春分 Chūn fēn, Spring Equinox (March 20th)
春分, the fourth solar terms of the year, is the day that position of Sun is exactly above Earth’s equator. To describe this phenomenon in Chinese, we would say that 太阳此刻刚好到达黄经零度 Tài yáng cǐ kè gang hǎo dào dá huáng jīng ling dù
太阳 Tài yáng means Sun
此刻 Cǐ kè means at this moment
刚好到达 Gang hǎo dào dá means just arrives
黄经 Huáng jīng means ecliptic longitude
零度 Ling dù means 0 degree
On the day of 春分, the length of day is now almost equal to night, approximately about 12 hours each, and now it’s also the time that you can actually feel spring is here, or more precisely, spring is now in the Northern Hemisphere.
Rainfall has always played a critical role to agriculture activity, especially during this period of time. There was an old Chinese saying that 春分無雨是空年，春分有雨是豐年 Chūn fēn wú yǔ shì kōng nián, chūn fēn yǒu yǔ shì fēng nián which literally means that if it’s not raining on the day of spring equinox, it would be an empty year; if it’s raining on the day, it would be a harvest year.