Traditional CHINESE CALENDAR is a lunisolar calendar which reckons
years, months and days according to astronomical phenomena. Currently,
In the Chinese calendar, the days begin and end at midnight. The months begin on the day with the dark (new) moon . The years begin with the dark moon near the midpoint between winter solstice and spring equinox . The solar terms are the important components of the Chinese calendar. In a month, there are one to three solar terms.
The currently used traditional
In Korea, Vietnam, and the Ryukyu Islands, the
The official calendar in China is the
Gregorian calendar , but the
In ancient China, the calendars marked the name/stem – branch of the year, month names, month length flags (大/小=Long/Short), the stems of 1/11/21 (1/11/21 of each month are same in stem, use a character), the branches of 1/11/21, and the date/stem-branch/time of the solar terms in the month.
THIS ARTICLE CONTAINS CHINESE TEXT. Without proper rendering support , you may see question marks, boxes, or other symbols instead of Chinese characters .
* 1 Structure
* 1.1 General * 1.2 7 Luminaries, Big Dipper, 3 Enclosures, 28 Mansions * 1.3 Codes * 1.4 Time system * 1.5 Week * 1.6 Month * 1.7 Solar year and solar term
* 1.8 Civil year
* 1.8.1 Estimate the Chinese Date * 1.8.2 Graphical representation * 1.8.3 Age recognition in China * 1.8.4 Birthday issue * 1.8.5 Year number system
* 1.9 Phenology * 1.10 Festivals
* 2 History
* 2.1 Earlier Chinese calendars
* 2.2 Ancient Chinese calendars
* 2.3 Modern Chinese calendars
* 2.4 Other practices
* 3 See also * 4 Notes * 5 References * 6 Further reading * 7 External links
The calendar has a year, month and date frame. The key elements are
the day, synodic month and solar year. The
The concepts in the Chinese, Hindu, and Hebrew calendars:
* DAY, the time based on the earth's rotation. In the Chinese
calendar, a day starts from the midnight; in the Hindu calendars, a
day starts from sunrise; and in the Hebrew calendar, a day starts from
* MONTH, the time is based on the obliquity of the moon path. In the
Chinese calendar, a month starts from the dark moon; in the Hindu
calendars, a month can start from the dark moon or the full moon; and
in the Hebrew calendar, a month starts from the new moon. A month is
about 29 17/32 days.
* PHASE, 1/30 month, 12° obliquity of the moon path. A unique
concept of dating method in the Hindu calendar, a phase is about 63/64
day, which derived out the 64 divinatory symbols.
* DATE, the day number in a month. In the Chinese and Hebrew
calendars, days are numbered in sequence from 1 to 29 or 30; and in
the Hindu calendars, the days are numbered according to the number of
the phase in the days. In the Hindu calendars, some dates may be
* YEAR, the time based on the earth's revolution. In the Chinese
calendar, a year starts from the vernal commence (or the winter
solstice); in the Hindu and
Hebrew calendar starts from the vernal
equinox. A year is about 365 31/128 days.
* ZODIAC, 1/12 year, 30° ecliptic, a concept of monthing method in
the Chinese and Hindu calendars, and the concept of the monthing
method in the solar calendars, such as the
Gregorian calendar and
Persian calendar. A zodiac is about 30 7/16 days. The zodiac in the
7 LUMINARIES, BIG DIPPER, 3 ENCLOSURES, 28 MANSIONS
The movements of the Sun, the Moon, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn are the key references for calendar calculations. These are known as the seven luminaries.
* The distance between Mercury and the sun is within 30°, which is
the sun's height at _chenshi_, so Mercury is called the "chen star".
(Chinese : 辰星)
* Venus occurs at dawn and dusk, so the Venus is called the "bright
star" (Chinese : 启明星) or "long star" (Chinese : 长庚星).
The Big Dipper is regarded as the compass in the sky, and the handle's direction decides the season and solar month. The stars are divided into 3 enclosures and 28 mansions according to the location in the sky. The mansions are named with 28 characters according to the shape.
* Central (3 enclosures): Purple Forbidden (Chinese : 紫微), Supreme Palace (Chinese : 太微), Heavenly Market (Chinese : 天市) * Eastern mansions: 角, 亢, 氐, 房, 心, 尾, 箕; Southern mansions: 井, 鬼, 柳, 星, 张, 翼, 轸; Western mansions: 奎, 娄, 胃, 昴, 毕, 参, 觜; Northern mansions: 斗, 牛, 女, 虚, 危, 室, 壁
The moon moves about 1 mansion per day. Therefore, the 28 mansions are used to count days too. In the Tang Dynasty, Yuan Tiangang (Chinese : 袁天罡) matched the 28 mansions, 7 luminaries and animal signs, such as horn-wood-flood dragon (Chinese : 角木蛟).
Several coding systems are used for some special circumstances in order to avoid ambiguity, such as continuous day or year count.
