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Chinese calendar

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Title: Chinese calendar  
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Chinese calendar

Today is
Shíyīyuè, Jiǎwǔnián
Sunday 2015-01-25
Now is
53 mils, 3 kè am, mǎoshí
33 mils, 5 gēng 2 diǎn
A single page of the Chinese calendar of Jiǎwǔnián, which contains the Tibetan and Islamic date

Chinese calendar may refer to any of the official and civil calendars used in China and some neighbouring countries in different periods of history; however, the phrase is generally synonymous with Han calendar.

The official calendar in China today is the Gregorian calendar, which is a solar calendar. It is used for public and business affairs.

The civil calendar in much of China is the Han calendar, which is a lunisolar calendar. It is used for selecting the day of a wedding or funeral, for opening a venture, or a relocation. A similar calendar is used in Japan, Korea, and Vietnam for these purposes. Muslims living in Xinjiang, Ningxia and other parts of northern China use the Islamic calendar, which is a mean moon lunar calendar, as their civil calendar. The civil calendar for Tibet is the Tibetan calendar, which is a lunisolar calendar. The civil calendar for Miao is the Miao calendar, which is a solar calendar.

In China, some public holidays relate to the Gregorian calendar, such as Labor Day and National Day while others relate to the Chinese Calendar, such as Chinese New Year, Duanwu Festival, and the Mid-Autumn Festival. In specified provinces(Autonomous~) of China, some extra public holidays related to Islamic calendar or Tibetan calendar, such as Islamic New Year and the Major Festival in Ningxia and Xinjiang, Tibetan New Year and Summer Assembly in Tibet.

The Han calendar is a lunisolar calendar, which indicates both the moon phases and the solar terms. In Han calendar, a year usually begins on the second dark moon after the winter solstice but occasionally on the third dark moon after the winter solstice.

The year from 31 January, 2014 to 18 February, 2015 is a Jiǎwǔnián or Mùmǎnián (Year of the wooden horse).

An example of a Gregorian calendar and Chinese lunisolar calendar below it
A combination calendar, with Gregorian system below and a Chinese zodiac chart above.


  • Early Chinese calendars 1
    • Xiàxiǎozhāng, Ten-month solar calendar 1.1
    • Monthly Memo,Record of Rites, Twelve-month solar calendar 1.2
    • Huángdì Schedule 1.3
  • Late Chinese calendar and related calendars 2
    • Han calendar 2.1
    • Japanese, Korean, and Vietnamese Calendar 2.2
    • Tibetan Calendar 2.3
    • The specialty of Han and Tibetan calendar 2.4
  • Current Chinese Calendar 3
  • Holidays according to Han calendar 4
  • Structure of Han and Tibetan calendar 5
    • Solar Day 5.1
      • Subdivisions of a day 5.1.1
        • shí - kè system
        • gēng - diǎn system
        • Ancient timing device
        • Cross reference
    • Weeks 5.2
      • Luminaries week 5.2.1
      • Heavenly Stems week 5.2.2
      • Earthly Branches week 5.2.3
      • Stem-branches week 5.2.4
    • Lunar phase and lunar month 5.3
      • The days in the month 5.3.1
    • Solar year and solar term 5.4
      • Month names 5.4.1
      • Month bias in Han and Tibetan calendar 5.4.2
    • Year 5.5
      • Calendric intercalary rule 5.5.1
      • Age recognition in China 5.5.2
      • Year name (Chinese: 年份; pinyin: Niánfèn) 5.5.3
      • Continuous year numbering system 5.5.4
        • Calendric epoch and continuous year
        • Yuán-Huì-Yùn-Shì system
        • Huángdì Era and other continuous year system
    • Cycle of years 5.6
      • 10-year cycle (Heavenly stems cycle) 5.6.1
      • 12-year cycle (Earthly Branches cycle) 5.6.2
      • 60-year cycle (Stem-branches cycle) 5.6.3
      • Notes 5.6.4
  • Gregorian, Miao and Chinese-Uighur calendar 6
  • Ancient Yi calendars 7
  • See also 8
  • References 9
  • Further reading 10
  • Apps 11
  • External links 12

Early Chinese calendars

Xiàxiǎozhāng, Ten-month solar calendar

Xiàxiǎozhāng (Chinese: 夏小正) is a phonological article, which logs the star image, climate, habit of plant and animal in Xià Dynasty. Xiàxiǎozhāng showed a ten-month solar calendar. The calendar contains ten 36-day months, and the summer solstice is in the 5th month, and winter solstice is in the 10th month. Ten heavenly stems are considered to be the months names. Each month are divided into 3 sections, and the twelve earthly branches are considered to be the date name in each section.

In Guanzi, a similar calendar are introduced in section five phases.

In The Inner Canon of Huangdiand other ancient books, a year always divided into five seasons, spring of jiǎ and yǐ(Chinese: 春,其日甲乙), summer of bǐng and dīng(Chinese: 夏,其日丙丁), growing of wù and jǐ(traditional Chinese: 長夏,其日戊己; simplified Chinese: 长夏,其日戊己),autumn of gēng and xīn(Chinese: 秋,其日庚辛), and winter of rèn and guì(Chinese: 冬,其日壬癸). These essay described the ten-month calendar. The calendar derived some festivals base on Earthly Branches, such as Shàngsì and Duānwǔ

Monthly Memo,Record of Rites, Twelve-month solar calendar

Record of Rites is a collection of texts describing the social forms, administration, and ceremonial rites of the Zhou dynasty. The section of monthly memo, showed a twelve-month solar calendar. The 12 months a year is Early spring(Chinese: 孟春),Mid spring(Chinese: 仲春), Late spring(Chinese: 季春), Early summer(Chinese: 孟夏),Mid summer(Chinese: 仲夏), Late summer(Chinese: 季夏), Early autumn(Chinese: 孟秋),Mid autumn(Chinese: 仲秋), Late autumn(Chinese: 季秋), Early winter(Chinese: 孟冬),Mid winter(Chinese: 仲冬), Late winter(Chinese: 季冬). Eight solar terms(four Commences, two equinoxes and two Solstices) and are mentioned in the monthly memo. The calendar derived some festival basing on the eight solar terms and Heavenly Stems, such as spring Sacrifice, autumn Sacrifice , Hánshí and Mid-Autumn.

Huángdì Schedule

Huángdì Schedule (traditional Chinese: 黄帝調曆; simplified Chinese: 黄帝调历; pinyin: Huángdì Diàolì) is ancient calendar which mentioned in the annals in Hàn Dynasty. In Huángdì Schedule, a tìisuì contains 12 years, and 8 years are common year, and 4 years are leap year. the common year is 356 days, and the leap year is 383 or 384 days. The month with contains the winter solstice is the first month of the year, and the intercalary is placed in the end of the year. The calendar in Shāng Dynasty, Zhōu Dynasty, Spring and Autumn period, Warring States Period, Qín Dynasty and early stage of Hàn Dynasty, follows the system in general except that the first month is different. Huángdì Schedule is reckoned to be issued at Jan 15, 4377BC.

It is found on the oracle bones of the Shang Dynasty (late 2nd millennium BC), which seem to describe a lunisolar year of 12 months, with a possible intercalary 13th, or even 14th, added empirically to prevent calendar drift. The Sexagenary cycle for recording days was already in use. Tradition holds that, in that era, the year began on the first new moon after the winter solstice.

