The Info List - Chinese Calendar

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Traditional CHINESE CALENDAR is a lunisolar calendar which reckons years, months and days according to astronomical phenomena. Currently, the Chinese calendar
Chinese calendar
is defined by GB/T 33661-2017 _Calculation and promulgation of the Chinese calendar,_ which is issued by the Standardization Administration of the People's Republic of China on May 12, 2017.

The Chinese calendar
Chinese calendar
is used for traditional activities in China and overseas Chinese communities. It depicts and lists the dates of traditional Chinese holidays, and guides Chinese people in selecting the most auspicious days for weddings, funerals, moving, or beginning a business.

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 Chinese calendar
Chinese calendar
is the end result of centuries of evolution. Many astronomical and seasonal factors were added by ancient scientists, and people can reckon the date of natural phenomena such as the moon phase and tide upon the Chinese calendar. The Chinese calendar
Chinese calendar
has over 100 variants, whose characteristics reflect the calendar's evolutionary path. As with Chinese characters, different variants are used in different parts of the Chinese cultural sphere.

In Korea, Vietnam, and the Ryukyu Islands, the Chinese calendar
Chinese calendar
was adopted completely and evolved into Korean , Ryukyuan , and Vietnamese calendar , with the main difference being the use of different meridians which leads to some astronomical events falling on different dates in different countries and thus the same event may occasionally be assigned a different date in each of those calendars. The traditional Japanese calendar was also derived from the Chinese calendar, based on a Japanese meridian, however its official use in Japan was abolished in the early 20th century and its usage has mostly disappeared since then. Calendars in Mongolia and Tibet have absorbed elements from the Chinese calendar
Chinese calendar
and elements from other systems, but they are not direct descendants of the Chinese calendar.

The official calendar in China is the Gregorian calendar , but the traditional Chinese calendar
Chinese calendar
still plays an important role there. The Chinese calendar
Chinese calendar
is known officially as the _Rural Calendar_ (traditional Chinese : 農曆; simplified Chinese : 农历; pinyin : _Nónglì_), but is often referred to by other names, such as the _Former Calendar_ (traditional Chinese : 舊曆; simplified Chinese : 旧历; pinyin : _Jiùlì_), the _Traditional Calendar_ (traditional Chinese : 老曆; simplified Chinese : 老历; pinyin : _Lǎolì_), or the _Lunar Calendar_ (traditional Chinese : 陰曆; simplified Chinese : 阴历; pinyin : _Yīnlì_; literally: "yin calendar"). The Chinese calendar preserves traditional East Asian culture.

Although the month sequences of Chinese calendar
Chinese calendar
is decided by the solar term, the Chinese calendar
Chinese calendar
is not an agriculture calendar.

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.

The Chinese calendar
Chinese calendar
has greatly influenced the traditional calendars around Asia.

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

* 2.2.1 Pre- Qin dynasty calendars * 2.2.2 Calendar
of the Qin and early Han dynasties * 2.2.3 Taichu calendar and the calendars from the Han to Ming dynasties.

* 2.3 Modern Chinese calendars

* 2.3.1 _Shíxiàn_ calendar * 2.3.2 Current Chinese calendar
Chinese calendar
* 2.3.3 Proposals to optimize the Chinese calendar
Chinese calendar

* 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 Chinese calendar
Chinese calendar
is a lunisolar calendar, similar to the Hindu and Hebrew calendars.

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 sunset. * 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 vacant. * 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 Chinese calendar
Chinese calendar
is 45° away from the zodiac in the Babylon system. * SOLAR TERM, 1/24 year, 15° ecliptic, a unique concept of monthing method in the Chinese calendar. A solar term is about 15 7/32 days. * CALENDRIC MONTH, the month numbering in a year. In the Chinese and Hindu calendars, the months are numbered according to the zodiac number; and in the Hebrew calendar, months are numbered in sequence from 1 to 12/13 (Adar). In the Chinese, Hindu and Hebrew calendars, some months may be repeated. * CALENDRIC YEAR, the year for the calendric purpose (in culture or religion). In the Chinese calendar, the calendric year starts from the nearest day of the dark moon to the vernal commences; in the Hindu and Hebrew calendars, the calendric year is the month with the vernal equinox. A calendric year is 353/354/355 or 383/384/385 days.


