China Matters animation team produced the animated video series The 24 Solar Terms in Poetry and Painting, which illustrates the Chinese solar terms through dynamic Chinese paintings and classical poems translated by Dr. Xu Yuanchong. The five solar terms included in this episode are Minor Cold, Major Cold, Beginning of Spring, Rain Water, and Awakening of Insects, which combine to form a scroll of revival as winter turns to spring.
The Chinese solar terms embody Chinese people’s traditional recognition of natural rhythms, astronomical calendar, folk customs and farming. On November 30, 2016, China’s 24 Solar Terms were officially included in the UNESCO Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. At the opening ceremony of the Beijing Winter Olympics, the creative “24 Solar Terms countdown” drew worldwide attention.
Minor Cold and Major Cold mark the end of a year. Paintings Snow on Mount Emei and Thatched Gate Covered by Snow are used to interpret the two solar terms. In these two paintings, against the majestic mountains covered by snow, pedestrians brave the heavy snow, domestic dogs wag their heads and tails, and donkeys waddle forward, adding great vitality to the snow-capped mountains.
To illustrate Beginning of Spring, Rain Water and Awakening of Insects, which mark the beginning of a new year, three paintings are selected: Fair Lady Exploring Plum Blossoms, Spring in the Mountains and Lakes, and A Thatched House in the Bamboo Forest. They together form a scroll of early spring: In the Beginning of Spring, girls get outside to enjoy plum blossoms. In the Rain Water, travelers take a boat and drift on a turquoise river. In the Awakening of Insects, crickets singing can be heard at night. Frame after frame, the animation depicts bamboo shoots coming out of the soil, insects stretching and jumping, and so on—everything is reviving to embrace spring.
All these paintings and poems embody the Chinese people’s graceful taste and rich emotions.
Source: China Matters