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The solar year (; ; Suì), the time between winter solstices, is divided into 24 solar terms known as jié qì (節氣). Each term is a 15° portion of the ecliptic. These solar terms mark both Western and Chinese seasons as well as equinoxes, solstices, and other Chinese events. The even solar terms (marked with "Z") are considered the major terms, while the odd solar terms (marked with "J") are deemed minor.[17] The solar terms qīng míng (清明) on 5 April and dōng zhì (冬至) on 22 December are both celebrated events in China.[17]

The solar year (; ; Suì), the time between winter solstices, is divided into 24 solar terms known as jié qì (節氣). Each term is a 15° portion of the ecliptic. These solar terms mark both Western and Chinese seasons as well as equinoxes, solstices, and other Chinese events. The even solar terms (marked with "Z") are considered the major terms, while the odd solar terms (marked with "J") are deemed minor.[17] The solar terms qīng míng (清明) on 5 April and dōng zhì (冬至) on 22 December are both celebrated events in China.[17]

24 Jié Qì (節氣)
Number Name Chinese marker Event Date
J1 Lì chūn 立春 Beginning of spring 4 February
Z1 Yǔ shuĭ 雨水 Rain water 19 February
J2 Jīng zhé 驚蟄;惊蛰 Waking of insects 6 March
Z2 Chūn fēn 春分 March equinox 21 March
J3 Qīng míng 清明 Pure brightness 5 April
Z3 Gŭ yŭ 谷雨 Grain rain 20 April
J4
24 Jié Qì (節氣)
Number Name Chinese marker Event Date
J1 Lì chūn 立春 Beginning of spring 4 February
Z1 Yǔ shuĭ 雨水 Rain water 19 February
J2 Jīng zhé 驚蟄;惊蛰 The calendar solar year, known as the suì, (; ) begins at the December solstice and proceeds through the 24 solar terms.[17] Due to the fact that the speed of the Sun's apparent motion in the elliptical is variable, the time between major solar terms is not fixed. This variation in time between major solar terms results in different solar year lengths. There are generally 11 or 12 complete months, plus two incomplete months around the winter solstice, in a solar year. The complete months are numbered from 0 to 10, and the incomplete months are considered the 11th month. If there are 12 complete months in the solar year, it is known as a leap solar year, or leap suì[17].

Due to the inconsistencies in the length of the solar year, different versions of the traditional calendar might have different average solar year lengths. For example, one solar year of the 1st century BC Tàichū calendar is ​365 3851539 (365.25016) days. A solar year of the 13th-century Shòushí calendar is ​365 97400 (365.2425) days, identical to the Gregorian calendar. The additional .00766 day from the Tàichū calendar leads to a one-day shift every 130.5 years.

Pairs of solar terms are climate terms, or solar months. The first solar term is "pre-climate" (節氣; 节气; Jiéqì), and the second is "mid-climate" (中氣; 中气; Zhōngqì).

The first month without a mid-climate is the leap, or intercalary, month. In other words, the first month that doesn't include a major solar term is the leap month.[17] Leap months are numbered with rùn , the character for "intercalary", plus the name of the month they follow. In 2017, the intercalary month after month six was called Rùn Liùyuè, or "intercalary sixth month" (六月) and written as 6i or 6+. The next intercalary month (in 2020, after month four) will be called Rùn Sìyuè (四月) and written 4i or 4+.

Lunisolar year

The lunisolar year begins with the first spring month, Zhēngyuè (正月; 'capital month'), and ends with the last winter month, Làyuè (365 3851539 (365.25016) days. A solar year of the 13th-century Shòushí calendar is ​365 97400 (365.2425) days, identical to the Gregorian calendar. The additional .00766 day from the Tàichū calendar leads to a one-day shift every 130.5 years.

Pairs of solar terms are climate terms, or solar months. The first solar term is "pre-climate" (節氣; 节气; Jiéqì), and the second is "mid-climate" (中氣; 中气; Zhōngqì).