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). * Mars
looks like fire and occurs irregularly, so Mars
is called the "fire star" (Chinese : 荧惑星). Mars
is in charge of punishment in Chinese culture. When Mars
is close to Antares (Chinese : 荧惑守心), it is a sign of bad luck and can forebode the death of the emperor or the ousting of the chancellor. * The period of Jupiter's revolution is about 11.86 years, so Jupiter is called the "age star" (traditional Chinese : 歲星; simplified Chinese : 岁星), since 30° of Jupiter's revolution is about a year on Earth. * The period of Saturn's revolution is about 28 years, so Saturn is called the "guard star" (Chinese : 鎮星). This means that Saturn guards one of the 12 mansions every year.

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 Chinese calendar
Chinese calendar
and time system STEM-BRANCHES Heaven stems EARTHLY BRANCHES




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

42 2x

60 48 24

66 4 dīng 丁 2:24 sig 4 fire sì 巳 10:00 Siy

wood 53

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 Samarkand
). It is the most predominately used system in modern China.

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 Han dynasty
Han dynasty
(206 BC – AD 220) required officials of the empire to rest every five days, called _mu_ (沐), while it was changed into 10 days in the Tang dynasty (AD 618 – 907), called _huan_ (澣/浣) or _xún_ (旬).

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 Chinese calendar
Chinese calendar
corresponds to the moon phase. The first day of each month is the dark moon. In the 7th or 8th day of each month, the first quarter moon is visible in the afternoon and early evening. In the 15th or 16th day of each month, the full moon is visible all night. In the 22nd or 23rd day of each month, the last quarter moon is visible late at night and in the morning.

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 Beijing
(as used by South Vietnam at the time), causing the two countries celebrate Tết holiday in different date that year and result in asynchronized attacks in Tet Offensive .


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 Chinese calendar
Chinese calendar
might have different average year length. For instance, one solar year of _Taichu calendar_, which were implemented in 1st century BC , is 365385/1539 days, while one solar year of _Shoushi calendar_, which were implemented in 13th century, is 36597/400 days, which is the same as the Gregorian calendar.

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

2017 _ws_

_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 Chinese calendar
Chinese calendar
is 29/30 days long, and a month in the Gregorian calendar is 30/31 days long. So, we may estimate the Chinese date if we know the bias between _Layue_ 1st and January 1. In general, from _Eryue_/March, the Chinese date move 1 day backward, after a month; the Chinese date move a day forward after _Zhengyue_/February. Of course, if the bias is over 29 days, we should consider if there's an intercalary month before. * The date of the solar term in the Gregorian calendar is more or less fixed. In general, the date of the solar term in the Chinese calendar swing (±15 days) around the fixed date. The node of the climate term is around the 1st of the corresponding month, and the mid of the climate is round the 15th of the corresponding month. * A solar year is about 365 1/4 days, and 12 month is about 354 3/8 days. So the Chinese date move for about 11 days backward or 19 days forward. * In general, if the Chinese New Year locate at January, there's an intercalary month in this year. * The Chinese date is more or less fixed after 19 years (or 11 years occasionally) later. But, the dates near the intercalary month always are naughty. The dates in the winter of the nominal year of Merton cycle are naughty too, such as 2014+19n.

Graphical Representation

A typical graphical representation of the Chinese calendar
Chinese calendar
is the vernal cattle diagram (traditional Chinese : 春牛圖; simplified Chinese : 春牛图), which help people calculate the date. In the vernal cattle diagram:

* 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

Main article: East Asian age reckoning
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).

Birthday Issue

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 outside Southeast Asia
Southeast Asia
such as San Francisco\'s Chinatown .