Early Eastern Zhou texts, such as the Spring and Autumn Annals, provide better understanding of the calendars used in the Zhou dynasty. One year usually had 12 months, which were alternately 29 and 30 days long (with an additional day added from time to time, to catch up with "drifts" between the calendar and the actual moon cycle), and intercalary months were added in an arbitrary fashion at the end of the year.

These arbitrary rules on day and month intercalation caused the calendars of each state to be slightly different, at times. Thus, texts like the Annals will often state whether the calendar they use (the calendar of Lu) is in phase with the Royal calendar (used by the Zhou kings).

Although tradition holds that in the Zhou, the year began on the new moon which preceded the winter solstice, the Spring and Autumn Annals seem to indicate that (in Lu at least) the Yin calendar (the calendar used in Shang dynasty, with years beginning on the first new moon after the winter solstice) was in use until the middle of the 7th century, and that the beginning of the year was shifted back one month around 650 BC.

By the beginning of the Warring States, progress in astronomy and mathematics allowed the creation of calculated calendars (where intercalary months and days are set by a rule, and not arbitrarily). The quarter remainder calendar (traditional Chinese: 四分曆; simplified Chinese: 四分历; pinyin: sìfēnlì), which began about 484 BC, was the first calculated Chinese calendar, so named because it used a solar year of 365¼ days (the same as the 1st-century BC Julian Calendar of Rome), along with a 19-year (235-month) Rule Cycle (Chinese: ; pinyin: zhāng), known in the West as the Metonic cycle.[1] The year began on the new moon preceding the winter solstice, and intercalary months were inserted at the end of the year.

In 256 BC, as the last Zhou king ceded his territory to Qin, a new calendar (the Qin calendar) began to be used. It followed the same principles as the Sifen calendar, except that the year began at Shíyuè 1(Chinese: 十月朔; pinyin: shíyuèshuò, the closest new moon of the winter beginning). The Qin calendar was used during the Qin dynasty, and in the beginning of the Western Han dynasty. According to the Han Records(traditional Chinese: 漢書; simplified Chinese: 汉书; pinyin: Hànshū)21a, 973, for the moment of unification the Middle kingdoms had 6 different calendars: those of the mythological progenitors Yellow Emperor (traditional Chinese: 黃帝曆; simplified Chinese: 黄帝历) and Zhuanxu(traditional Chinese: 顓頊曆; simplified Chinese: 颛顼历); of the dynasties Xia (traditional Chinese: 夏曆; simplified Chinese: 夏历), Yin (traditional Chinese: 殷曆; simplified Chinese: 殷历), and Zhou (traditional Chinese: 周曆; simplified Chinese: 周历), and Lu state (traditional Chinese: 魯曆; simplified Chinese: 鲁历)of the Zhou Dynasty . Of those, the second was taken to substitute the rest. The Han imperial library is said to contain 82 volumes of descriptions of all those systems (Han Shu 30, 1765-6), now mostly lost.[2]

The two oldest printed Chinese calendars are dated 877 and 882; they were found at the Buddhist pilgrimage site of Dunhuang; Patricia Ebrey writes that it is no surprise that some of the earliest printed items were calendars, since the Chinese found it necessary to calculate and mark which days were auspicious and which were not.[3][4]

Late Chinese calendar and related calendars

Han calendar

Emperor Wu of the Han dynasty introduced reforms in the halfway of his administration. His Grand Inception Calendar (traditional Chinese: 太初曆; simplified Chinese: 太初历; pinyin: Tàichū Lì) introduced 24 solar terms which decides the month names. The solar year was defined as 365 \tfrac{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 \tfrac{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.

Ever since then, there are 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 Liáng Dynasty, Zhǔ Chōngzhī 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 Táng 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 Yuán Dynasty.

the ecliptic longitude is introduced and adopted to determine the solar term from the Shíxiàn calendar which was released in Shùnzhì 2(1645) of Qīng Dynasty.

Japanese, Korean, and Vietnamese Calendar

Japan found their own tradition calendar which follows the algorithm of Táng dynasty from Edo period.

Korea and Vietnam adopts the Han calendar except that Vietnam substitutes the cat for the Rabbit in the Chinese zodiac.

Tibetan Calendar

In the Tubo Dynasty, princess Wencheng and Jincheng brought Han calendar to Tibet. And Tibetan built Tibet calendar with the Tibetan calendar with the characters of phenological, Kalachakra, and Han calendar. The Tibetan calendar was finalized before Yuan Dynasty.

The specialty of Han and Tibetan calendar

the moon phases, and tidal phenomena is much easier to reckon in the Han calendar, such as spring and neap tides, fall on approximately the same day in each lunar month, and the times of high and low water and the tidal streams experienced in a certain location on a certain day of the lunar month are likely to be similar to those for the same place and lunar day in any month. For many years, therefore, mariners in East and South-East Asia have related their tidal observations to the Chinese calendar, so as to be able to provide quick, rule-of-thumb approximations of tides and tidal conditions from memory, based on the day of the Lunar month, without needing to refer to tide tables. Certain inshore passages on the China coast, for example, where there are strong tidal streams associated with spring tides, were regarded by mariners to be passable on certain days of the lunar month, and impassable on others.

Tibetan calendar is used to forecast the climate and earthquake in Tibet.

Current Chinese Calendar

On January 1, 1912, the Republic of China adopted the Gregorian calendar for official business as Japan did during Meiji Restoration. But, the Gregorian calendar wasn't fully adopted by the various provinces of China until 1929 because of incessant fighting between warlords. The People's Republic of China adopt the Gregorian calendar in 1949.

In the mainland of China, the Gregorian calendar is called as the public calendar(traditional Chinese: 公曆; simplified Chinese: 公历), and it has have adopted the Christian era which is called as the common era(Chinese: 公元). In Taiwan, the Gregorian calendar is called as the national calendar(traditional Chinese: 國曆; simplified Chinese: 国历), and adopt the republic era(traditional Chinese: 民國紀年; simplified Chinese: 民国纪年).

Although the official calendar is the Gregorian calendar, the Han calendar is used in China widely, especially rural areas. In general, in "modern" metropolitan regions, such as Beijing and Shanghai, many people are not familiar with the Han calendar. People call the Han calendar the "Former Calendar" (traditional Chinese: 舊曆; simplified Chinese: 旧历; pinyin: Jìulì), the "Traditional Calendar" (traditional Chinese: 老曆; simplified Chinese: 老历; pinyin: Lǎolì), or the "Yin Calendar" (traditional Chinese: 陰曆; simplified Chinese: 阴历; pinyin: Yīnlì). In the public media, the Han calendar is usually referred as the "Rural Calendar" (traditional Chinese: 農曆; simplified Chinese: 农历; pinyin: Nónglì). In addition, some regions also call it the Xià Calendar (traditional Chinese: 夏曆; simplified Chinese: 夏历), on the pretext of the calendar of Xià Dynasty.

The Han calendar remains culturally essential today. For example, most of the traditional festivals, such as Chinese New Year and the Mid-Autumn Festival, occur on new moons or full moons. The Han calendar, as an element of traditional culture, has much cultural and nationalistic sentiment invested in it. The Han calendar is still used in the more traditional Chinese households around the world to pick "auspicious dates" for important events such as weddings, funerals, and business deals. A special calendar is used for this purpose, called the Imperial Calendar (traditional Chinese: 皇曆; simplified Chinese: 皇历; pinyin: huánglì), which contains auspicious activities, times, and directions for each day. The calendar follows the Gregorian dates but has the corresponding Chinese dates. Every date would have a comprehensive listing of astrological measurements and fortune elements.