* The heavenly stems is a decimal system. * The earthly branches is a duodecimal system. The earthly branches are used to mark the _shí_ and climate terms usually. * There's a different pattern for earthly branches , which is called as 12 characters of jian, chu and others (Chinese : 建除十二字; pinyin : _jianchu 12 zi_). The 12 characters sequence from the first day with the same branch as the month (first Yinri of Zheng, first Maori of Ery, ...). The 12 characters must be used to count the days of the solar month. * The stem-branches is a sexagesimal system. The heavenly stems and earthly branches match together and form stem-branches . The stem-branches are used to mark the continuous day and year. * The stem-branches order may calculate with the stems order and branches order. sb=6s-5b _(if less than 10, add 50)_ * The unit digit of the stem-branches order is the stems order; the unit digit minus twice the tens digit is the branches order _(if less than 2, add 10)_ * The five phases are used to match the stems, branches, and stem-branches. And the Yin-yang are used to match the stems, branches, and stem-branches too, odd-yang, even-yin.
Coding system in
WUXIN STEM-BRANCH WUXIN
WUXIN BRANCH -SHí -YUè
metal 1z 97 73
15 91 79
wood 1 jiǎ 甲 19:12 yig 1 wood yín 寅 4:00 zhg
20 08 84
26 02 8x
2 yǐ 乙 21:36 erg 2 mǎo 卯 6:00 ery
fire 31 19
5z 37 13
55 fire 3 bǐng 丙 0:00 sag 3 soil chén 辰 8:00 say
60 48 24
66 4 dīng 丁 2:24 sig 4 fire sì 巳 10:00 Siy
95 71 59
9z 77 soil 5 wù 戊 4:48 wug 5 wǔ 午 12:00 wuy
06 82 6x
00 88 6 jǐ 己 7:12 morn 6 soil wèi 未 14:00 luy
3z 17 93
35 11 99 metal 7 gēng 庚 9:36 ante 7 metal shēn 申 16:00 qiy
40 28 04
46 22 0x 8 xīn 辛 12:00 noon 8 yǒu 酉 18:00 bay
soil 75 51 39
7z 57 33
water 9 rén 壬 14:24 post 9 soil xū 戌 20:00 joy
86 62 4x
80 68 44
0 guì 癸 16:48 eve 10 water hài 亥 22:00 shy
11 zǐ 子 00:00 doy
0 soil chǒu 丑 02:00 lay
Explanatory Chart for Chinese time Main article: Chinese Traditional Time System
In Modern China, people use the Western hour-minute-second system to divide time. In Ancient China, people used the _shi-ke_ system to divide the time during the day and the _geng-dian_ system to divide the time during the night.. For example: The Chinese standard time is _01:33:30, or 3:38 (Sang 3 point)_.
In the Chinese calendar, the day begins at midnight and ends at the next midnight, but people tend to regard the days as beginning at dawn.
* 24 hours system
In Han Dynasty, a day is divided into 24 hours, and the 15 active o'clocks (6:00-20:00) are named as: dawn (晨明), daybreak (朏明), morning (旦明), earlier breakfast (蚤食),later breakfast (宴食), ante noon (隅中), noon (正中), short shadow (少还), drum time (铺时), long shadow (大还), higher setting (高舂), lower setting(下舂), sunset (县东), dusk (黄昏), rest time (定昏)
* _shi-ke_ system
A day is divided into 100 centidays by _kes_ (the scales), or into 12 dual-hours by 12 _shis_, which are named with 12 earthly branches. In the earlier stage, the time expression is _sss initial, sss 1 ke,..., sss 8 ke_, such as _wush 3 ke (the third ke after wush)_ After Tang dynasty, the time expression is _a.sss initial, a.sss 1 ke,..., a.sss 4 ke, p.sss initial, p.sss 1 ke,..., p.sss 4 ke_, such as _a.wush 3 ke (the third ke of wush), p.yinsh 4 ke (the fourth ke after yinsh)_ For the calendar convenience, A day is divided into _6000 fens. 1 centiday = 60 fens, 1 fen = 14.4 seconds_.
* _geng-dian_ system
A day is divided into 10 decidays by _gengs_ (The midnight is _sang_, and each deciday is divided by 5 _dians_ (points). The time expression is _ggg, ggg 1 point,..., ggg 5 point_, such as _sang 2 point (the second point after sang)_. Among a year, the night length is inconstant. At 35°N, it is about 60% at the winter solstice, and about 40% at the summer solstice. So, the night gengs starts from a time between dawn and _yig_, and end at a time between _wug_ and morn
* _16-parts_ system
At pre-Qin and Qin-Han, a day was divided into 16 parts from the cock time (_3:00; 4:15 / sig 1 point 50 fen_). The _16-parts_ system is established for calendar convenience, for: A season is about 91 days and 5 parts, and a solar month is about 30 days and 7 parts. A couple of months is about 59 days and a part.
For more information on the adaption of seven-day week, see Names of the days of the week § East_Asian_tradition .
The Chinese appear to have adopted the seven-day week from the
Hellenistic system by the 4th century, although by which route is not
entirely clear. It was again transmitted to China in the 8th century
by Manichaeans, via the country of Kang (a Central Asian polity near
Other than the seven-day week system, in ancient China, the days were grouped into 10-day weeks with the stems, 12-day weeks with the branches, or 9/10-day weeks (Chinese : 旬; pinyin : _xún_) with the date in the month.
