A farming proverb goes that loquat fruits turn yellow at the Grain Buds. During the Grain Buds period, the summer harvest is about to begin. Grain Buds is the 8th Solar Term of the year. It begins on May 21 and ends on June 5 this year.
China is the world's largest producer of rice. In Southern China, people have been farming rice for generations. During the Grain Buds period, most parts of southern China will see more humidity weather with heavy rainfall. As ‘a heavy rainfall makes the river full’, Grain Buds is believed to be the time for transplanting, which can ensure bumper harvest of rice.
According to Rao Yuansheng, a famous Cantonese cultural scholar, Grain Buds is also a season for eating the herb of the common sow thistle, which is one of the earliest known edible potherbs in China. Although it tastes a little bitter and tart, it has the function of cooling the blood and detoxifying the body. In Guangdong though, this kind of herb is rarely seen so people eat bitter gourd instead.
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