Holidays according to Han calendar

In China, Korea, Vietnam, there're many traditional festival is base on the Han calendar, such as New Year's Day, Mid-Autumn Festival, etc.; and there're some traditional festival basing on the solar terms, such as Winter Solstice Festival.
Date English Chinese; Vietnamese; Korean 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015
Zhēngyuè 1st New Year's Day traditional Chinese: 春節; simplified Chinese: 春节
Vietnamese: Tết Nguyên Đán節元旦
Hangul: 설날 or 구정; hanja: 설날 or 舊正
02-07 01-26 02-14 02-03 01-23 02-10 01-31 02-19
Zhēngyuè 15th Lantern Festival Chinese: 元宵
Vietnamese: Tết Nguyên Tiêu節元宵
Hangul: 대보름; hanja: 大보름
02-21 02-09 02-28 02-17 02-06 02-24 02-14 03-05
Sānyuè 3rd Shangsi Festival Chinese: 上巳
Hangul: 삼짇날; hanja: 三짇날
04-08 03-29 04-16 04-05 03-24 04-12 04-02 04-21
Sìyuè 8th Buddha's Birthday traditional Chinese: 佛誕; simplified Chinese: 佛诞
Hangul: 석가탄신일; hanja: 釋迦誕辰日
05-12 05-02 05-21 05-10 04-28 05-17 05-06 05-25
Sìyuè 15th Vietnamese: Lễ Phật Đản禮佛誕 05-19 05-09 05-28 05-17 05-05 05-24 05-13 06-01
Wǔyuè 5th Dragon Boat Festival Chinese: 端午
Vietnamese: Tết Đoan ngọ節端午
Hangul: 단오; hanja: 端午
06-08 05-28 06-16 06-06 06-23 06-12 06-02 06-20
Qīyuè 7th Night of Sevens Chinese: 七夕
Vietnamese: Thất tịch七夕
Hangul: 칠석; hanja: 七夕
08-07 08-26 08-16 08-06 08-23 08-13 08-02 08-20
Qīyuè 15th Ghost Festival Chinese: 中元
Vietnamese: Tết Trung Nguyên or Vu-lan節中元 or 盂蘭
Hangul: 백중날 or 망혼일 or 중원; hanja: 百中날 or 亡魂日 or 中元
08-15 09-03 08-24 08-14 08-31 08-21 08-10 08-28
Bāyuè 15th Mid-Autumn Festival Chinese: 中秋
Vietnamese: Tết Trung thu節中秋
Hangul: 한가위 or 추석 or 중추절; hanja: 한가위 or 秋夕 or 中秋節
09-14 10-03 09-22 09-12 09-30 09-19 09-08 09-27
Jǐuyuè 9th Double Ninth Festival traditional Chinese: 重陽; simplified Chinese: 重阳
Vietnamese: Tết Trùng Cửu節重九
Hangul: 중양절; hanja: 重陽節
10-07 10-26 10-16 10-05 10-23 10-13 10-02 10-21
Shíyuè 15th Spirit Festival Chinese: 下元
Vietnamese: Lễ mừng lúa mới or Tết Hạ Nguyên禮𢜠穭㵋 or 節下元
11-12 12-01 11-20 11-10 11-28 11-17 12-06 11-26
Làyuè 8th Laba Festival traditional Chinese: 臘八; simplified Chinese: 腊八 2009-
Làyuè 23rd Preliminary Eve Chinese: (北方) 祭灶or 小年
Vietnamese: Tết Táo Quân節񠐹君
Làyuè 24th Chinese: (南方) 祭灶or 小年 2009-
the last day in Làyuè New Year's Eve Chinese: 除夕
Vietnamese: Đêm trừ tịch夜除夕
Hangul: 대회일; hanja: 大晦日
the fifth Wùrì after
Vernal Commence
Vernal Sacrifice Chinese: 春社 03-19 03-24 03-19 03-24 03-18 03-23 03-18 03-23
105th day after
Winter Solstice
Cold Food Festival Chinese: 寒食
Vietnamese: Tết Hàn Thực節寒食
Hangul: 한식; hanja: 寒食
04-03 04-03 04-04 04-04 04-03 04-03 04-04 04-04
April 4 or 5 Qingming Festival Chinese: 清明
Vietnamese: Tết Thanh Minh節清明
Hangul: 청명; hanja: 淸明
04-04 04-04 04-05 04-05 04-04 04-04 04-05 04-05
the fifth Wùrì after
Autumn Commence
Autumn Sacrifice Chinese: 秋社 09-25 09-20 09-25 09-20 09-24 09-19 09-24 09-19
December 21 or 22 Winter Solstice Chinese: 冬至
Vietnamese: Đông Chí冬至
Hangul: 동지; hanja: 冬至
12-21 12-21 12-22 12-22 12-21 12-21 12-22 12-22

Structure of Han and Tibetan calendar

Solar Day

In Han calendar, a day runs from midnight to midnight, as in the Gregorian calendar. Currently, midnight is based on Chinese Standard Time, the mean solar time at longitude 120° east (equivalent to UTC+08).

In Tibetan calendar, a day runs from dawn to dawn.

Subdivisions of a day

In modern Chinese, the day is divided according to the Western hour-minute-second system, but the older standards are still used in some instances.

shí - kè system

In ancient, the sundial is used to show time. At first, there are 69 scales on the sundial, which are included in 68% circumference. The circumference was divided into 12 parts later, which are named with 12 Earthly Branches. The time which the shadow of the stile sweep over a part is a shí. So, a shí is 2 hours.

After Song Dynasty, each shí is divided into two hour. The halfway point is mid-shí(traditional Chinese: 正時; simplified Chinese: 正时; pinyin: zhèngshí), for example, midday is mid-wǔshí(traditional Chinese: 正午時; simplified Chinese: 正午时; pinyin: zhèngwǔshí). The first hour is ante mid-shí(traditional Chinese: 時初; simplified Chinese: 时初; pinyin: shíchū); and the second hour is post mid-shí(traditional Chinese: 時正; simplified Chinese: 时正; pinyin: shízhèng).

For the purposes of calculating the calendar, a day starts at midnight or mid-zǐshí(traditional Chinese: 正子時; simplified Chinese: 正子时; pinyin: zhèngzǐshí), but people tend to regard a day as starting at from dawn (during 5 gēng). For example, In a familiar couplet for New Year's Eve, it's written as "a night connects double ages, 5 gēng divides two years"(traditional Chinese: 一夜連雙歲,五更分兩年; simplified Chinese: 一夜连双岁,五更分两年)

In the other hand, the water clock was introduced to show time. There're 100 scales(Chinese: ; pinyin: ) on the rule to measure the water level. So, the time between 2 scales is a centiday(Chinese: ; pinyin: ) or 14.4 minutes. A centiday is 60 mils(Chinese: ; pinyin: fēn). Currently, the word is used to denote a quarter of an hour.

The sundial and water clock shows shí and together. So, people always described the time with shí and together.

