"Start of spring: east wind melts ice"

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Law, Jo
melts; ice; start; east; spring; wind; Arts and Humanities; Social and Behavioral Sciences
artifact description
Yes, it is spring, according to the Chinese Almanac. The almanac uses astronomical calculations to reckon the seasons, where four positions of the sun on the ecliptic serve as reference points. These quarter points, as they are known, are the solstices and equinoxes. On the solstices, the sun observed from Earth to be directly overhead at the tropics (of Capricorn 23° 26′ 16″S or Cancer 23° 26′ 16″N). At these points, the sun ‘stands still’, it will go no further but instead ‘reverses’ direction. Allowing for a delay in the heating and cooling of earth’s air temperature (known as ‘season lag’), the almanac places the start of seasons at the mid-points between solstices and equinoxes