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 Munich
in 1658), Martino Martini (1614–1661) dated the ascension of the Yellow Emperor to 2697 BC, but started the Chinese calendar
Chinese calendar
with the reign of Fuxi , which he claimed started in 2952 BCE. Philippe Couplet 's (1623–1693) _Chronological table of Chinese monarchs_ (_Tabula chronologica monarchiae sinicae_; 1686) also gave the same date for the Yellow Emperor. The Jesuits' dates provoked great interest in Europe, where they were used for comparisons with Biblical chronology.

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. Jiangsu
, for example, counted 1905 as year 4396 (use an epoch of 2491 BCE), whereas the newspaper _ Ming Pao _ (traditional Chinese : 明報; simplified Chinese : 明报) reckoned 1905 as 4603 (use an epoch of 2698 BCE). Liu Shipei (劉師培; 1884–1919) created the Yellow Emperor Calendar, now often used to calculate the date, to show the unbroken continuity of the Han race and Han culture from earliest times. Liu's calendar started with the birth of the Yellow Emperor, which he determined to be 2711 BCe. There is no evidence that this calendar was used before the 20th century. Liu calculated that the 1900 international expedition sent by the Eight-Nation Alliance to suppress the Boxer Rebellion entered Beijing
in the 4611th year of the Yellow Emperor. Calendric epoch

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 Qianlong Emperor
Qianlong Emperor
is _Xīnmǎo, Dīngyǒu, Gēngwǔ, Bǐngzǐ_ (辛卯、丁酉、庚午、丙子). Shào's _Huángjíjīngshì_ recorded the history of the timing system from the first year of the 180th _yùn_ or 2149th _shì_ (_HYSN 0630-0101_, 2577 BC) and marked the year with the reign title from the _Jiǎchénnián_ of the 2156th _shì_ (_HYSN 0630-0811_, 2357 BC, _Tángyáo 1_, traditional Chinese : 唐堯元年; simplified Chinese : 唐尧元年). According to this timing system, 2014-1-31 is _HYSN/YR 0712-1001/0101_.

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.


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.



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

端午 Duanwu 0505 Dragon Boat Festival
Dragon Boat Festival
_Wǔyuè 5_ The First _Wuri_ (午) of _Wuyue_ _2017-05-30_ a statutory holiday

七夕 Qixi 0707 Star Festival _Qīyuè 7_

_2017-08-28_ Ingenuity Maiden's Day

中元 Zhongyuan 0715 Ghost Festival
Ghost Festival
_Qīyuè 15_ The full moon at the mid-year _2017-09-05_ the worship of ancestors

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


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


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_.



Before the Zhou dynasty
Zhou dynasty
, the Chinese calendars used a solar calendar. The History of Chinese Calendar

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 Chinese calendar
Chinese calendar
was brought out in the Spring and Autumn ages.

Oracle bone records indicate that the calendar of Shang Dynasty
Shang Dynasty
were a balanced calendar, and the 12, 13, even 14 months were packed into a year roughly. Generally, the month after the winter solstice was named as the capital month (Chinese : 正月).


Pre-Qin Dynasty Calendars

In Zhou dynasty
Zhou dynasty
, the authority issued the official calendar, which is a primitive lunisolar calendar. The year beginning of Zhou 's calendar (traditional Chinese : 周曆; simplified Chinese : 周历) is the day with dark moon before the winter solstice, and the epoch is the Winter Solstice of a Dīngyǒu year.

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.

Of The Qin And Early Han Dynasties

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.

Taichu Calendar
And The Calendars From The Han To Ming Dynasties.

Emperor Wu of the Han dynasty
Han dynasty
introduced reforms halfway through his administration. His Taichu or Grand Inception Calendar
(traditional Chinese : 太初曆; simplified Chinese : 太初历) introduced 24 solar terms which determined the month names. The solar year was defined as 365 385/1539 days, and divided into 24 solar terms. Each couples of solar terms are associated into 12 climate terms. The lunar month was defined as 29 43/81 days and named according to the closest climate term. The mid-climate in the month decides the month name, and a month without mid-climate is an intercalary month.