Before Song Dynasty, the format is shí + kè, for example, in Section 2, Calendar Records, Yuán History(traditional Chinese: 元史·曆誌二; simplified Chinese: 元史·历志二)

According to the estimation of Shòushí calendar, the sun eclipsed at the 8 kè, Yínshí(04:48). According to the estimation of Dàmíng Calendar, the sun eclipsed at 0 kè, Mǎoshí(05:00). (traditional Chinese: 《授時曆》,食甚寅八刻。《大明曆》,食甚卯初刻; simplified Chinese: 《授时历》,食甚寅八刻。《大明历》,食甚卯初刻)

After Song Dynasty, the format is shí + am/pm + kè, for example, in Section 2, Calendar Records, Yuán History(traditional Chinese: 元史·曆誌二; simplified Chinese: 元史·历志二)

According to the estimation of Shòushí calendar, the sun eclipsed at the 1 kè am, Sìshí(09:07). According to the estimation of Dàmíng Calendar, the sun eclipsed at the 0 kè am, Sìshí(09:00). (traditional Chinese: 《授時曆》,食甚巳初一刻。《大明曆》,食甚巳初初刻; simplified Chinese: 《授时历》,食甚巳初一刻。《大明历》,食甚巳初初刻)

The shí - kè system is exact timing system in ancient.

gēng - diǎn system

In pre-qin, there're 10 key points within a day, which were name with Heavenly Stems from the sunset. The key points were signaled with drum. The 5 key points in the night were signaled by the night watchman with gong later. And, the key points were named with ordinal number correspondingly, such as, 1 gēng(Chinese: 一更), 2 gēng(Chinese: 二更), 3 gēng(Chinese: 三更), 4 gēng(Chinese: 四更), 5 gēng(Chinese: 五更). The idiom Sāngēng bànyè.(Chinese: 三更半夜) means that in the dead night of 3 gēng.

There're 60 points within a day, which were signaled with bell tone. The point is called as diǎn(traditional Chinese: ; simplified Chinese: ). The time between two diǎns is 24 minutes, which is called as diǎn too. A diǎn is 100 fēn(mils). Currently, the word diǎn is used to denote o'clock.

The authorities release time signal with bell and drum till the end of Qīng dynasty. So, people always described the time in night with gēng and diǎn together, for example, in Section 4, Military Records, Yuán History (traditional Chinese: 元史·兵誌四; simplified Chinese: 元史·兵志四)

The curfew rule: after 1 gēng 3 diǎn(20:24) when the bell tone stopped, walking is forbidden; after 5 gēng 3 diǎn (06:00) when the bell tone rang, walking is allowed. (traditional Chinese: 其夜禁之法,一更三點,鐘聲絕,禁人行;五更三點,鐘聲動,聽人行; simplified Chinese: 其夜禁之法,一更三点,钟声绝,禁人行;五更三点,钟声动,听人行)

The gēng - diǎn system is rough timing system in ancient.

Ancient timing device

In Sòng dynasty, Sū Sòng built a water powered armillary sphere and celestial globe tower. There's a composite timing device in the tower. The device releases each shí and kè signal at the top floor, and shows the shí - kè at the second and third floor. And, the device releases each gēng and diǎn signal at the fourth floor, and shows the gēng - diǎn at the fifth floor.

Cross reference
The current Chinese standard time is 2014-11-16 05:44:07;or 53 mils, 3 kè am, mǎoshí, Shíyīyuè 16, Jiǎwǔnián; or 33 mils, 5 gēng 2 diǎn,Shíyīyuè 16, 2014.
True solar time of shí - kè and gēng - diǎn(am=ante median, pm=post median)
1 kè am 05:02:24 07:12:00 09:07:12 11:02:24 13:12:00 15:07:12 17:02:24 19:12(1 gēng) 21:07:12 23:02:24 01:12(3 gēng 3 diǎn) 03:07:12
2 kè am 05:16:48 07:26:24 09:21:36 11:16:48 13:26:24 15:21:36 17:16:48 19:26:24 21:21:36 23:16:48 01:26:24 03:21:36
3 kè am 05:31:12 07:40:48 09:36:00 11:31:12 13:40:48 15:36:00 17:31:12 19:40:48 21:36(2 gēng) 23:31:12 01:40:48 03:36(4 gēng 3 diǎn)
4 kè am 05:45:36 07:55:12 09:50:24 11:45:36 13:55:12 15:50:24 17:45:36 19:55:12 21:50:24 23:45:36 01:55:12 03:50:24
0 kè pm 06:00:00 08:00:00 10:00:00 12:00:00 14:00:00 16:00:00 18:00:00 20:00:00(1 gēng 2 diǎn) 22:00:00(2 gēng 1 diǎn) 00:00(3 gēng) 02:00:00(3 gēng 5 diǎn) 04:00:00(4 gēng 4 diǎn)
1 kè pm 06:14:24 08:09:36 10:04:48 12:14:24 14:09:36 16:04:48 18:14:24 20:09:36 22:04:48 00:14:24 02:09:36 04:04:48
2 kè pm 06:28:48 08:24:00 10:19:12 12:28:48 14:24:00 16:19:12 18:28:48 20:24(1 gēng 3 diǎn) 22:19:12 00:28:48 02:24(4 gēng) 04:19:12
3 kè pm 06:43:12 08:38:24 10:33:36 12:43:12 14:38:24 16:33:36 18:43:12 20:38:24 22:33:36 00:43:12 02:38:24 04:33:36
4 kè pm 06:57:36 08:52:48 10:48:00 12:57:36 14:52:48 16:48:00 18:57:36 20:52:48 22:48(2 gēng 3 diǎn) 00:57:36 02:52:48 04:48(5 gēng)


Days are grouped within several kinds of weeks.

Luminaries week

The days are grouped within a 7-days week, which is called a Luminaries week (Chinese: 星期/七曜; pinyin: Xīngqī/Qīyào).

The name of the weekdays are Sun-day (Chinese: 日曜; pinyin: Rìyào), Moon-day (Chinese: 月曜; pinyin: Yuèyào), Mars-day(Chinese: 火曜; pinyin: Huǒyào), Mercury-day(Chinese: 水曜; pinyin: Shuǐyào), Jupiter-day (Chinese: 木曜; pinyin: Mùyào), Venus-day (Chinese: 金曜; pinyin: Jīnyào), and Saturn-day (Chinese: 土曜; pinyin: Tǔyào).
28 mansions
Quadrant Jupiter Venus Saturn Sun Moon Mars Mercury
East 青龙 Jiǎo Kàng Fáng Xīn Wěi
North 玄武 Dǒu Níu Wēi Shì
West 白虎 Kuí Lóu Wèi Áng Shēn
South 朱雀 Jǐng Guǐ Lǐu Xīng Zhāng Zhěn

In modern China, the names are identified by ordinal numbers, such as: First-day (Chinese: 星期一; pinyin: Xīngqīyī), Second-day (Chinese: 星期二; pinyin: Xīngqīèr), Third-day (Chinese: 星期三; pinyin: Xīngqīsān), Fourth-day (Chinese: 星期四; pinyin: Xīngqīsì), Fifth-day (Chinese: 星期五; pinyin: Xīngqīwǔ), Sixth-day (Chinese: 星期六; pinyin: Xīngqīlìu). The exception is Sunday, which is known as Sunday (Chinese: 星期日; pinyin: Xīngqīrì).

