Daxue, literally translated as Great Snow, is one of the traditional Chinese solar terms. It falls on December 7th or 8th every year, when the sun reaches the celestial longitude of 255°. The Great Snow actually means it is getting colder, and there is frequent snowfall compared with that of Xiaoxue (Slight Snow, another solar term); and it does not mean that there will be a heavy snowfall. On the contrary, after Daxue, the precipitation is decreasing everywhere. In Northeastern China and Northern China, the average precipitation in December is only a few millimeters, while in Northwestern China, the precipitation does not even reach 1 millimeter. Daxue represents the coming of heavier snowfall. In Southern China, the weather in winter is mild with little rain and snow, and the average temperature usually ranges from 2℃ to 4℃, which is higher than that in the middle and lower reaches of the Yangtze River, while the rainfall at this time only accounts for about 5% of the annual precipitation. In Northern China, there is often snowfall during day and night, causing the trees to be crushed down and the roads to be blocked. In terms of agriculture, the heavy snowfall is beneficial because when the snow covers the fields, the low temperature can kill the insects inside the earth.
During Daxue period, most parts of vast China, except for South China and southern part of Yunnan Province, are usually covered with snow. In Northeastern and Northwestern parts of China, the average temperature has dropped below -10℃. In the Yellow River region and North China, the temperature is stable at below 0℃. Winter wheat has stopped growing. In the Yangtze-Huaihe Region and its southern areas, wheat and cole still grow, but in a very slow pace. This period requires fertilization, which can lay the good foundation for their growth in the coming spring. In South China and Southwest China, wheat has come to the stooping stage.
After the Daxue period, the weather gets colder, with chilly wind and falling snow. In North China, there will be a sharp drop of temperature and frequent snowfall. The gale after Daxue makes the temperature to drop sharply, which is the cause for cold and cough. In the cold weather, it is important to stay warm to prevent from getting ill.