Start of Winter Lì Dōng 立冬

November 7, 2022
“Start of Winter”, or Lì Dōng (Chinese: 立冬), is the 19th solar term of the year, and the first of the 6 Winter Solar Terms. It truly feels like the start of winter in California where a rainstorm has moved into the region, bringing some welcome showers.
Lì Dōng is a traditional festival in China, celebrating the autumn harvest and beginning of winter. Chinese families around the world still observe Lì Dōng, especially by eating dumplings of all styles and varieties, and mutton hot-pot.
Each solar term is divided into three pentads consisting of 5 (rarely 6) days, sometimes known as the 72 material manifestations. The pentads for Start of Winter are as follows: (1) Water begins to freeze (水始冰), (2) Earth begins to harden (地始凍), and (3) Pheasants enter the deep water and become giant clams (雉入大水為蜃).
Here are some useful health cultivation tips for Lì Dōng:
1. Nourish the Yang and protect the warmth of body. Get plenty of sleep to help the body replenish and revitalize energetically. Dress appropriately for the cooler temperatures.
2. During this time of year, focus on overall tonification and consume warm and rich food. Meat, fish, and other sources of protein are good for nourishing the body, like dumplings stuffed with ground chicken and chives, or a lamb/mutton stew with Dang Gui (Angelica sinensis), Astragalus and Jujube dates. But be mindful of excessively rich and heavy food; immoderate consumption will inevitably adversely affect your health.
3. If you have not visited your acupuncturist or TCM practitioner for a while, this would be a good time to schedule a ‘tune up’ maintenance visit to ensure that your health is optimized for the upcoming winter season.
For more information on seasonal health cultivation, schedule an appointment with one of our student interns or licensed practitioners at the Yo San University Blount Community Clinic. Tele-health consultations are also offered by our experienced senior practitioners. Call today. 310.577.3006