31 January 2013 is Xīngqīsì (Thursday).

Each 4 weeks are grouped within a 28-days week. the week days of a 28-days week are marked with Twenty-eight mansions(Chinese: 二十八宿; pinyin: Èrshíbāxìu). For example, 31 January 2014 is Níu (牛宿).

Heavenly Stems week

The days are grouped within a 10-days week, and is called Heavenly stems. The names of the weekdays are Jiǎrì, Yǐrì, Bǐngrì, Dīngrì, Wùrì, Jǐrì, Gēngrì, Xīnrì, Rénrì, and Guìrì.

31 January 2013 is Dīngrì.

Some tradition holiday is established according to Heavenly Stems week. Such as the Vernal/Autumn Sacrifice(Chinese: 春社/秋社; pinyin: Chūnshè/Qīushè) is the fifth Wùrì after the Vernal/Autumn Commence.

Earthly Branches week

The days are grouped within a 12-days week, which are called Earthly Branches. The names of the weekdays are Zǐrì, Chǒurì, Yínrì, Mǎorì, Chénrì, Sìrì, Wǔrì, Wèirì, Shēnrì, Yǒurì, Xūrì, and Hàirì.

31 January 2013 is Yǒurì.

Some traditional holidays are established according to Earthly Branches week at first. Such as the Shàngsì Festival is the first Sìrì in Sānyuè, and the Duānwǔ Festival is the first Wǔrì in Wǔyuè at first. These festivals are moved to the fixed calendar later. The Shàngsì Festival is fixed to Sānyuè 3rd, and the Duānwǔ Festival is fixed to Wǔyuè 5th.

Stem-branches week

The Heavenly stems and Earthly Branches run together and, when combined, make a 60-day week which is called stem-branches week.
Jiǎzǐ Yǐchǒu Bǐngyín Dīngmǎo Wùchén Jǐsì Gēngwǔ Xīnwèi Rénshēn Guìyǒu Jiǎxū Yǐhài Bǐngzǐ Dīngchǒu Wùyín Jǐmǎo Gēngchén Xīnsì Rénwǔ Guìwèi
Jiǎshēn Yǐyǒu Bǐngxū Dīnghài Wùzǐ Jǐchǒu Gēngyín Xīnmǎo Rénchén Guìsì Jiǎwǔ Yǐwèi Bǐngshēn Dīngyǒu Wùxū Jǐhài Gēngzǐ Xīnchǒu Rényín Guìmǎo
Jiǎchén Yǐsì Bǐngwǔ Dīngwèi Wùshēn Jǐyǒu Gēngxū Xīnhài Rénzǐ Guìchǒu Jiǎyín Yǐmǎo Bǐngchén Dīngsì Wùwǔ Jǐwèi Gēngshēn Xīnyǒu Rénxū Guìhài

31 January 2013 is Dīngyǒurì.

The earliest evidence of stem-branches week was found on oracle bones dated c. 1350 BC in the Shang Dynasty. The stem-branches week continues to this day, and can still be found on Chinese calendars today.

Although the stem-branches week cannot decide the actual date alone in historical events, it can locate the accurate date along with context and other statement about time, and the difference between versions of the calendar may be neglected. For this reason, the stem-branches week is always used to mark date in the annals. Such as:

Chronicle of Pope Rén, Sòng History (traditional Chinese: 宋史·仁宗本紀; simplified Chinese: 宋史·仁宗本纪)

In the Bǐngyínrì of vernal Zhēngyuè in the first year of Tiānshèng, which is the first day of the month, changed the era name; ...(traditional Chinese: 天聖元年春正月丙寅朔,改元; simplified Chinese: 天圣元年春正月丙寅朔,改元)

In the Wùxūrì of Èryuè, accepted the rule of Gusiluo '​s annual tribute; in Dīngsìrì, established the portrait of Grand Chris and Grand Pope at Hóngqìng Palace of the Southern Capital (Suiyang); lunched the Monopolizing-Tea-Discount Law at the 13 tea plantations of Huáinán (traditional Chinese: 二月戊戌,許唃廝囉歲一入貢;丁巳,奉安太祖、太宗御容於南京鴻慶宫;行淮南十三山場貼射茶法; simplified Chinese: 二月戊戌,许唃厮啰岁一入贡;丁巳,奉安太祖、太宗御容于南京鸿庆宫;行淮南十三山场贴射茶法)

In the Jiǎxūrì of Sānyuè, established the portrait of Pope Zhēn at Yìngtiān Temple of the Western Capital (Loyang); ...; in the Xīnmǎorì, the Imperial Astronomer present the Chóngtiān Calendar for the approval to issue; ...(traditional Chinese: 三月甲戌,奉安真宗御容於西京應天院;……;辛卯,司天監上《崇天曆》; ……; simplified Chinese: 三月甲戌,奉安真宗御容于西京应天院;……;辛卯,司天监上崇天历; ……)

Lunar phase and lunar month

The lunar phase refers to the shape of the illuminated (sunlit) portion of the Moon as seen by an observer on Earth. The lunar phases corresponds to the celestial longitude difference of the moon and sun. The principal lunar phases are new moon (0° celestial longitude difference), first quarter moon (90° celestial longitude difference), full moon (180° celestial longitude difference) and last quarter moon (270° celestial longitude difference).

The lunar month is the time from a day between two identical syzygies or principal phase (new moons or full moons).

In Han calendar, a lunar month corresponds to a variation cycle (0°~360°) of the celestial longitude difference. So, the month always starts on the day of with a new astronomical moon.

    Synodic month (29.48 days) 2013-01-12 03:43:36   ~   2013-02-10 15:20:06
   + New moon day              2013-01-12 00:00:00   ~   2013-01-13 00:00:00
   - Next new moon day         2013-02-10 00:00:00   ~   2013-02-11 00:00:00
    The month (29 days)        2013-01-12 00:00:00   ~   2013-02-10 00:00:00
    Synodic month (29.52 days) 2013-02-10 15:20:06   ~   2013-03-12 03:51:00
   + New moon day              2013-02-10 00:00:00   ~   2013-02-11 00:00:00
   - Next new moon day         2013-03-12 00:00:00   ~   2013-03-13 00:00:00
    The month (30 days)        2013-02-10 00:00:00   ~   2013-03-12 00:00:00
In Tibetan calendar, a lunar month corresponds to a variation cycle (-180°~180°) of the celestial longitude difference. The variation cycle is divided to 30 sections, and each section corresponds to a lunar day.
Celestial longitude difference -168° -156° -144° -132° -120° -108° -96° -84° -72° -60° -48° -36° -24° -12°
The moon phase accordingly Waning gibbous(left) Third quarter Waning crescent(left) New moon
The lunar day accordingly 16th 17th 18th 19th 20th 21st 22nd 23rd 24th 25th 26th 27th 28th 29th 30th
Celestial longitude difference 12° 24° 36° 48° 60° 72° 84° 96° 108° 120° 132° 144° 156° 168° 180°
The moon phase accordingly Waxing crescent(right) First quarter Waxing gibbous(right) Full Moon
The lunar day accordingly 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th 11th 12th 13th 14th 15th

