Despite the lack of electricity, ancient Chinese had ingenious ways of escaping the summer heat

According to traditional Chinese solar terms, “Great Heat” fell on July 23 this year, which means we’ve now entered the hottest period of the year. These days, hiding indoors, getting meals delivered, and killing time on the internet is the preferred way for people to escape the summer swelter, as exemplified by the internet meme “the air conditioner gives me life” (空调给我生命).

What about the ancient people, though, who had to do without these advanced technologies and services? Not to fear, our ancestors were smart enough to take care of themselves in summer sans electricity, with useful heat-reducing devices sure to blow your mind.

The ancient refrigerator

This is subscriber exclusive content

Become a subscriber to continue reading


author Sun Jiahui (孙佳慧)

Sun Jiahui is a freelance writer and former editor at The World of Chinese. She writes about Chinese language, society and culture, and is especially passionate about sharing stories of China's ancient past with a wider audience. She has been writing for TWOC for over six years, and pens the Choice Chengyu column.

Related Articles