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Shuang Jiang (Frost's Descent) usually happens on 23rd or 24th October each year when the sun reaches the celestial longitude of 210 degrees. It is the last solar term of autumn, during which time the weather becomes much colder than before, and frost begins to appear. Frost consists of white ice crystals of frozen water vapour near the ground or plants. With Frost's Descent, autumn becomes more noticeable as tree leaves turn yellow and red. In Beijing, it is the best time to see the red leaves growing in the Fragrant Hills (香山)，Fadachu Park (八大处公园) and Jingshan Park (景山公园). Other ideal places for enjoying the fascinating scene of red leaves include Baiwangshan Forest Park (百望山), Miaofengshan Mountain (妙峰山) and the Mutianyu Section of the Great Wall (慕田峪长城). Research shows that walking leisurely in the natural environment is associated with people’s health and wellbeing.
In many areas in China, people eat persimmon at this time. As an old saying goes, 'Eat persimmon. No running noses.' This period is the peak time for chronic gastritis and gastroduodenal canker. Aged people can sometimes get arthritis. Eat pear, apple, ginkgo, onions, and leaf mustard can relieve these symptoms.
Here is a famous poem about the hike and enjoying red leaves from Tang Dynasty.
山行 杜牧 (唐)
An Outing in the Hill by Du Mu
A steep path leads to the cold hill all the way up;
Some houses are found amidst white clouds deep.
I stop my carriage for I love the maples at dusk;
Redder than spring flowers are the frosty leaves.
By Catherine Mang