The days in the month

In Han calendar, the dates in the month are arranged in an orderly row from 1 to 29 or 30, and each date are called with two characters, such as:
Date 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th 11th 12th 13th 14th 15th
Pinyin Chūyī Chūèr Chūsān Chūsì Chūwǔ Chūlìu Chūqī Chūbā Chūjǐu Chūshí Shíyī Shíèr Shísān Shísì Shíwǔ
Characters 初一 初二 初三 初四 初五 初六 初七 初八 初九 初十 十一 十二 十三 十四 十五
Date 16th 17th 18th 19th 20th 21st 22nd 23rd 24th 25th 26th 27th 28th 29th 30th
Pinyin Shílìu Shíqī Shíbā Shíjǐu Èrshí Niànyī Niànèr Niànsān Niànsì Niànwǔ Niànlìu Niànqī Niànbā Niànjǐu Sānshí
Characters 十六 十七 十八 十九 二十 廿一 廿二 廿三 廿四 廿五 廿六 廿七 廿八 廿九 三十

In the late Qīng Dynasty, selected yùnmù (韵目, the representative character of the rhymes) are on behalf of the two date characters for telegram use. It was applied into the date in the Gregorian calendar later. For example: Wénxī Fire (Chinese: 文夕大火) is a conflagration on the eve of 1938-11-12 (Evening of 1938-11-12, Chángshā was going to be occupied by the enemy, municipality burnt and fielded the city), Wén (Chinese: ) is on behalf of 12th and (Chinese: ) is on behalf of evening.

In Tibetan calendar, the dates in the month are arranged according to the lunar days. If there's a whole lunar day within a solar day, the date is arranged according the lunar day which ends in the solar day first; if there's a whole solar day within a lunar day, the date is arranged according to the lunar day; and if the solar day intersects with the lunar day, the date is arranged according to lunar day which ends in the solar day.

For example:
the number of the solar day 1 2 ... 9 10 11 12 ... 25 26 ...
The number of the lunar day 1 2 3 4 10 11 12 13 25 26 27 28
The ending of the lunar day1 2:43⅔ 57:27½ 53:11⅓ 55:50⅓ 0:01⅚ 4:13⅓ 2:48 56:53⅔ 50:59⅓
Celestial longitude difference 12° 24° 36° 120° 132° 144° 300° 312° 324°
The date accordingly 1st (skip 2nd) 3rd 10th 11th lap 11th 12th 25th (skip 26th) 27th
1 The time is remarked according to Tibetan time system. A day is 60 points, a point is 60 sections, and a section is 6 parts

In Tibetan calendar, the month length is decided by the number of the skipped and lapped dates. If there's no skipped and lapped date, it's a lucky month. If there's a skipped date, it's a month with 29 days. If there's a skipped and lapped date, it's a month with 30 days. If there're 2 skipped dates and a lapped date, it's a month with 29 days. If there're 2 skipped and lapped dates, it's a month with 30 days.

The dating method in Han and Tibetan calendar is different, so the date is not the same all the way. But, the bias is within 1.

Solar year and solar term

The ecliptic position of each solar term
Solar term Date Longitude Zodiac
WS, Winter Solstice Dec 22 270° Capricornus
MC, Moderate Cold Jan 6 285°
GC, Great Cold Jan 20 300° Aquarius
VC, Vernal Commences Feb 4 315°
VS, Vernal Showers Feb 19 330° Pisces
IA, Insects Waken Mar 5 345°
VE, Vernal Equinox Mar 20 360°/0° Aries
BC, Bright and Clear Apr 5 15°
CR, Corn Rain Apr 20 30° Taurus
SC, Summer Commences May 6 45°
CF, Corn Forms May 21 60° Gemini
CE, Corn on Ear Jun 6 75°
SS, Summer Solstice Jun 21 90° Cancer
MH, Moderate Heat Jul 7 105°
GH, Great Heat Jul 23 120° Leo
AC, Autumn Commences Aug 7 135°
EH, End of Heat Aug 23 150° Virgo
WD, White Dew Sep 8 165°
AE, Autumnal Equinox Sep 23 180° Libra
CD, Cold Dew Oct 8 195°
FF, First Frost Oct 23 210° Scorpio
WC,Winter Commences Nov 7 225°
LS, Light Snow Nov 22 240° Sagittarius
HS, Heavy Snow Dec 7 255°

A solar year, for general purposes, is the length of time that the Sun takes to return to the same position in the cycle of seasons, as seen from Earth; for example, the time from vernal equinox to vernal equinox, or from winter solstice to winter solstice.

In Han calendar, a solar year is the time from a winter solstice to the next. And a solar year is divided into 24 solar terms which correspond to 15° along the ecliptic. A couple of solar terms are associated into a climate term. The start point of the first term in the couple is called as pre-climate (traditional Chinese: 節氣; simplified Chinese: 节气; pinyin: Jiéqì), and the start point of the last term in the couple is called as mid-climate (traditional Chinese: 中氣; simplified Chinese: 中气; pinyin: Zhōngqì). The climate terms are marked with the 12 earthly branches. The time between two mid-climates correspond quite closely to the zodiac. The table right shows the relationship between solar terms, ecliptic positions and the zodiacs.

In the late Spring and Autumn Period (722–481 BC), the former Sìfēn calendar was established, and set the tropical year at 365.25 days, the same length as the Julian calendar which was introduced in 46 BC.[1] The Taichu calendar of 104 BC under Emperor Wu of Han rendered the solar year at roughly the same ( 365\tfrac{385}{1539}).[1]

Many other calendars were established between then and the Yuan Dynasty (1271–1368), including those established by Li Chunfeng (602–670) and Yi Xing (683–727).[1] In 1281, the Yuan astronomer Guo Shoujing (1233–1316) fixed the calendar at 365.2425 days, the same as the Gregorian calendar established in 1582; this calendar, the Shoushi calendar, would be used in China for the next 363 years.[1][5] Guo Shoujing established the new calendar with the aid of his own achievements in spherical trigonometry, which he derived largely from the work of Shen Kuo (1031–1095) who established trigonometry in China.[6][7][8]

In Tibetan calendar, a solar year is divided into 12 solar months (climate terms) equally. A solar month is about 30.4 days

Month names

An astronomical year is approximately 365¼ days, a period between 12 and 13 lunar months. So, to keep the pace with the astronomical year in a long term, common years (a year with 12 months) and leap years (a year with 13 months) are interleaved. Generally, in each 19 years, there're 7 leap years and 12 common years.

In Han and Tibetan calendar, the month name corresponds to the climate term. The closest climate to the moon decides the month name, and the mid-climate in the month is regarded as the key point to choose the closest climate. Generally, the month with the Vernal Showers is Zhēngyuè or Dangpo (the 1st month), the month with the Vernal Equinox is Èryuè or Gnyispa ( the 2nd month), the month with the Corn Rain is Sānyuè or Gsumpa (the 3rd month), the month with the Corn Forms is Sìyuè or Bzhipa ( the 4th month), the month with the Summer Solstice is Wǔyuè or Lngapa (the 5th month), the month with the Moderate Heat is Lìuyuè or Drugpa ( the 6th month), the month with the End of Heat is Qīyuè or Ddunpa (the 7th month), the month with the Autumnal Equinox is Bāyuè or Brgyadpa (the 8th month), the month with the First Frost term is Jǐuyuè or Dgupa (the 9th month), the month with the Light Snow is Shíyuè Bcupa (the 10th month), the month with the Winter Solstice is Shíyīyuè or Bcugcigpa (the 11th month), the month with the Great Cold term is Làyuè or Bcugnyispa (the 12th month), and the month without a mid-climate is Rùnyuè (an intercalary month). For example, the table below show the information of 2014.