The ten-day week was used in antiquity (reportedly as early as in the Bronze Age Xia dynasty ). In modern time, it is still used in counting special days including Three Fu Days (Chinese: 三伏).
The law during the
Months were almost three weeks long (alternating 29 and 30 days to keep in line with the lunation ). As a practice, the months are divided into 3 _xún_. The first 10 days is the _early xún_ (Chinese : 上旬), the middle 10 days is the _mid xún_ (Chinese : 中旬), and the last 9 or 10 days is the _late xún_ (Chinese: 下旬).
Markets in Japan followed the Chinese _jun_ (旬) system; see Japanese calendar . In Korea, it was called "Sun" (순,旬).
In winter, there is also a 9-day cycle counting start from the winter solstice, which would last for 9 cycles until 81 days later when it is deemed as the end of winter.
Month is the time between the dark moon. In the early days, the month length was estimated, and balanced. In general, 15-months-cycles and 17-months-cycles alternated for compliance with the synodic month. The 15-months-cycle is 30,29,30,29,30,29,30,29,30,29,30,29,30,29,30 The 17-months-cycle is 30,29,30,29,30,29,30,29,30,29,30,29,30,29,30,29,30
In different ages, the calendar use different major cycle, which contains several 15-months-cycles and 17-months-cycle. The synodic month of Taichu calendar is 2943/81 days, so the major cycle contains three 17-months-cycles and two 15-months-cycles.
In 7th century, the _Wùyín Yuán Calendar_ of Tang dynasty in 7th century, the month length was determined by the real synodic month for the first time, instead of the cycling method, which mean month lengths is determined by observation and prediction starting from Tang dynasty , except a few brief period of time. A month with 30 days is called a long month (Chinese : 大月), and a month with 29 days is called a short month (Chinese : 小月). The days of the month are numbered beginning with 1, and in Chinese the day's number is always written with two characters, such as _Chūyī_ (Chinese : 初一) for 1, _Shíwǔ_ (Chinese : 十五) for 15, and _Niànsān_ (Chinese : 廿三) for 23. As a convention, the days of the month are numbered with the 60 stem-branches in the history books. For example: _Tiansheng 1st year_, _Eryue, Dingsiri_ , Set the portrait of the Great Chris and Pope in the _Hongqing Palace_ of the southern capital. - _Volume ix:_ _Biographic Sketches of Pope Ren, History of Song Dynasty._
Because astronomical observation is used to determine month length,
date of the
As the beginning of every month is determined by the time when the
new moon occur, thus other countries who have adopted the calendar and
use time standard that are different from China to calculate their own
version of the calendar could result in deviation. For instance, the
first new moon in the year 1968 in
Gregorian calendar happened in UTC
Jan 29 16:29, which would translate to Jan 29 23:29 in UTC+7 timezone
(which is what
North Vietnam used to calculate their Vietnamese
calendar ) while it would be Jan 30 00:15 based on the longitude of
SOLAR YEAR AND SOLAR TERM
See also: Solar term
The solar year (traditional Chinese : 歲; simplified Chinese : 岁; pinyin : _Suì_) is the time between the winter solstices . The solar year is divided into 24 solar terms.
In ancient China, the solar year and solar terms were estimated and balanced, and the solar term is just the 1/24 of the solar year, about 157/32 days.
Starting from the 17th century, when the _ Shixian Calendar _ of Qing dynasty was adopted, the solar year was determined by the real tropical year instead. The solar terms correspond to intervals of 15° along the ecliptic.
Different version of traditional
Couples of solar terms are climate terms (solar months). The first of each couples is "pre-climate" (traditional Chinese : 節氣; simplified Chinese : 节气; pinyin : _Jiéqì_), and the second of the each couple is "mid-climate" (traditional Chinese : 中氣; simplified Chinese : 中气; pinyin : _Zhōngqì_).
