang.

The principle of balance should be considered paramount at this time as the balance of the planet begins to move towards summer warmth and increased Qi and Blood circulation.

Also consider using formulas like:

逍遙湯 Xiao Yao Tang
當歸四逆湯(集)  Dang Gui Si Ni Tang

In the realm of Chinese Food Therapy consider adding papaya and blackberries to your patient population’s regime. 

If you have any further questions, you can setup a 15 minute Q&A session with me here when you sign up for a Si Jin Bao PRO account.

Picture of Kamal Polite, D.O.M., A.P., C.H.E.

Kamal Polite, D.O.M., A.P., C.H.E.

Founder & Chief Herbaceutical Engineer

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