TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Tuesday (June 21) is Xiazhi (夏至), the peak of summer based on the lunisolar calendar, what is known as the summer solstice in the West, and Taiwan has a set of taboos that are traditionally observed on this day.
In a Facebook post uploaded on Wednesday (May 18), numerology expert Hsiao Meng (小孟) pointed out that Xiazhi marks the longest day and the shortest night in the whole year for the northern hemisphere, and symbolized the end of the rainy season. After this day, there are many typhoons and the weather becomes "unbearably hot."
Therefore, the ancients would eat foods that would help them cool off or go to cool places to escape the summer heat. This was also a time students would go on vacation to escape from the heat of the soaring temperatures.
According to Hsiao Meng, people consume green tea, bitter melon, eggplant, and cucumber on this day to cool off. In addition, there is an ancient proverb that states, "Dumplings on the winter solstice, noodles on the summer solstice," indicating that one can eat more in the way of noodles made from wheat during the summer solstice because the wheat is fresh at this time, and has the effect of cooling stomach heat and an increased appetite, from the standpoint of traditional medicine.
To bring oneself wealth in the coming year, Hsiao Meng recommends placing NT$95 in coins inside a bowl at some point from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and place them in a sunny location to absorb sunlight. It is only necessary to leave it outside for 10 minutes and, after carrying the coins in one's pocket for nine days, deposit them in the bank to receive good luck in making one's fortune.
The numbers nine and five signify the authority of an emperor, as nine is the highest of the odd numbers and five is in the middle. Therefore, the combination of these two numbers signifies the highest authority.
The following are six taboos to avoid during Xiazhi:
1. Don't shave head
According to folklore, if the weather is hot after a person shaves their head on Xiazhi, the sun exposure will be too strong and it will cause dizziness, sunburn on the scalp, bad luck, and many failures.
2. Don't go to hot areas
Xiazhi is hot, so it is advisable to avoid hot places, such as playgrounds and open spaces, so as not to cause physical discomfort due to too much sun exposure.
3. Don't curse or swear
The hot Xiazhi weather makes one prone to easily lose one's temper and develop anger from ignorance. If one's temper flares up, it can cause quarrels with others and lead to lawsuits.
4. Avoid large temperature extremes
Do not turn the indoor thermostat down too low on Xiazhi. If the indoor temperature is too low, there will be too large of a contrast with the outdoor temperature and when one goes out, it can easily cause the body to experience large temperature fluctuations, which can lead to a cold.
5. Don't drink ice water or eat frozen foods
During the hot Xiazhi weather, it is not advisable to drink too many cold drinks or eat frozen foods excessively. Otherwise, it could cause too much of a fluctuation in the body's temperature, leading to dizziness or tinnitus.
6. Don't wear red clothing
Because Xiazhi is a very hot day, it is not advisable to wear too much clothing that is red because it could cause one to feel irritable and others may easily become angry when they see the bright red outfit.