The dog days of China are upon us, can you feel it? It's essentially the hottest weather patterns mother nature likes to dish out around this time of the year. The dog days of summer are called "Sānfútiān" in Chinese, in short it is referred as "Sānfú". This Chinese term indicates the hottest and most humid days in summer. The "Sānfútiān" takes place for around 30 to 40 days, consisting of three periods the beginning, the middle, and the end. The first fú is for ten days, the middle or second fú is ten or twenty days, and the third fú is ten days beginning in early to mid-August.
2018 Three Sānfú Periods
Beginning (头伏 /初伏):
July 17, 2018 to July 26, 2018
July 27, 2018 to August 15, 2018
August 16, 2018 to August 25, 2018
What are the customs of Sānfútiān?
Sānfútiān has its share of customary ways to stay healthy during these sweltering conditions. On the days of tóufú/chūfú, usually Chinese people eat "jiǎozi" which are nutritious and able to stimulate one's appetite. During the second period (zhōngfú) it is important to eat noodles, especially noodle soup. Hot noodle soup will help the body rid itself of toxins by sweating while it also replenishes your energy in the process. On the last ten days, also known as Sānfú, some people eat "làobǐng tān jīdàn" as a custom. This food is similar to "jiānbǐng" with an egg on top, it also often comes with some vegetables, meat or tofu.
5 Suggestions to Beat the Heat
1. In the summer, it is not recommended to carry out rigorous activities such as mountain climbing and outdoor activities during the day. It is recommended to choose activities such as swimming or jogging in the mornings and evenings.
2. By all means stay hydrated by drinking water. This is seemingly a no-brainer, however it’s best to stick with warm water instead of chugging icy water. Also remind yourself to drink less soda, juice and other beverages. These beverages will cause bad stimulation to the stomach and intestines, affecting digestion and appetite.
3. Nap time should not be too long. If you take a nap for too long, the central nervous system will be inhibited. The relative decrease of blood flow in the brain will slow down the metabolic process, which will make the body uncomfortable and sleepy after waking up.
4. Avoid "quick cooling" after so much heat exposure. In summer, people go out and work up a sweat. After arriving home some people like to park directly in front of the fan or take a cold bath immediately. This will quickly close the pores of the body, and the heat in the body will be difficult to dissipate. It will also cause insufficient blood supply to the brain due to blood vessels rapidly contracting. Making people feel dizzy as an effect.
5. The temperature difference between indoor and outdoor air conditioning should not be too far apart from each other. It is advisable to use the indoor and outdoor temperature difference for the air conditioner not to exceed 5 degrees.
Now that dog days of summer has arrived once again, how will spend your time during Sānfútiān? Will the hot season keep you from doing your favorite activities and special plans? Feel free to share your experience with Sānfútiān in China, and let us know if you're used to any customs on Sānfútiān.
(Author: Jim & Xiaowen, Editor: Simon)