Episode 116: Three – Season People

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Today we will talk about a story which was popular in the hometown of Confucius however I am not sure it is really related to Confucius 孔子 and I think it is made up by people because it is not written in the book Analects 论语, which is a collection of sayings and ideas of Confucius and his contemporaries written during the year 475 ~ 221 BC.

For people who don’t know about Confucius, he was a Chinese teacher, politician and philosopher between the year 551 to 479 BC from the Spring and Autumn period. His theory known as Confucianism emphasized morality of social relationships. He is one of the most important people in shaping Chinese, Asian and human history.

Hope this story can help you not be bothered by certain things and people in the new year.

One morning, one of Confucius’ students ZiGong 子贡was sweeping the floor in the yard. Somebody knocked on the door and asked, “are you Confucius? ” ZiGong replied, “what do you want to get help with?”

“I want to ask a question about time”

“I know the answer”

“How many seasons are there in a year?”

“Four seasons” ZiGong said.

“No! There are three seasons.”

They both were sure about their opinions for a while until Confucius came out.

ZiGong came up and let Confucius to give the answer.

Confucius didn’t say anything at first and then after a while he said , “there are three seasons in a year. ”

The visitor was glad and left the house with a smile.


ZiGong asked Confucius ,”how many seasons are there exactly in a year?” Confucius replied, “four seasons.” ZiGong was confused.

Confucius explained, “now is different from a moment ago. Did you see that man that wearing green? He was a cricket spirit. Crickets are born in the spring and die in the fall. They never see the winter. If you talk about seasons with him, your discussion wouldn’t end in another three days. ” ZiGong nodded.

Although this is a myth and probably has nothing to do with Confucius, there is a saying from the book ZhuangZiJiShi 庄子集释 from the year 476 ~ 221 BC that there is no need to talk about ice with a summer bug 夏虫不可语 冰.


I think everyone is a summer bug in certain scenarios and if we know and understand more about people that we communicate with, the communication would be more efficient. And if we stand from other people’s shoes, we would understand, respect, and tolerant others more. Everything is relative because we are all three- seasoned people.



论语 Analects

庄子集释 ZhuangZiJiShi

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