The intercalary months (1862 to 2108)
0TH 3RD 6TH 9TH ¦ ¦ ¦ ¦ ¦ ¦ ¦ ¦ ¦ ¦ ¦ ¦ ¦ ¦ ¦ ¦ ¦ ¦ 0TH 3RD 6TH 9TH
LEAP 7/8 6/5 4 3/2 LEAP 10 7/6 5 4/3
1862~ 8 5 4
1870~ 10 6 5 3
1881~ 7 5 4 2 1889~
6 5 3
1900~ 8 5 4 2 1908~
6 5 2
1919~ 7 5 4 2 1927~
6 5 3
1938~ 7 6 4 2 1946~
7 5 3
1957~ 8 6 4 3 1965~
7 5 4
1976~ 8 6 4
1984~ 10 6 5 3
1995~ 8 5 4 3 2003~
7 5 4
2014~ 9 6 4 2 2022~
6 5 3
2033~ 11 6 5 2 2041~
7 5 3
2052~ 8 6 4 3 2060~
7 5 4
2071~ 8 6 4 3 2079~
7 5 4
2090~ 8 6 4 2 2098~
7 5 4
* FTC 小寒 First Term of Cold Season * STC 大寒 Second Term of Cold Season * VC 立春 Vernal commence * LTC 雨水 Last Term of Cold Season (惊蛰) * FT R惊蛰 First Term of Rainy Season (雨水) * VE 春分 Vernal Equinox * STR 清明 Second Term of Rainy Season (谷雨) * LTR 谷雨 Last Term of Rainy Season (清明) * SC 立夏 Summer commence * FTG 小满 First Term of Growing Season * STG 芒种 Second Term of Growing Season * SS 夏至 Summer Solstice * FTH 小暑 First Term of Hot Season * STH 大暑 Second Term of Hot Season * AC 立秋 Autumn Commence * LTH 处暑 Last Term of Hot Season * FTD 白露 First Term of Dew Season * AE 秋分 Autumn Equinox * STD 寒露 Second Term of Dew Season * LTD 霜降 Last Term of Dew Season * WC 立冬 Winter Commence * FTS 小雪 First Term of Snowy Season * STS 大雪 Second Term of Snowy Season * WS 冬至 Winter Solstice
_WS_ _0_ _18:44_
_0_ _8_ _14:53_ _FTC_ _15_ _11:55_ _STC_ _30_ _5:23_
_1_ _38_ _8:06_ _VC_ _44_ _23:34_ _LTC_ _59_ _19:31_
_2_ _67_ _22:58_ _FTR_ _74_ _17:32_ _VE_ _89_ _18:28_
_3_ _97_ _10:57_ _STR_ _104_ _22:17_ _LTR_ _120_ _5:26_
_4_ _126_ _20:16_ _SC_ _135_ _15:30_ _FTG_ _151_ _4:30_
_5_ _156_ _3:44_ _STG_ _166_ _19:36_ _SS_ _182_ _12:24_
_6_ _185_ _10:30_ _FTH_ _198_ _5:50_ _STH_ _213_ _23:15_
_i_ _214_ _17:45_
_AC_ _229_ _15:39_
_7_ _244_ _2:30_ _LTH_ _245_ _6:20_ _FTD_ _260_ _18:38_
_8_ _273_ _13:29_ _AE_ _276_ _4:01_ _STD_ _291_ _10:22_
_9_ _303_ _3:11_ _LTD_ _306_ _13:26_ _WC_ _321_ _13:37_
_10_ _332_ _19:42_ _FTS_ _336_ _11:04_ _STS_ _351_ _6:32_
_ws_ _362_ _14:30_ _WS_ _366_ _0:27_
In general, there are 11 or 12 complete months and 2 incomplete months, which contains the winter solstice, in a solar year. The 11 mid-climates except the winter solstice are in the 11 or 12 complete months. The first month without a mid-climate is the leap month.
The complete months except the intercalary month, queues up from 0 to 10, and the incomplete months follows this queue, to be 11. The intercalary follows the queue number before by rule.
The civil year starts from the first spring month (1), and ends at the last winter month (0/0i). The first and last month is called as _Zhēngyuè_ (Chinese : 正月, capital month) and _Làyuè_ (traditional Chinese : 臘月; simplified Chinese : 腊月, sacrificial month), and the other month is called according to the queue number (except that the 0th month is _Shieryue_, if the _Layue_ is a leap month).
There are 12/13 months in each year. The years with 12 months are common years, or 353~355 days, is a common year. The years with 13 months, or 383~385 days, is a long year.
Years were numbered after the reign title in Ancient China, but the reign title was no longer used after the founding of PRC in 1949. People use the stem-branches to demarcate the years. For example, the year from _February 8, 2016_ to _January 27, 2017_ is a _Bǐngshēnnían_, 13 months or 384 days long.
To Encode the date in the Chinese calendar, the flag of the intercalary month should be considered. For example, _Run Liuyue 6, Dingyounian: 408-6i-06 (Timestamp: 40806106)_
In _Tang Dynasty_, the earthly branches are used to mark the months for about 150 days (Dec, 761~May, 762). At that time, the year starts from the month with Winter Solstice, and the month from Zhengyue to Layue are named as: Yinyue, Maoyue, Chenyue, Siyue, Wuyue, Weiyue, Shenyue Youyue, Xuyue, Haiyue, Ziyue, and Chouyue.
Estimate The Chinese Date
* A month in the
A typical graphical representation of the
* The color of the cattle head marks the stem (five phases) of the year, * If the cattle mouse is closed, it is a _yin_ year; if the cattle mouse open, it is a _yang_ year, * The color of the cattle body marks the branch of the year. * The color of the cattle tail marks the stem (five phases) of the vernal commence. * If the cattle tail is on the left, vernal commence is a yang day; if the cattle tail is on the right, vernal commence is a yin day, * The color of the cattle knee and shin marks the branch of the vernal commence. * if the cowherd stand ahead the cattle, the vernal commence is 5+ days ahead the spring festival; if the cowherd stand behind the cattle, the vernal commence is 5+ days behind the spring festival; otherwise the bias between spring festival and vernal commence is within 5 days.