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 dynasty , 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 Yuan dynasty
Yuan dynasty
. And the tropical year is fixed at 365.2425 days, the same as the Gregorian calendar established in 1582., and derived spherical trigonometry .


The Chinese calendar
Chinese calendar
lost the status of the official statutory calendar in China in the beginning of the 20th century, however it has been continually being used for various purposes.

Because the Republic of China adopted the UTC+8
timezone instead of using Beijing
Mean Solar Time in 1928 CE, Chinese calendars produced in Mainland China have switched to use UTC+8
in the following year. However, the switch in time standard used in Chinese calendars has not been universally adopted in areas like Taiwan and Hong Kong, and some calendars were still follow the last calendar of Qing dynasty
Qing dynasty
that was published in 1908. In 1978, this practice caused confusion on what date the 1978 Mid-autumn festival occur, and caused those areas to switch to the UTC+8-based Chinese calendar
Chinese calendar

_Shíxiàn_ Calendar

Main article: Shixian calendar

In the late Ming dynasty
Ming dynasty
, Xu Guangqi
Xu Guangqi
and his colleagues worked out the new calendar based on western astronomical arithmetic. But the new calendar was not released before the end of the Ming dynasty. In the early Qing dynasty
Qing dynasty
, Johann Adam Schall von Bell submitted the calendar to the Shunzhi Emperor . The Qing government released the calendar under the name the _Shíxiàn_ calendar, which means seasonal charter. In the _Shíxiàn_ calendar, the solar terms each correspond to 15° along the ecliptic. It meant the Chinese calendar
Chinese calendar
can be used as astronomical calendar. However, the length of the climate term near the perihelion is shorter than 30 days and there may be two mid-climate terms. The rule of the mid-climate terms decides the months, which is used for thousands years, lose its validity. The _Shíxiàn_ calendar changed the rule to "decides the month in sequence, except the intercalary month."

Current Chinese Calendar

The version of the traditional Chinese calendar
Chinese calendar
currently being used follows the rules of the _Shíxiàn_ calendar, except that:

* The baseline is Chinese Standard Time rather than Beijing
local time. * Actual astronomical data is used rather than only theoretical mathematical calculations.

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
Purple Mountain Observatory
. In his proposal, the month numbers are calculated before the dark moons and the solar terms were rounded to the day. Under his proposal, the month numbers are the same for the Chinese calendar
Chinese calendar
upon different time zones.

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 in Korean calendar , but not in Chinese Calendar, and the intercalary month in Chinese calendar
Chinese calendar
would start in the month after, in the fifth month starting from May 21, which would only consist of the solar term STG, while the month in Korean Calendar
would have both FTG and STG solar term in it.


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 Chinese calendar
Chinese calendar
of different periods, especially those of the Tang dynasty and pre- Qin dynasty period.


* Time portal * China portal * History of Imperial China portal

* Culture of China * Dates in Chinese * East Asian age reckoning
East Asian age reckoning
* Festivals of Korea * Guo Shoujing , an astronomer tasked with calendar reform during the 13th century * List of festivals in Vietnam * Public holidays in China * Sexagenary cycle * Chinese Traditional Time System * Chinese Traditional Date and Time


* ^ The traditional Chinese calendar
Chinese calendar
is cultural/religious calendar against the farming calendar. The traditional Chinese calendar
Chinese calendar
was first called as "農曆" by the newspapers of the mainland of China at January 1st of 1968. 1968 is a year of the fiery years of "Smash all the old ideas, culture, customs, and habits which caused by the exploiting classes and poison people over thousands of years", and the traditional Chinese calendar
Chinese calendar
was labelled with "農" and regarded as backward culture just as rural area by the ruling "working" class. The suitable translation of "農曆" is the "rural calendar", for the coverage of the traditional Chinese calendar
Chinese calendar
is mostly in the rural area today (except the Chinese New Year). On the other hand, the Gregorian calendar is more convenient for farming than the traditional Chinese calendar. * ^ The 4th-century date, according to the _ Cihai
_ encyclopedia, is due to a reference to Fan Ning (範寧/范宁), an astrologer of the Jin dynasty . * ^ The renewed adoption from Manichaeans in the 8th century (Tang dynasty ) is documented with the writings of the Chinese Buddhist monk Yi Jing and the Ceylonese Buddhist monk Bu Kong . * ^ For instance the 19th year in Wùyín Yuán Calendar
was expected to have 4 consecutive long month if the real synodic method is used, which made people at the time feel strange, and thus they revert to use cycling method to determine month length that year.

