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January 7th, 2011

Sohan, the little cold

Today (6 January) marks the start of Sohan (소한; 小寒) in the lunisolar calendars of China, Korea, Japan, and Vietnam. Despite the name translating to 'little cold' in English it felt very frigid outside today and the temperature was -10°C on my walk home from work. I've recently begun joking with friends that I look forward to the days when it snows because they're usually warmer than the days without snow. As an example of this, Jungnangcheon, the stream by my apartment, started thawing out a couple of weeks ago -- but only once it started snowing.

Sohan begins when the sun reaches a celestial longitude of 285° and continues until it reaches a longitude 300°, which will be on 20 January. The following stage is Daehan (대한; 節氣), a period known as the 'great cold' and which marks the final stage of winter in the lunisolar calendar. While I'm not overly thrilled by the low temperatures it does mean there are fewer people out, which leads to nice photo opportunities:


Taereung (태릉), the tomb site of Queen Munjeong [ link ]