Age Recognition In China
East Asian age reckoning
In China, age for official use is based on the Gregorian calendar. For traditional use, age is based on the Chinese calendar. For the first year from the birthday, the child is considered one year old. After each New Year's Eve, add one year. "Ring out the old age and ring in the new one (traditional Chinese : 辭舊迎新; simplified Chinese : 辞旧迎新; pinyin : _cíjiù yíngxīn_)" is the literary express of New Year Ceremony. For example, if one's birthday is _Làyuè_ 29th 2013, he is 2 years old at _Zhēngyuè_ 1st 2014. On the other hand, people say months old instead of years old, if someone is too young. It is that the age sequence is "1 month old, 2 months old, ... 10 months old, 2 years old, 3 years old...".
After the actual age (traditional Chinese : 實歲; simplified Chinese : 实岁) was introduced into China, the Chinese traditional age was referred to as the nominal age (traditional Chinese : 虛歲; simplified Chinese : 虚岁). Divided the year into two halves by the birthday in the Chinese calendar, the nominal age is 2 older than the actual age in the first half, and the nominal age is 1 older than the actual age in the second half (traditional Chinese : 前半年前虛兩歲，後半年虛一歲; simplified Chinese : 前半年前虚两岁，后半年虚一岁).
Just as it is awkward to define the birthday of someone born on the 29th of February in the Gregorian calendar, special rules are used for birthdays or other anniversaries during the intercalary month or on the 30th day.
* If someone was born in an intercalary month (except intercalary _Shieryue_), his birthday is in the common month (the month before the intercalary month). * If someone was born in _Shieryue_, and _Layue_ is the intercalary _Shieryue_, his birthday is in _Layue_ (the last month of a year). * If someone was born at 30th day of a month, his birthday is the last day of the month, i.e. the 30th day if that exists, or the 29th day if it does not.
Year Number System
Era system Main article: Chinese era name
In the Ancient China, years were numbered from 1, beginning when a new emperor ascended the throne or the current emperor announced a new era name. The first reign title was _Jiànyuán_ (Chinese : 建元; literally: "era establishment", from 140 BCE), and the last reign title was _Xuāntǒng_ (traditional Chinese : 宣統; simplified Chinese : 宣统, from 1908 CE). The era system was abolished in 1912 CE, after which the Current Era or Republican era was used. The epoch of the Current Era is just the same as the era name of Emperor Ping of Han , _Yuánshí_ (Chinese : 元始; literally: "era beginning"). Stem-branches system
The 60 stem-branches were used to mark the date continually from Shang Dynasty. Before Han Dynasty, people knew the orbital period of Jupiter is about 4332 days, which is about 12*361 days. So, the orbital period of Jupiter was divided into 12 periods, which was used to number the year. The Jupiter was called as the star of age (traditional Chinese : 嵗星; simplified Chinese : 岁星; pinyin : _suìxīng_), and the 1/12 Jupiter orbital period was called as the age (traditional Chinese : 嵗; simplified Chinese : 岁; pinyin : _suì_).
361 days is just 6 cycles of 60-stem-branches, so the stem-branches of the first day move forward one after each _sui_. The first day of each _sui_ was called as the _sui_ capital (traditional Chinese : 太嵗; simplified Chinese : 太岁; pinyin : _tàisuì_).
And the stem-branches of the _taisui_ was used to mark the year. Obviously, there're two _taisui_ in some year for the _sui_ is shorter than solar rear. About after each 86 year, a _taisui_ was leaped. The leaped of the _sui_ was called as beyond the star (Chinese : 超辰; pinyin : _chāochén_).
At the eastern Han Dynasty, the _chaochen_ are abolished, and the 60 stem-branches are used to mark year continually without leap.
The Stem-branches year number system provided a solution for the defect of era system (unequal length of the reign titles) Continuous year numbering
Occasionally, nomenclature similar to that of the Christian era has been used, such as Anno Huángdì (Chinese : 黄帝紀年), referring to the beginning of the reign of the Yellow Emperor , 2698+AD=AH Anno Yáo (Chinese : 唐尧紀年), referring to the beginning of the reign of Emperor Yao , 2156+AD=AY Anno Gònghé (Chinese : 共和紀年), referring to the beginning of the Gonghe Regency , 841+AD=AG Anno Confucius (Chinese : 孔子紀年), referring to the birth year of Confucius , 551+AD=AC Anno Unity (Chinese : 統一紀年), referring to the beginning of the reign of Qin Shi Huang , 221+AD=AU
No reference date is universally accepted.
On January 2, 1912,
Sun Yat-sen declared a change to the official
calendar and era. In his declaration, January 1, 1912 is called
_Shíyīyuè 13th, 4609 AH_ which assumes an epoch (1st year) of 2698
BCE. This declaration was adopted by many overseas Chinese communities
In the 17th century, the Jesuits tried to determine what year should
be considered the epoch of the Han calendar. In his _Sinicae historiae
decas prima_ (first published in
Modern Chinese chronology has generally accepted Martini's dates, except that it usually places the reign of the Yellow Emperor in 2698 BC and omits the Yellow Emperor's predecessors Fuxi and Shennong , who are considered "too legendary to include".
Starting in 1903, radical publications started using the projected
date of birth of the
Yellow Emperor as the first year of the Han
calendar. Different newspapers and magazines proposed different dates.