* ^ 新唐書•本紀六 肅宗、代宗 (上元)二年……,九月壬寅,大赦,去“乾元大圣光天文武孝感”号,去“上元”号,称元年,以十一月为岁首,月以斗所建辰为名。…。   元年建子月癸巳,…。己亥,…。丙午,…。己酉,…。庚戌,…。     建丑月辛亥,…。己未,…。乙亥,…。 宝应元年建寅月甲申,…。乙酉,…。丙戌,…。甲辰,…。戊申,…。     建卯月辛亥,…。壬子,…。癸丑,…。乙丑,…。戊辰,…。庚午,…。壬申,…。     建辰月壬午,…。甲午,…。戊申,…。     建巳月庚戌,…。壬子,…。甲寅,…。乙丑,…。大赦,改元年为宝应元年,复以正月为岁首,建巳月为四月。丙寅,…。。 * ^ The birthday is the day in each year that have the same date as the one on which someone was born. It is easy to confirm the birthday in the Chinese calendar
Chinese calendar
for most people. But, if someone was born on the 30th of a month, his birthday is the last day of that month, and if someone is born in an intercalary month, his birthday is the day with the same date in the common month of the intercalary month. * ^ The Gregorian calendar is a solar calendar and the Chinese calendar is a lunisolar calendar, and the birthday in the Chinese calendar is not same as in the Gregorian calendar always. so, there's a bias of +/-1 between the actual age in the Chinese calendar
Chinese calendar
and in the Gregorian calendar. Thus, the nominal age in the Chinese calendar is 0~3 older than the actual age in the Gregorian calendar.


* ^ The Chinese encyclopaedia _ Cihai
_ (辞海) under the entry for "seven luminaries calendar" (七曜历/七曜曆, _qī yào lì_) has: "method of recording days according to the seven luminaries . China normally observes the following order: Sun, Mon, Mars, Mercury, Jupiter, Venus, and Saturn. Seven days make one week, which is repeated in a cycle. Originated in ancient Babylon (or ancient Egypt according to one theory). Used by the Romans at the time of the 1st century AD, later transmitted to other countries. This method existed in China in the 4th century. It was also transmitted to China by Manichaeans in the 8th century from the country of Kang (康) in Central Asia." (translation after Bathrobe\'s Days of the Week in Chinese, Japanese & Vietnamese, plus Mongolian and Buryat (cjvlang.com) * ^ 海上 (2005). _《中國人的歲時文化》_. 岳麓書社. p. 195. ISBN 7-80665-620-0 . * ^ http://www.hko.gov.hk/education/edu01met/exobs/folklore/ele_hs_c.htm * ^ http://www.epochtimes.com/b5/14/12/26/n4327438.htm * ^ Mathematics of the Chinese calendar, pp. 29–30. * ^ 《辽宁大学学报:哲社版》,2004/06,43~50页 * ^ Aslaksen, p.38. * ^ Cohen (2012) , p. 1, 4. * ^ http://www.newsmth.net/bbsanc.php?path=%2Fgroups%2Fsci.faq%2FAstronomy%2Fbw%2Fall2%2Fbk37k%2FM.1275291864.z0">(PDF). _Asia Major_. 25 (pt 2): 1–13. * Ho, Kai-Lung (何凱龍) (2006). “The Political Power and the Mongolian Translation of the Chinese Calendar
During the Yuan Dynasty”. Central Asiatic Journal 50 (1). Harrassowitz Verlag: 57–69. http://www.jstor.org/stable/41928409.



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