         Month Date              mid-Climate     Month name (Ordinal)
     A  2014-01-31 ~ 2014-02-28  VC: 2014-02-19  Zhēngyuè(1st)
     B  2014-03-01 ~ 2014-03-30  VE: 2014-03-21   Èryuè(2nd)
     C  2014-03-31 ~ 2014-04-28  CR: 2014-04-20  Sānyuè(3rd)
     D  2014-04-29 ~ 2014-05-28  CF: 2014-05-21   Sìyuè(4th)
     E  2014-05-29 ~ 2014-06-26  SS: 2014-06-21   Wǔyuè(5th)
     F  2014-06-27 ~ 2014-07-26  GH: 2014-07-23  Lìuyuè(6th)
     G  2014-07-27 ~ 2014-08-24  EH: 2014-08-23   Qīyuè(7th)
     H  2014-08-25 ~ 2014-09-23  AE: 2014-09-23   Bāyuè(8th)
     I  2014-09-24 ~ 2014-10-23  FF: 2014-10-23  Jǐuyuè(9th)
     J  2014-10-24 ~ 2014-11-21  N/A             Rùnyuè(leap over)
     K  2014-11-22 ~ 2014-12-21  LS: 2014-11-22  Shíyuè(10th)
     L  2014-12-22 ~ 2015-01-19  WS: 2014-12-22  Shíyīyuè(11th)
     M  2015-01-20 ~ 2015-02-18  GC: 2015-01-20   Làyuè(12th)

In Han calendar, the solar term are calculated with the true sun position from Shùnzhì 2 (traditional Chinese: 順治二年; simplified Chinese: 顺治二年, 1645), and the length of the solar terms are 14.7-15.7 days against 15.2 days. So, there's a possibility of 0.3% that two mid-climates enters the same month. To avoid the skipped month, the month name is arranged in orderly row from then. When there're 12 month between two winter solstice months, the first month without a mid-climate is an intercalary. The month names except the intercalary are Shíyīyuè or Bcugcigpa (the 11th month), Làyuè or Bcugnyispa (the 12th month), Zhēngyuè or Dangpo (the 1st month), Èryuè or Gnyispa (the 2nd month), Sānyuè or Gsumpa (the 3rd month), Sìyuè or Bzhipa (the 4th month), Wǔyuè or Lngapa (the 5th month), Lìuyuè or Drugpa (the 6th month), Qīyuè or Ddunpa (the 7th month), Bāyuè or Brgyadpa (the 8th month), Jǐuyuè or Dgupa (the 9th month), Shíyuè Bcupa (the 10th month). For example, the table below shows the information of 2032-2035.

 Month Date          mid-Climate             Month name
A 2032/12/03~12/31  WS: 2032/12/21         0  Shíyīyuè(11th)
B 2033/01/01~01/30  GC: 2033/01/20         1   Làyuè(12th)
C 2033/01/31~02/28  RW: 2033/02/18         2  Zhēngyuè( 1st)
D 2033/03/01~03/30  VE: 2033/03/20         3   Èryuè( 2nd)
E 2033/03/31~04/28  GR: 2033/04/20         4  Sānyuè( 3rd)
F 2033/04/29~05/27  GF: 2033/05/21         5   Sìyuè( 4th)
G 2033/05/28~06/26  SS: 2033/06/21         6   Wǔyuè( 5th)
H 2033/06/27~07/25  GH: 2033/07/22         7  Lìuyuè( 6th)
I 2033/07/26~08/24  LH: 2033/08/23         8   Qīyuè( 7th)
J 2033/08/25~09/22  N/A                    9   Bāyuè( 8th)
K 2033/09/23~10/22  AE: 2033/09/23        10  Jǐuyuè( 9th)
L 2033/10/23~11/21  FF: 2033/10/23        11  Shíyuè(10th)
M 2033/11/22~12/21  LS: 11/22 / WS: 12/21  0  Shíyīyuè(11th)
N 2033/12/22~01/19  N/A                    1  Rùnyuè(11th, Intercalary)
O 2033/01/20~02/18  GC: 01/20 / RW: 02/18  2   Làyuè(12th)
P 2034/02/19~03/19  N/A                    3  Zhēngyuè( 1st)
Q 2034/03/20~04/18  VE: 2034/03/20         4   Èryuè( 2nd)
R 2034/04/19~05/17  GR: 2034/04/20         5  Sānyuè( 3rd)
S 2034/05/18~06/15  GF: 2034/05/21         6   Sìyuè( 4th)
T 2034/06/16~07/15  SS: 2034/06/21         7   Wǔyuè( 5th)
U 2034/07/16~08/13  GH: 2034/07/23         8  Lìuyuè( 6th)
V 2034/08/14~09/12  LH: 2034/08/23         9   Qīyuè( 7th)
W 2034/09/13~10/11  AE: 2034/09/23        10   Bāyuè( 8th)
X 2034/10/12~11/10  FF: 2034/10/23        11  Jǐuyuè( 9th)
Y 2034/11/10~12/10  LS: 2034/11/22        12  Shíyuè(10th)
Z 2034/12/11~01/08  WS: 2034/12/22         0  Shíyīyuè(11th)

Month bias in Han and Tibetan calendar

In Han calendar, the climate terms are unequal sections; but in Tibetan calendar, the climate terms are equal sections. So, the month is not the same all the way. But, the bias is within 1.

To sum up the month and date bias, the date in Han and Tibetan calendar is the same, a bias of a day, a bias of a month, or a bias of a month and a day. Such as:

   Feb 28, 1987 is Dangpo 1st, Fire rabbit year or  Èryuè 1st, Dīngmǎonián  with a bias of a month 
   Feb 18, 1988 is Dangpo 1st, Earth dragon year or Zhēngyuè 2nd, Wùchénnián with a bias of a day 
   Feb 27, 1990 is Dangpo 1st, Iron horse year  or  Èryuè 2nd, Gēngwǔnián  with a bias of a month and a day 
   Feb 15, 1991 is Dangpo 1st, Iron goat year  or Zhēngyuè 1st, Xīngwèinián  without bias


A year starts at Zhēngyuè or Dangpo 1st, and always ends at the last day of Làyuè or Bcugnyispa (if there is an intercalary month after Làyuè or Bcugnyispa, the year will end on the last day of the intercalary month).

There are 12 or 13 months in a year. If there are 12 months in year, there are 353, 354 or 355 days in this year. If there are 13 months in a year, there are 383, 384 or 385 days in this year. For example, the current year starts at 2012-1-23 and ends at 2013-02-09. There are 13 months or 384 days.

