According to the traditional Chinese calendar, for every 19 years there will be seven leap months. “Leap month” refers to a repetitive month and, this year, there will be two Februarys.
The setting of leap month is a way to fill the gap of days between the solar calendar and lunar calendar in one year, which is 11 or 12 days, so as to make sure the four seasons basically fit the months. In accordance with the traditional Chinese calendar, the first three months of the year should be spring, the next three should be summer, then autumn and the last three months should be winter.
There are some traditions and customs during leap month in China, which are varied in different places. As the leap month is around the corner, which gifts have you prepared for your parents?
Send special-made pastry to parents
In some parts of Central China”s Henan province, daughters will prepare wild goose-shaped pastries for their parents before the leap month comes, wishing for auspiciousness. There is a legend surrounding the tradition.
Long ago, there was a girl living at the southern foot of the Songshan Mountain in Henan, who was very filial. In a year which had a leap month, the married girl thought of her parents, who never had enough food to eat and might suffer from hunger due to the repetitive month. So, she collected some leftover millet and headed toward her parents’ home. On the mountainous road, she accidentally fell down and when she woke up, the millet was already eaten up by birds. Seeing this and thinking of her parents, she cried loudly and slowly fell asleep again.
Then she heard some weak voice and woke up again, seeing a couple of wild geese were staying in her bag and not willing to leave, so she took them with her. When she arrived at her parents’ home, the village was suffering from famine and plague, and her parents were on the verge of death. She hurriedly boiled the wild geese and fed them to her parents, and her parents recovered soon. She then gave the leftover food to the neighbors and the plague miraculously disappeared the next day.