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Culture Insider: Get ready for 'sanfu'

By Zhu Linyong | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2021-07-14 14:36

In traditional Chinese medicine, it's believed eating bitter food in summer can help relieve inner heat in the human body. When the weather is sizzling and people lose their appetite for hot dishes, cold dishes such as a plate of sliced bitter melon in the sauce can be a soothing choice. The vegetable is also able to improve blood circulation and help decrease blood sugar levels. [Photo/VCG]

July 11 marked the arrival of this year's sanfu days, or "dog days of summer" in China.

Sanfu in the Chinese lunar calendar refers to the three 10-day periods that are predicted to be the hottest days of the year, called toufu or chufu (mid-July), zhongfu (late July to early August), and mofu (mid-August).

The beginning of sanfu varies year to year, in accordance with the ancient Chinese dates designated by 10 Heavenly Stems (tiangan) and 12 Earthly Branches (dizi)-- two sets of sequential signs to calculate history and chronicle events.

Let's take a look at some traditional ways to while away the dog days of summer.

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