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Talking about Idioms (19)

Popularity 1Viewed 916 times 2018-1-7 21:52 |System category:Life

It is snowing heavily these days in many place , so I’d like to talk about an idiom related to snow, that is “瑞雪兆丰年ruì xuě zhào fēng nián”. The idiom means a timely snow promises a good harvest.

The idiom’s origin can be trace back to an article " On Drought and Hungry" written by 韩愈(Han Yu),an famous ancient prose writer in the Tang Dynasty. In this article we read the sentence: “今瑞雪频降,来年必丰”,(these days auspicious snow falls frequently , so next year will be a bumper harvest year) .

Peasants love snowfalls in winter. Seeing snowflakes are falling thick and fast, they are happy because they know  they will have a good year. Is there any scientific reason in what the idiom says? Actually, there is. Snow in winter covers fields, like a large quilt with cotton wadding keeping heat in the lower ground, thereby saving the winter crops from freezing. And more than that, when the snow is melting in the following spring, cold snow water seeping into the soil, most of the overwintering pest eggs will be frozen to death. This is a natural way to reduce pest harm. Snow water also can provide the fields with a good irrigation, alleviating the spring drought, so it is good for spring ploughing and sowing. 

However , heavy snow can make traffic difficulty, and bring inconveniences to our living and traveling. I think that the only way we can choose to face natural phenomena is “趋利避害” (qū lì bì hài) — an idiom meaning go after good and avoid harm.

(Opinions of the writer in this blog don't represent those of China Daily.)


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Reply Report sharoncuizz 2018-1-9 12:55
I like this idom especially in winter, as there are a lot of wheat planting in my hometown, western Shandong Province. Auspicious snow can bring a good harvest to the farmers. :)

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  • Talking about Idioms (19) 2018-1-9 12:55

    I like this idom especially in winter, as there are a lot of wheat planting in my hometown, western Shandong Province. Auspicious snow can bring a good harvest to the farmers. :)

  • Talking about Idioms (17) 2017-12-29 21:34

    Good luck would become after your failure!

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