The Dreaded Sanfutian
Outdoors? No thanks.
Today the weather rùfú (入伏), or enters the hottest period of the year in China. Rù means “ to enter” in Chinese, and fú refers to this period, called sānfútiān (三伏天).
There is an old saying in Chinese, “the hottest days are the sānfútiān, and the coldest are the sānjiǔtiān (三九天, 27 days after the winter solstice).” Sānfútiān refers to the period between mid-July to mid-August, when the temperature and humidity are the highest. It is divided into chūfú (初伏, in mid-July), zhōngfú (中伏, in late July to early August), mòfú (末伏, in mid-August).
But what exactly is fú? Fú refers to the “hidden pathogen” or “summer-heat pathogen” of the six pathogens in Chinese traditional medicine (wind evil, cold evil, summer-heat evil, damp evil, dryness evil, fire evil).
Today, July 12th, is the first day of the first fú. How can we survive the coming dog days? Here’s a few tips:
First, practice heatstroke prevention. Try to avoid going out at noon and take a parasol with you outside. If you are not feeling well, get some rest immediately; if conditions persist, seek help from a doctor.
Second, pay attention to your diet. Try to stay away from foods high in fat, especially spicy food. It’s better to eat vegetables and fruits, which contain much less fat and oil.
Finally, drink a lot of water; it will keep you hydrated and comfortable.
Follow these tips and the sānfútiān is nothing to be afraid about!