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Fleshing out in autumn | Know China Learn Chinese | Updated: 2017-09-04 10:56

For Erik, September means that summer is gone, autumn came. But what he doesn't know is that it is already been fall for a few weeks, according to the Chinese lunar calendar.

His colleague told him that last month marked li qiu, one of 24 ancient solar terms, which marks the start of autumn. This year, it started on Aug 7 and ended on Aug 22. These solar terms aren't only important to agriculture but also to daily life. Then Erik is curious about what do people do during this time?

Out of his expectation, his colleague said Chinese people EAT during this time! Many people weigh themselves on the first day and compare it to the start of summer. If they've lost weight, they'll feast, especially on meat.

“Fleshing out in autumn” is called tiē qiū biāo. Qiu means autumn. And tie biao literally means to add fat to your body.

Erik understood the custom and he guesses that the most popular dishes in Beijing during lì qiu must be pork shoulders or anything with meat.

But here comes his second question, what if he gained, rather than lost, weight in the summer? Then what should he eat?

His colleague said fruits and veggies are suitable because autumn is drier than summer. So, produce like apples and pears help keep him hydrated.

So let's celebrate autumn and tiē qiū biāo!

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