There is an epoch for each version of the Chinese calendar, which is called _Lìyuán_ (traditional Chinese : 曆元; simplified Chinese : 历元). The epoch is the optimal origin of the calendar, and it is a _Jiǎzǐrì_, the first day of a lunar month, and the dark moon and solstice are just at the midnight (Chinese : 日得甲子夜半朔旦冬至). And tracing back to a perfect day, such as that day with the magical star sign, there's a supreme epoch (Chinese : 上元; pinyin : _shàngyuán_). The continuous year based on the supreme epoch is _shàngyuán jīnián_ (traditional Chinese : 上元積年; simplified Chinese : 上元积年). More and more factors were added into the supreme epoch, and the _shàngyuán jīnián_ became a huge number. So, the supreme epoch and _shàngyuán jīnián_ were neglected from the _Shòushí_ calendar. _Yuán-Huì-Yùn-Shì_ system
Shao Yong (Chinese : 邵雍 1011–1077), a philosopher, cosmologist, poet, and historian who greatly influenced the development of Neo-Confucianism in China, introduced a time system in his _The Ultimate which Manages the World_ (traditional Chinese : 皇極經世; simplified Chinese : 皇极经世; pinyin : _Huángjíjīngshì_)
In his time system, 1 _yuán_ (Chinese : 元), which contains 12'9600 years, is a lifecycle of the world. Each _yuán_ is divided into 12 _huì_ (traditional Chinese : 會; simplified Chinese : 会). Each _huì_ is divided into 30 _yùn_ (traditional Chinese : 運; simplified Chinese : 运), and each _yùn_ is divided into 12 _shì_ (Chinese : 世). So, each _shì_ is equivalent to 30 years. The _yuán-huì-yùn-shì_ corresponds with _nián-yuè-rì-shí_. So the _yuán-huì-yùn-shì_ is called the _major tend_ or the _numbers of the heaven_, and the _nián-yuè-rì-shí_ is called the _minor tend_ or the _numbers of the earth_.
The _minor tend_ of the birth is adapted by people for predicting
destiny or fate. The numbers of _nián-yuè-rì-shí_ are encoded with
stem-branches and show a form of _Bāzì_. The _nián-yuè-rì-shí_
are called the
Four Pillars of Destiny . For example, the _Bāzì_ of
The table below shows the kinds of year number system along with correspondences to the Western (Gregorian) calendar. Alternatively, see this larger table of the full 60-year cycle.
YEAR IN CYCLE S,B GāNZHī (干支) YEAR OF THE... CE AR HYSN AH BEGINS
27 7,3 gēngyín (庚寅) Metal Tiger 2010 99 0712-0927 4707 February 14
28 8,4 xīnmǎo (辛卯) Metal Rabbit 2011 100 0712-0928 4708 February 3
29 9,5 rénchén (壬辰) Water Dragon 2012 101 0712-0929 4709 January 23
30 10,6 guǐsì (癸巳) Water Snake 2013 102 0712-0930 4710 February 10
31 1,7 jiǎwǔ (甲午) Wood Horse 2014 103 0712-1001 4711 January 31
32 2,8 yǐwèi (乙未) Wood Goat 2015 104 0712-1002 4712 February 19
33 3,9 bǐngshēn (丙申) Fire Monkey 2016 105 0712-1003 4713 February 8
34 4,10 dīngyǒu (丁酉) Fire Rooster 2017 106 0712-1004 4714 January 28
35 5,11 wùxū (戊戌) Earth Dog 2018 107 0712-1005 4715 February 16
36 6,12 jǐhài (己亥) Earth Pig 2019 108 0712-1006 4716 February 5
1 As of the beginning of the year. AR=Anno the Republic of China 2 Timestamp according to _Huángjíjīngshì_, as a format of _Huìyùn-Shìnián_. 3 _Huángdì_ era, using an epoch (year 1) of 2697 BC. Subtract 60 if using an epoch of 2637 BC. Add 1 if using an epoch of 2698 BC.
The PLUM RAINS SEASON is the rainy season during the late spring and early summer. The PLUM RAINS SEASON starts on the first _Bǐngrì_ after the Corn on Ear, and ends on the first _Wèirì_ after the Moderate Heat. The SANFU DAYS are the three sections from the first _Gēng-day_ after the summer solstice. The first section is 10 days long, and named the _fore fu_ (Chinese : 初伏; pinyin : _chūfú_). The second section is 10 or 20 days long, and named the _mid fu_ (Chinese : 中伏; pinyin : _zhōngfú_). The last section is 10 days long from the first _Gēng-day_ after autumn commences, and named the _last fu_ (Chinese : 末伏; pinyin : _mòfú_). The SHUJIU COLD DAYS are the nine sections from the winter solstice. Each section is 9 days long. The _shǔjǐu_ are the coldest days, and named with an ordinal number, such as _Sìjǐu_ (Chinese : 四九).
In the Sinosphere, the traditional festivals are calculated using the date or solar terms, and are considered auspicious.
