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|[a] Cold, rainy, spring RF|
|[b] Flowering RF|
the stream they crossed with their skirts tucked up, the blooming flowers they
plucked, the ferns, the bushes, the white elms, the great oaks and the wood they
took from them: the lit bonfires, the scent of the nosegays, the spring water in
which they dipped themselves, and the wind that dried them as they came
from bathing, all had virtues, unlimited virtues; all was a promise given to
two regions of Space, springs flowing together, they composed a litany of
seasonal saws by means of which they linked their wills together and placed
one another under a spell. Little by little, by the effect of this long inclination,
feelings of sexual modesty and family spirit were muted within them. The power
of the poetry finally brought them together, and they no longer resisted the duty
This is one post in a four-part series. Click below for the other posts:
 Even the earliest calendars in Chinese history connected agriculture and the ruling house. Examples can be found in several first millennium BCE works, including the Guanzi (管子) and the Spring and Autumn Annals of M. Lu (呂氏春秋). See Allyn J. Rickett, Guanzi: Political, Economic, and Philosophical Essays from Early China (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1985) and John Knoblock and Jeffrey Riegel, The Annals of Lü Buwei (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2001).
 In East Wind Melts the Ice, Liza Dalby writes memorably about these seasonal patterns. Liza Dalby, East Wind Melts the Ice (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2007).
 Marcel Granet, The Religion of the Chinese People [Edited and translated by Maurice Freedman] (New York: Harper & Row, 1975), 41-44.