Tuesday marks the beginning of Shuangjiang or "Frost's Descent" in English, the 18th of 24 solar terms in the Chinese lunar calendar. It usually falls around October 23 and ends around November 7, making it the last term of autumn and signifying the last two weeks of the season.Literally, it refers to the time when frost starts to descend across China, or "the dews were congealed into frost" due to the coldness, as recorded in ancient Chinese books.
本周二是中国农历二十四节气中的第十八个节气 "霜降"。它通常在10 月 23 日前后开始，11 月 7 日前后结束，是秋季的最后一个节气，也是秋季的最后两周。从字面上理解，即中国各地开始进入霜降节气，也就是中国古书中记载的 "寒露凝霜"。
Frost consists of white ice crystals of frozen water vapor near the ground. During Frost's Descent, frost begins to appear. But in the lower reaches of the Yellow River region, frost first appears in late October or early November. As Frost's Descent comes, the world is filled with the atmosphere of late autumn.
By the time of Shuangjiang, most of the harvesting work is already completed in northern China. Even the most cold-resistant crops can no longer grow. Large swaths of the fields in the north are done for the season, and farmers are now able to enjoy a hard-won rest.
But in the south, the harvest is still in its heyday, as farmers have to take home the sweet potatoes before they are destroyed by the coming frost, while the winter wheat and oilseed rape need to be mothproofed.
In south and north, after a year of farming, now it is time to plow the fields and prepare the soil for next year.
Autumn might be the most colorful season in China with the leaves turning from golden yellow to red. Activities like hiking become popular as people take in the bright red leaves.
Nearly all the tourist websites list the best sites for admiring the red maple leaves during this time, and many cities' tourist bureaus start to even issue official routes for the most picturesque views of the leaves.
Reveling in the view is an old tradition starting in ancient times. Du Mu, a well-known poet from the Tang Dynasty (618-904) depicted the mountainous scenery in a poem: "I stopped the coach as charmed by the maple woods; Frosted autumn leaves outshine February flowers in redness."
It is said that Shuangjiang is the best time to adjust to a nourishing life, which reflects the belief that this is an important time to focus on health. "Keeping warm" becomes a top priority.