The first month without a mid-climate is the leap, or intercalary, month. In other words, the first month that doesn't include a major solar term is the leap month.[17] Leap months are numbered with rùn , the character for "intercalary", plus the name of the month they follow. In 2017, the intercalary month after month six was called Rùn Liùyuè, or "intercalary sixth month" (六月) and written as 6i or 6+. The next intercalary month (in 2020, after month four) will be called Rùn Sìyuè (四月) and written 4i or 4+.

The lunisolar year begins with the first spring month, Zhēngyuè (正月; 'capital month'), and ends with the last winter month, Làyuè (臘月; 腊月; 'sacrificial month'). All other months are named for their number in the month order. If a leap month falls after month 11—as it will in 2033—the 11th month will be Shíèryuè (十二月; 'twelfth month'), and the leap month will be Làyuè.

Years were traditionally numbered by the reign in ancient China, but this was abolished after the founding of the People's Republic of China in 1949. For example, the year from 8 February 2016 to 27 January 2017 was a Bǐngshēn year (Years were traditionally numbered by the reign in ancient China, but this was abolished after the founding of the People's Republic of China in 1949. For example, the year from 8 February 2016 to 27 January 2017 was a Bǐngshēn year (丙申) of 13 months or 384 days .

During the Tang dynasty, the Earthly Branches were used to mark the months from December 761 to May 762.[18] Over this period, the year began with the winter solstice.

In China, a person's official age is based on the Gregorian calendar; for traditional use, age is based on the Chinese sui calendar. At birth, a child is considered the first year of lifetime using ordinal numeral (instead of "zero" using cardinal numeral); after each Chinese New Year, one year is added to their traditional age. Because of the potential for confusion, infant ages are often given in months instead of years.

After the Gregorian calendar's introduction in China, the Chinese traditional age was referred to as the "nominal age" (虛歲; 虚岁; xūsuì; 'incomplete age') and the Gregorian age was known as the "real age" (實歲; 实岁; shísùi; 'whole age').

虛歲; 虚岁; xūsuì; 'incomplete age') and the Gregorian age was known as the "real age" (實歲; 实岁; shísùi; 'whole age').

In ancient China, years were numbered from a new emperor's assumption of the throne or an existing emperor's announcement of a new era name. The first recorded reign title was Jiànyuán (建元; 'founding era'), from 140 BC; the last reign title was Xuāntǒng (宣統; 宣统; 'announcing unification'), from AD 1908. The era system was abolished in 1912, after which the current or Republican era was used.

Stem-branches

The 60 stem-branches have been used to mark the date since the Shang dynasty (1600–1046 BC). Astrologers knew that the orbital period of Jupiter is about 4,332 days. Since 4332 is 12 × 361, Jupiter's orbital period was divided into 12 years (; ; suì) of 361 days each.

The 60 stem-branches have been used to mark the date since the Shang dynasty (1600–1046 BC). Astrologers knew that the orbital period of Jupiter is about 4,332 days. Since 4332 is 12 × 361, Jupiter's orbital period was divided into 12 years (; ; suì) of 361 days each. The stem-branches system solved the era system's problem of unequal reign lengths.

Continuous numbering

Lunar New Year (known as the Spring Festival in China) is on the first day of the first month and was traditi

Lunar New Year (known as the Spring Festival in China) is on the first day of the first month and was traditionally called the Yuan Dan (元旦) or Zheng Ri (正日). In Vietnam it is known as Tết Nguyên Đán (元旦節) and in Korea it is known as 설날. Traditionally it was the most important holiday of the year. It is an official holiday in China, Hong Kong, Macau, Taiwan, Vietnam, Korea, the Philippines, Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia. It is also a public holiday in Thailand's Narathiwat, Pattani, Yala and Satun provinces and is an official public school holiday in New York City.

The Double Third Festival is on the third day of the third month and in Korea is known as 삼짇날 (samjinnal).

The Dragon Boat Festival or the Duanwu Festival is on the fifth day of the fifth month and is an official holiday in China, Hong Kong, Macau a

The Double Third Festival is on the third day of the third month and in Korea is known as 삼짇날 (samjinnal).

