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China’s ‘24 solar terms’ looks to be added on heritage list

Updated: Nov 30,2016 7:40 AM     Xinhua/

Children try to stand eggs upright during the Spring Equinox, one of China’s 24 solar terms. It is believed that the Spring Equinox is the best time to practice this game because on this day the axis of the earth is relatively balanced against the orbital plane of the earth’s rotation around the sun, which makes it easier to erect an egg.[Photo/Xinhua]

China’s “24 solar terms” received attention at the 11th session of United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization’s (UNESCO) Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritages that opened in Ethiopia’s capital, Addis Ababa on Nov 28. During the meeting, it was announced that China’s “24 solar terms” will apply to be added onto the world’s intangible cultural heritage list.

China’s “24 solar terms” is a knowledge system and social practice formed through observation of the sun’s annual motion, and cognition of the whole year’s changes of season, climate and phenology.

The 24 terms include Start of Spring, Rain Water, Awakening of Insects, Spring Equinox, Clear and Bright, Grain Rain, Start of Summer, Grain Buds, Grain in Ear, Summer Solstice, Minor Heat, Major Heat, Start of Autumn, End of Heat, White Dew, Autumn Equinox, Cold Dew, Frost’s Descent, Start of Winter, Minor Snow, Major Snow, Winter Solstice, Minor Cold and Major Cold.

It is among the 37 requests proposed for the Representative List of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity, and the requests will be examined during the meeting along with five nominations for inscription on the List of Intangible Cultural Heritage in Need of Urgent Safeguarding. The meeting will last from Nov 28 to Dec 2.

The Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritages in its 10 years of service has inscribed 336 elements onto the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.