The traditional Chinese lunar calendar divides the year into 24 solar terms. Rain Water (Chinese: 雨水), the second solar term, starts on February 19 and ends on March 4 this year.
Rain Water signals the increase in rainfall and rise in temperature. During the Rain Water period, the country sees increasing precipitation under the impact of the ocean's warm and moist air masses. According to an old Chinese saying, the rainfall in spring is as precious as oil. It is considered as a key period for irrigation.
During this period, rainfall is heavier in the south than in the north. Guangdong which falls within the Tropic of Cancer has plentiful rainfall every year. Due to the damp and rainy weather, a special building has come into being in Guangdong—Qilou (arcade building).
The Qilou, traditional arcade-houses, represent a blend of Chinese and western architectural styles. China's first Qilou building was built in Guangzhou where people focus more on pragmaticism. Most of Qilou buildings are usually two or three storied, with a protruding structure, or arcade, stretching above from the second storey over the sidewalk. These arcades are linked together by the side of the street, forming a shaded corridor, which keeps the shops along the sidewalk as well as the pedestrians safe from the scorching sun and rain. Qilou buildings in China are used for both commercial and residential purposes. People in Guangzhou also call it "feng yu lang", literally meaning shelter from wind and rain.
Although it may be raining cats and dogs outside, people under the arcade can take it easy all the time. Some of them may stop by a coffee shop and purchase a cup of coffee. Some stop to take photos of the rainy scene, enjoying a good time here after their busy work.
After about a century, these arcade buildings are still an important part of people's life in Guangzhou. Many of them have been renovated, embracing new vitality.
Presented by Southcn.com & GDToday
Planning: Zhang Chunqing
Coordinating: Zhao Yang, Li Lin
Supervising: Xie Miaofeng, Zhu Jing, Ou Xiaoming
Host & script: Chen Chen, Axin
Filming: Axin, Zhang Qida, Qin Shaolong
Video editor: Axin, Chen Chen
English version: Monica
English editor: Wing, Jerry