The Dragon Boat Festival or the Duanwu Festival is on the fifth day of the fifth month and is an official holiday in China, Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan. It is also celebrated in Vietnam where it is known as Tết Đoan Ngọ (節端午) and in Korea where it is known as 단오 (端午)(Dano) or 수릿날 (戌衣日/水瀨日) (surinal) (both Hanja are used as they are homonyms).

The Qixi Festival is celebrated the evening of the seventh day of the seventh month. It is also celebrated in Vietnam where it is known as Thất tịch (七夕) and in Korea where is known as 칠석 (七夕)(chilseok).

The Double Ninth Festival is celebrated on the ninth day of the ninth month. It is also celebrated in Vietnam where it is known as Tết Trùng Cửu(節重九)and in Korea where it is known as 중양절 (jungyangjeol).

The Lantern Festival is celebrated on the fifteenth day of the first month and was traditionally called the Yuan Xiao (元宵)or Shang Yuan Festival(上元節). In Vietnam it is known as Tết Thượng Nguyên(上元節)and in Korea it is known as 대보름(大보름)Daeboreum (or the Great Full Month).

The Zhong Yuan Festival is celebrated on the fifteenth day of the seventh month. In Vietnam, it is celebrated as Tết Trung Nguyên(中元節)or Lễ Vu Lan(禮盂蘭) and in Korea it is known as 백중(百中/百種)Baekjong or 망혼일(亡魂日)Manghongil (Deceased Spirit Day) or 중원(中元)Jungwon.

The Mid-Autumn Festival is cele

The Zhong Yuan Festival is celebrated on the fifteenth day of the seventh month. In Vietnam, it is celebrated as Tết Trung Nguyên(中元節)or Lễ Vu Lan(禮盂蘭) and in Korea it is known as 백중(百中/百種)Baekjong or 망혼일(亡魂日)Manghongil (Deceased Spirit Day) or 중원(中元)Jungwon.

The Mid-Autumn Festival is celebrated on the fifteenth day of the eighth month. In Vietnam, it is celebrated as Tết Trung Thu(節中秋)and in Korea it is known as 추석(秋夕)Chuseok.

The Xia Yuan Festival is celebrated on the fifteenth day of the tenth month. In Vietnam, it is celebrated as Tết Hạ Nguyên(節下元).

The Laba Festival is on the eighth day of the twelfth month. It is the enlightenment day of Sakyamuni Buddha and is celebrated in Korea as 성도재일 (seongdojaeil) and in Vietnam is known as Lễ Vía Phật Thích Ca Thành Đạo.

The Kitchen God Festival is celebrated on the twenty-third day of the twelfth month in northern regions of China or on the twenty-fourth day of the twelfth month in southern regions of China. In Vietnam it is known as Tết Táo Quân(節竈君).

Kitchen God Festival is celebrated on the twenty-third day of the twelfth month in northern regions of China or on the twenty-fourth day of the twelfth month in southern regions of China. In Vietnam it is known as Tết Táo Quân(節竈君).

Chinese New Year's Eve is also known as the Chuxi Festival and is celebrated on the evening of the last day of the lunar calendar. It is celebrated where ever the lunar calendar is observed.

The Qingming Festival is celebrated on the fifteenth day after the Spring Equinox. It is celebrated in Vietnam as Tết Thanh Minh(清明節).

The Dongzhi Festival or the Winter Solstice is celebrated as Lễ hội Đông Chí(冬至禮會)in Vietnam and as 동지(冬至)in Korea.

Religious Holidays Based on the Lunar CalendarDongzhi Festival or the Winter Solstice is celebrated as Lễ hội Đông Chí(冬至禮會)in Vietnam and as 동지(冬至)in Korea.

East Asian Mahayana, Daoist and some Cao Dai holidays and/or vegetarian observances are based on the Lunar Calendar.[21][22][23]

Celebrations in Japan

Many of the above holidays were celebrated in pre-Meiji Japan based on t

Many of the above holidays were celebrated in pre-Meiji Japan based on the lunar calendar but are now celebrated based on the Gregorian calendar.

Double Celebrations Due to Intercalary Months