Traditional festivals in the Sinosphere FESTIVAL ENGLISH DEFINE ORIGINAL DEFINE (HAN DYNASTY) DATE OF THE FOLLOWING... REMARK
MAJOR TRADITIONAL FESTIVALS ON FIXED DATE
臘日/腊日 Lari 0008 Sacrifice Day _Làyuè 8_ The third _Xuri_ (戌) after the Winter Solstice 2017-01-05
小年 Xiaonian 0023/0024 Preliminary Eve _Làyuè 23/24_ _23_-officers, _24_-civilians, _25_-monks, for convenience _2017-01-20_ _2017-01-21_ the cleanup day before New Year's Week
除夕 Chuxi 0100 New Year\'s Eve the last day of the year, _Làyuè 29 or 30_ _2017-01-27_ a statutory holiday
春節/春节 Chunjie 0101 New Year\'s Day The first day of the year, _Zhēngyuè 1_ _2017-01-28_ a statutory holiday
上元 Shangyuan 0115 Shangyuan _Zhēngyuè 15_ The first full moon of the year _2017-02-11_ Also called as Yuanxiao (the night of the first full moon), an annual carnival in ancient China
上巳 Shangsi 0303 Outing Festival _Sānyuè 3_ The first _Siri_ (巳) of _Sanyue_ _2017-03-30_ a version of Qingmin Festival, The origin of Thailand water splashing festival
佛誕/佛诞 Fodan 0408 Buddha\'s Birthday _Sìyuè 8_
_2017-05-03_ a statutory holiday in Hong Kong SAR
Dragon Boat Festival
七夕 Qixi 0707 Star Festival _Qīyuè 7_
_2017-08-28_ Ingenuity Maiden's Day
中秋 Zhongqiu 0815 Mid-Autumn Festival _Bāyuè 15_ The full moon at the mid-autumn _2017-10-04_ Reunion Day, a statutory holiday
重陽/重阳 Chongyang 0909 Climbing Festival _Jiǔyuè 9_
_2017-10-28_ Regarded as Elder's Day in China
a statutory holiday in Hong Kong SAR
十月朝 Shiyue Chao 1001 Shiyue Worship _Shíyuè 1_ The New Year's Day of _Qin Calendar_ _2017-11-18_ Issue Royal calendar (almanac) for the following year.
下元 Xiayuan 1015 Spirit Festival _Shíyuè 15_ The first full moon in _Qin calendar_ _2017-12-02_ the worship of worthy
MAJOR TRADITIONAL FESTIVALS ON SOLAR TERM
立春 Lichun BEGINNING OF SPRING The day that Spring commences about _February 4_ _Zhēngyuè 8_ _(February 3)_ The day of the Stimulation of Agriculture
寒食 Hanshi COLD FOOD FESTIVAL the 105th day after the Winter Solstice about _April 4_ _Sānyuè 7, 2017_ _(April 3)_ The fast before the worship of ancestors at _Qingming Festival_.
清明 Qingming QINGMING FESTIVAL The day of the solar term of Bright and Clear about _April 5_ _Sānyuè 8, 2017_ _(April 4)_ The day of the worship of ancestors, a statutory holiday
冬至 Dongzhi WINTER SOLSTICE The day of the Winter Solstice about _December 21_ _Shíyīyuè 5, 2017_ _(December 22)_ The node of the solar years
春社/秋社 Chunshe/Qiushe SPRING/AUTUMN PRAY the fifth _Wùrì_ (戊) after Spring/Autumn Commences March 21 September 23 a version of Spring/Autumn equinox
THE TRADITIONAL BUSINESS FESTIVALS
開市/开市 Kaishi 0105 Opening Day _Zhēngyuè 5_ In the old days, merchants used to open their stores from _Zhēngyuè 5_, and host a prayer service on that day. God of Wealth's Day, which the prayer service is called _God of Wealth is Welcome_.
頭牙/尾牙 头牙/尾牙 Touya pinyin : _Yaji_) at the 2nd and 16th day of each month from _Eryue to Layue_, to reward the local guardian god and their employees. The First/Last Thanksgiving rite is hold on _Èryue 2/Làyuè 16_.
EARLIER CHINESE CALENDARS
According to Ancient Chinese literature, the first version was the five-phases calendar (traditional Chinese : 五行曆; simplified Chinese : 五行历), which came from the tying knots culture. In the five-phases calendar, a year was divided into five phases which were expressed by five ropes. Each rope was folded into halves, and the day in the corner was the capital day (traditional Chinese : 行禦; simplified Chinese : 行御). They're three sections in each halves, and the Chinese Character of phase is the pictograph of the rope of the tying knots. The ten half-ropes were arranged into a row, and a man shape was engraved by the ropes. The part of man shape derived into 10 heaven stems. The days in each sections were recorded with 12 earthly branches. So, in the five-phases calendar, a year is fives phases or ten months, and a phase is six sections or 73 days. The remainder of each phases are marked in the Hetu, which is found in Song Dynasty.
The second version is the four-seasons calendar (traditional Chinese : 四時八節曆; simplified Chinese : 四时八节历). In the four-seasons calendar, the days were counting by ten, and three ten-days weeks were built into a month. There were 12 months in a year, and a week were intercalated in the hot month. In the age of four-seasons calendar, the 10 heaven stems and 12 earthly branches were used to mark days synchronously.
