Seasons in Chinese: The Weather, Words and Holidays You Need to Know
Learning the 季节 (jì jié) — seasons in Chinese is more than just knowing how to talk about the weather.
It’s also about discovering the different holidays and traditions in each season and diving deep into Chinese culture.
Now, let me introduce you to the four seasons in Chinese and what they’re like, plus relevant holidays and related vocabulary for each one so you can expand your Chinese conversations.
- The Four Seasons in Chinese
- Spring Vocabulary in Chinese
- Summer Vocabulary in Chinese
- Autumn Vocabulary in Chinese
- Winter Vocabulary in Chinese
- Why Learn the Seasons in Chinese
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The Four Seasons in Chinese
Spring Vocabulary in Chinese
In 春天, China has warm weather. The average temperature during the daytime is 13 degrees Celsius (55.4 degrees Fahrenheit) and 3 degrees Celsius at night (37.4 degrees Fahrenheit).
But China is a big country, which means different regions can be cooler or warmer than average!
In the North, spring comes late and lasts for less than three months. And in cities like Beijing, there’s barely any difference between spring and winter.
In Southern China, spring gets gradually warmer and the daytime becomes longer. Opposite of the North, the South experiences a beautiful spring (although with a bit of rain here and there).
(chūn jié de shí hou wǒ huí jiā xiāng kàn fù mǔ.)
I go back to my hometown to visit my parents during Spring Festival.
(jīn tiān de tiān qì hěn nuǎn huo ba?)
The weather today is warm, isn't it?
to celebrate, to spend
(nǐ měi nián chūn jié zěn me guò?)
How do you spend/celebrate Spring Festival every year?
(dà zì rán)
(chūn tiān de dà zì rán hěn měi.)
The nature in spring is beautiful.
Summer Vocabulary in Chinese
During 夏天, June and July are the hottest months in China. The places that experience the true summer heat the most are cities. But in August, the temperature starts to drop in preparation for fall.
But perhaps summer is better known in China not for its heat but for its wetness. Summer is the prime time in China for typhoons and summer rains.
The best place to be in summer if you aren’t a fan of the heat is Northern China. In Beijing, the temperature rarely exceeds 32 degrees Celsius (90 degrees Fahrenheit), even in the hottest months.
(xià tiān tài rè le!)
Summer is too hot!
(xià tiān de tái fēng hěn duō.)
Summer has lots of typhoons.
(xià tiān de shí hou jīng cháng xià yǔ.)
It often rains in summer.
(ér tóng jié)
(míng tiān shì ér tóng jié.)
Tomorrow is Children's Day.
(duān wǔ jié)
Dragon Boat Festival
(duān wǔ jié shì wǒ zuì xǐ huān de jié rì.)
Dragon Boat Festival is my favorite holiday.
Autumn Vocabulary in Chinese
秋天 lasts from September to November in China and is by far one of the most beautiful seasons.
From magnificent views to perfect weather, autumn is one of the best times to travel.
On average, the daily temperature during fall never exceeds 26 degrees Celsius (79 degrees Fahrenheit) in September, 20 degrees Celsius (68 degrees Fahrenheit) in October and 10 degrees Celsius (50 degrees Fahrenheit) in November in Beijing.
(qiū tiān de tiān qì fēi cháng liáng kuai.)
The weather in autumn is very cool.
(zhōng qiū jié)
(zhōng qiū jié shì hěn zhòng yào de jié rì.)
Mid-Autumn Festival is an important holiday.
(zhōng qiū jié de shí hou měi gè rén dōu chī yuè bing.)
Everyone eats mooncakes during Mid-Autumn Festival.
(jīn tiān fēng hěn dà.)
Today, it's pretty windy.
(wàn shèng jié)
(zài měi guǒ, wǒ men zài qiū tiān de shí hou guò wàn shèng jié.)
In America, we celebrate Halloween in fall.
Winter Vocabulary in Chinese
In China, 冬天 is from December to February. And unlike summer, it’s a bit milder in Southern and Central China than in the North.
There’s little snow in winter outside Northern China, and the weather is fairly moist. But due to humidity, the temperature almost always feels colder than it actually is.
What’s known as Tropical China is in the very south of the country, and there, winter basically doesn’t exist. These areas consist of rain forests, islands and beaches, and winter there can even feel warm.
But if you go up to Beijing in the North, winters are cold and dry. They’re also longer. Winter begins in early November and lasts until March!
And if you want to go somewhere extremely cold, visit 哈尔滨 (hā ěr bīn) — Harbin. This city is so cold that it’s known as “Ice City,” where temperatures in January can get to -23 degrees Celsius (-10 degrees Fahrenheit).
(zhè lǐ tài lěng le!)
It's too cold here!
(běi jīng jīng cháng xià xuě.)
Beijing snows a lot.
(dōng tiān de shí hou wǒ jīng cháng qù huá bīng.)
I usually ice skate during winter.
(shèng dàn jié)
(shèng dàn jié zài dōng tiān dào lái.)
Christmas is in winter.
Why Learn the Seasons in Chinese
- Current seasons aren’t always the same on the other side of the world. Depending on where you live, the season in your country and the current season in a Mandarin-speaking country might be totally opposite. Holidays, school years and school breaks can differ greatly as well.
- Knowing how to discuss seasons makes for great small talk. Whether you want to inquire about summer break plans or simply complain about the miserable weather in your area, seasons can be a common language exchange topic.
- There are tons of references to seasons in Chinese media. Related vocabulary words can help you understand songs like this one by Chopstick Brothers. You can use the language learning website and app FluentU to see how seasons are talked about in other authentic Chinese media formats.
- You’ll know how to pack for your future trip to China. Knowing the seasons will help you prepare for trips to Chinese-speaking countries! Plus, you’ll be able to ask your language partner or tutor about what to pack or what to do when you arrive.
- You’ll deepen your understanding of Chinese culture. Seasons come with 节日 (jié rì) — holidays, like Spring Festival and Mid-Autumn Festival. You’ll be able to learn more about each holiday’s history, traditions and stories with seasonal vocabulary.
Congratulations! You’re now fully equipped to have conversations beyond basic weather.
Start having deeper conversations with Chinese people and learning more about Chinese customs!