Yushui, also known as Rain Water, is the second solar term of the Chinese lunar calendar. It usually begins around February 18 and ends around March 5.
The solar term commonly signals an increase in rainfall. As the folk saying goes, "Rain in spring is as precious as oil." During this period, farmers are busy working on spring irrigation and plowing.
Married Couple Visit the Wife's Parents
In southwest China's Sichuan Province, married couples usually visit the wife's parents during this time. They will give gifts such as two cane chairs wrapped with a 4-meter red belt and a pot of cooked food containing pig's knuckles stewed with soya and kelp. This is to express their respect and gratitude for bringing up the daughter.
If the couple failed to produce a child for a long time, the elderly mother will make a pair of red close-fitting pants for her daughter. Locals believe the practice can help aid fertility.
If they are a newly-wed couple, parents-in-law give an umbrella to their son-in-law, signaling a safe and sound life.
Finding Godfather or Godmother
In rural Sichuan, people also keep an old custom of appointing a godfather or godmother to their children. In the early morning, moms take their young ones to the roadside to wait for the first passer-by, male or female. Then, they ask their children to make a kowtow to the person they see. The custom is believed to bring healthy and safe growth.
During the period, people in south China fry rice to divine the harvest. A large percentage of puffed rice indicates that it will be a bumper year, while fewer means there will be crop failure.
(Women of China)
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