The third version is the balanced calendar (traditional Chinese :
調曆; simplified Chinese : 调历) a year was defined into 365.25
days, and the month was defined into 29.5 days. And after each 16
months, a half-month was intercalated. There half-months were merged
into months later, and the archetype of the
Oracle bone records indicate that the calendar of
ANCIENT CHINESE CALENDARS
Pre-Qin Dynasty Calendars
Some remote vassal states issued their own calendars upon the rule of Zhou 's calendar, such as: The epoch of the Lu 's calendar (traditional Chinese : 魯曆; simplified Chinese : 鲁历) is the winter solstice of a Gēngzǐ year.
During the Spring and Autumn period and Warring States period , Some vassal states got out of control of Zhou , and issues their own official calendar, such as: Jin issued the Xia 's calendar (traditional Chinese : 夏曆; simplified Chinese : 夏历), with a year beginning of the day with the nearest darkmoon to the Vernal Commences. The epoch of Xia 's calendar is the Vernal Commences of a Bǐngyíng year. Qin issued the Zhuanxu 's calendar (traditional Chinese : 顓頊曆; simplified Chinese : 颛顼历), with a year beginning of the day with the nearest darkmoon to the Winter Commences. The epoch of Zhuanxu 's calendar is the Winter Commences of a Yǐmǎo year. Song resumed the Yin 's calendar (traditional Chinese : 殷曆; simplified Chinese : 殷历), with a year beginning of the day with the darkmoon after the Winter Solstice. The epoch of Yin 's calendar is the Winter Solstice of a Jiǎyíng year.
These six calendars are called as the six ancient calendars (traditional Chinese : 古六曆; simplified Chinese : 古六历), and are the quarter remainder calendars (traditional Chinese : 四分曆; simplified Chinese : 四分历; pinyin : _sìfēnlì_). The months of these calendars begin on the day with the darkmoon, and there are 12 or 13 month within a year. The intercalary month is placed at the end of the year, and called as 13th month.
The modern version of the _Zhuanxu's_ calendar is the Chinese Qiang calendar and Chinese Dai calendar, which are the calendar of mountain peoples.
After Qin Shi Huang unified China under the Qin dynasty in 221 BCE, Qin's calendar (traditional Chinese : 秦曆; simplified Chinese : 秦历) was promulgated. The Qin's calendar follows the rules of Zhuanxu's calendar, but the month order follows the Xia calendar. The months in the year are from the 10th month to the 9th month, and the intercalary month is called as the second Jiuyue (traditional Chinese : 後九月; simplified Chinese : 后九月). In the early Han dynasty, the Qin calendar continued to be used.
Emperor Wu of the
Taichu calendar established the frame of the Chinese calendar,
Ever since then, there have been over 100 official calendars in
Chinese which are consecutive and follow the structure of _Tàichū_
calendar both. There're several innovation in calendar calculation in
the history of over 2100 years, such as: In the Dàmíng Calendar
released in Tiānjiān 9 (Chinese : 天监九年, 510) of the Liang
Zhu Chongzhi introduced the equation of equinoxes. Actual
syzygy method was adopted to decide the month from the _Wùyín Yuán_
Calendar, which was released in _Wǔdé_ 2 (Chinese : 武德二年,
619) of the
Tang dynasty . The real measured data was used in calendar
calculation from _Shòushí_ Calendar, which was released in
_Zhìyuán_ 18 (Chinese : 至元十八年, 1281) of the
MODERN CHINESE CALENDARS
Because the Republic of China adopted the
Main article: Shixian calendar
In the late
Current Chinese Calendar
The version of the traditional
* The baseline is Chinese Standard Time rather than
Proposals To Optimize The Chinese Calendar
To optimize the Chinese calendar, astronomers have released many
proposed changes. A typical proposal was released by Gao Pingzi
(Chinese : 高平子; 1888-1970), a Chinese astronomer who was one of
the founders of
Purple Mountain Observatory
As the intercalary month is determined by the first month without
mid-climate and the exact time when each mid-climate happen would vary
according to time zone, countries that have adopted the calendar but
calculate with their own time could vary from the one used in China
because of this. For instance, the 2012 FTG happened in UTC May 20
15:15, which would translate to May 20 23:15 in UTC+8, making FTG the
mid-climate for the fourth month of that traditional Chinese year ,
but in Korea it happened in May 21 00:15 in UTC+9, and as new moon
take place in May 21 in that month, therefore the month before that
would only consist of the SC solar term, lacking mid-climate. As a
result, the month starting at April 21 would be an intercalary month
Korean calendar , but not in Chinese Calendar, and the intercalary
Among the ethnic groups inhabiting the mountains and plateaus of
southwestern China, and those living in the grasslands of northern
China, their civil calendars show a diversity of practice based upon
their characteristic phenology and culture, but they are based on the
algorithm of the
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* ^ The birthday is the day in each year that have the same date as
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* 2000-year Chinese-Western calendar converter From 1 AD to 2100 AD.
Useful for historical studies. To use, put the western year 年 month
月day 日in the bottom row and click on 執行.
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