Qiū Fēn: Autumnal Equinox

秋分 Qiū Fēn


A bright moon and stars twinkle and shine. Wishing you a merry Mid-Autumn Festival, bliss, and happiness.

September 22nd of this year marks the 16th solar term of 秋分 Qiū Fēn on the Ancient Chinese Calendar, known as the Autumn Equinox in the West.  It arrives when the celestial longitude is 180 degrees.  Qiu Fen is a time for all living things to prepare their shelters for the chilly winter nights to come.  Have you noticed a change in the temperature ? The weather turns towards cool and dry in this portion of the year for the Northern Hemisphere.  “Thunders begin to soften, insects start making nests and water begins to dry up,” according to Ancient Chinese wisdom.

It is the time when the night and day are equal in length, and the Yin Qi and Yang Qi are in balance.   This means that the heat and cold are also balanced.

“阵秋雨一阵寒 Yízhèn qiūyǔ yízhèn hán Each autumn rain makes it colder”
-Ancient Chinese Proverb

祭月节Jìyuè Jiéven is the ancient moon festival which happens at the time of Autumn Equinox.  During this time 20-30 Tang Yuan (rice dumplings) were offered at the edge of fields to protect the crops from sparrows.  Today people spend time with their families and loved ones and enjoy eating infamous mooncakes🥮!


“The three months of Autumn are the season for harvest.
It is getting cooler and the wind is blowing stronger.
The Qi of earth is clear and everything is changing color.
Go to sleep when it is dark and get up at dawn, just like the rooster.
Keep calm and relaxed and keep your vital energy in good balance.
It will help you resist the adverse influence of the cold autumn air.
That is the way to adapt to autumn and nurture the harvesting Qi.
Violating it will result in injury to the lungs.”

黃帝內經 Huangdi Neijing Su Wen


Autumn Indications

Harmonize with the autumn season so that you do not suffer dis-ease during the winter. As we discussed in our previous blog Lì Qiū: The Ancient Chinese Autumn, Autumn begins the phase of Yin energy coming off of the Yang energy of Summer. It corresponds with the Metal element which represents the lungs, the large intestine and the skin organs.

The Metal element is also associated with the nose, the emotions of courage and sadness, the color white, the sound of weeping, and the white tiger. It correlates with the direction of West, which is the direction of dreams and visions. Likewise, the climate is dry, the season is ripening and ready for harvest, and the taste is pungent.

Focus on your breathing, fresh air, and meditation.  Be open to new ideas while protecting your boundaries and limits.  Embrace yourself and let go of the things that no longer serve you.  秋分 Qiu Fen is a time for clarity, productivity, and discipline.

The wind begins to blow more freely during 秋分 Qiū Fēn which can bring pestilence through the skin to the lungs.  Be sure to cover your neck and skin during this time to protect your Zheng Qi.

It is also important to stay hydrated as autumn is a time of dryness.  In Chinese Medicine we often see people with dry and itchy skin, dry cough, sore throats, and constipation during 秋分 Qiū Fēn.  You can  avoid all of this by drinking enough water daily and doing your Dao Yin exercises to harmonize with each day!


Yíngyǎng (营养) Nutritional Corner – 秋分 Qiu Fen: Ancient Chinese Autumn

It is recommended in Traditional Chinese Medicine to transition from cold and uncooked foods to more warm and cooked foods during the autumn months.

If you are a Yang Body Type, consider adding more of the following fruits to your diet:

  • Pomelo
  • Loquat
  • Kumquat
  • Star Fruit
  • Apples
  • Plums
  • Olives
  • Grapefruit

If you are a Yin Body Type, consider adding more of the following fruits to your diet:

  • Pumpkin
  • Red Kidney Beans
  • Grapes
  • Bell Pepper
  • Butternut Squash
  • Acorn Squash
  • Pineapple


A Note From Jiao Shi

As we transition from the time of bái lù 白露 (White Dew) into qiū fēn 秋分 (Autumn Equinox), the days and nights are cooler. It is important to protect yourself from the wind and make sure that you hydrate with the fruits that were covered in the last few episodes of Jammin’ with Jiao Shi.

Focus on embracing yourself and staying centered, calm, and peaceful.  May you continue to balance and harmonize yourself as we transition into the autumn equinox.

Jiao Shi





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