The year with 13 month is a leap year. The intercalary month of the leap year between 1900 and 2108 in Han calendar is list as below:
Metonic cycle 1900~ 1919~ 1938~ 1957~ 1976~ 1995~ 2014~ 2033~ 2052~ 2071~ 2090~
leap 7 or 8 1900 8 1919 7 1938 7 1957 8 1976 8 1995 8 2014 9 2033 11 2052 8 2071 8 2090 8
leap 6 1903 5 1922 5 1941 6 1960 6 1979 6 1998 5 2017 6 2036 6 2055 6 2074 6 2093 6
leap 4 1906 4 1925 4 1944 4 1963 4 1982 4 2001 4 2020 4 2039 5 2058 4 2077 4 2096 4
leap 2 or 3 1909 2 1928 2 1947 2 1966 3 1984 10 2004 3 2023 2 2042 2 2061 3 2080 3 2099 2
leap 6 or 7 1911 6 1930 6 1949 7 1968 7 1987 6 2006 7 2025 6 2044 7 2063 7 2082 7 2101 7
leap 5 1914 5 1933 5 1952 5 1971 5 1990 5 2009 5 2028 5 2047 5 2066 5 2085 5 2104 5
leap 3 or 4 1917 2 1936 3 1955 3 1974 4 1993 3 2012 4 2031 3 2050 3 2069 4 2088 4 2107 4

A representative sequence of common and leap years is lcclcclcclclcclcclc, which is the classic nineteen-year Metonic cycle. Han calendar follows the rule in general.

Calendric intercalary rule

For Han calendar, Ping-Tse Kao (Chinese: 高平子; pinyin: Gāo, Píngzǐ; 1888-1970, one of the founders of Purple Mountain Observatory) mentioned the calendric intercalary rule. In his the calendric intercalary rule, the month name and intercalary are decided before rounding the month start to day. For example:

        Synodic Month                      mid-Climate        Month name    Civil Month
A 2032-12-03 04:52:26 ~ 01-01 18:16:36  WS:12-21 15:55:29  0  Shíyīyuè 2032-12-03 ~ 12-31 
B 2033-01-01 18:16:36 ~ 01-31 05:59:26  GC:01-20 02:32:20  1   Làyuè  2033-01-01 ~ 01-30 
C 2033-01-31 05:59:26 ~ 03-01 16:23:05  VS:02-18 16:33:22  2  Zhēngyuè 2033-01-31 ~ 02-28 
D 2033-03-01 16:23:05 ~ 03-31 01:51:12  VE:03-20 15:22:17  3   Èryuè  2033-03-01 ~ 03-30 
E 2033-03-31 01:51:12 ~ 04-29 10:45:45  CR:04-20 02:12:40  4  Sānyuè  2033-03-31 ~ 04-28 
F 2033-04-29 10:45:45 ~ 05-28 19:36:06  CF:05-21 01:10:30  5   Sìyuè  2033-04-29 ~ 05-27 
G 2033-05-28 19:36:06 ~ 06-27 05:06:36  SS:06-21 09:00:40  6   Wǔyuè  2033-05-28 ~ 06-26 
H 2033-06-27 05:06:36 ~ 07-26 16:12:07  GH:07-22 19:52:21  7  Lìuyuè  2033-06-27 ~ 07-25 
I 2033-07-26 16:12:07 ~ 08-25 05:39:21  EH:08-23 03:01:22  8   Qīyuè  2033-07-26 ~ 08-24 
J 2033-08-25 05:39:21 ~ 09-23 21:39:19  AE:09-23 00:51:12  9   Bāyuè  2033-08-25 ~ 09-22 
K 2033-09-23 21:39:19 ~ 10-23 15:27:58  FF:10-23 10:27:08 10  Jǐuyuè  2033-09-23 ~ 10-22 
L 2033-10-23 15:27:58 ~ 11-22 09:38:40  LS:11-22 08:15:42 11  Shíyuè  2033-10-23 ~ 11-21 
M 2033-11-22 09:38:40 ~ 12-22 02:46:01  WS:12-21 21:45:32  0  Shíyīyuè 2033-11-22 ~ 12-21 
N 2033-12-22 02:46:01 ~ 01-20 18:01:05  GC:01-20 08:26:49  1   Làyuè  2033-12-22 ~ 01-19 
O 2034-01-20 18:01:05 ~ 02-19 07:09:47  VS:02-18 22:29:43  2  Zhēngyuè 2034-01-20 ~ 02-18 
P 2034-02-19 07:09:47 ~ 03-20 18:14:06                     3  Rùnyuè  2034-02-19 ~ 03-19 
Q 2034-03-20 18:14:06 ~ 04-19 03:25:25  VE:03-20 21:17:01  4   Èryuè  2034-03-20 ~ 04-18 
R 2034-04-19 03:25:25 ~ 05-18 11:12:07  CR:04-20 08:03:14  5  Sānyuè  2034-04-19 ~ 05-17 
S 2034-05-18 11:12:07 ~ 06-16 18:25:28  CF:05-21 06:56:24  6   Sìyuè  2034-05-18 ~ 06-15 
T 2034-06-16 18:25:28 ~ 07-16 02:14:47  SS:06-21 14:43:42  7   Wǔyuè  2034-06-16 ~ 07-15 
U 2034-07-16 02:14:47 ~ 08-14 11:52:35  GH:07-23 01:35:51  8  Lìuyuè  2034-07-16 ~ 08-13 
V 2034-08-14 11:52:35 ~ 09-13 00:13:20  EH:08-23 08:47:16  9   Qīyuè  2034-08-14 ~ 09-12
W 2034-09-13 00:13:20 ~ 10-12 15:32:10  AE:09-23 06:39:04 10   Bāyuè  2034-09-13 ~ 10-11 
X 2034-10-12 15:32:10 ~ 11-11 09:15:45  FF:10-23 16:15:57 11  Jǐuyuè  2034-10-12 ~ 11-10 
Y 2034-11-11 09:15:45 ~ 12-11 04:13:56  LS:11-22 14:04:28 12  Shíyuè  2034-11-11 ~ 12-10 
Z 2034-12-11 04:13:56 ~ 01-09 23:02:37  SS:12-22 03:33:30  0  Shíyīyuè 2034-12-11 ~ 01-08 

The calendric intercalary rule reduced the possibility that two mid-climate enters the same month to 0.06%. And, the intercalary is the same using different standard time.

Age recognition in China

In China, the age recognition for official use is based on the Gregorian calendar. But, for traditional use, it is based on Han calendar. From birthday to the end of the year, it's one year old. And, add one year old after each New Year Eve. Such as, if one's birthday is Làyuè 29th 2013, he is 2 years old at Zhēngyuè 1st 2014.

Year name (Chinese: 年份; pinyin: Niánfèn)

The years are named with the era name (which is a name of several years) and ordinal number generally. But, the first year of each era is called as Yuánnián (Chinese: 元年).

For the eras ante Emperor Wǔ of Hàn Dynasty, the regnal names are regard as the era names. such as Yǐngōng 1(traditional Chinese: 隱公元年; simplified Chinese: 隐公元年; pinyin: Yǐngōng Yuánnián, The first year of Duke Yǐn of Lǔ State, 722 BC).

113 BC, Emperor Wǔ of Hàn Dynasty issued the first era name, Jiànyuán (Chinese: 建元), and 140 BC is marked as Jiànyuán 1(Chinese: 建元元年; pinyin: Jiànyuán Yuánnián,140 BC).

In China, the first official era name is Jiànyuán, the last official era name is Xuāntǒng(traditional Chinese: 宣統; simplified Chinese: 宣统).

In Japan, the first era name is Taika (大化), the last era name for Han calendar is Keiō (慶応). The first era name for the Gregorian calendar is Meiji (明治). Current era name is Heisei (平成).

After Xuāntǒng Sānnián, the republic authority adopted the Gregorian calendar and establish the next year as the first year. The country name(traditional Chinese: 民國; simplified Chinese: 民国; pinyin: Mínguǒ) is regard as the era name. The time system is used in Taiwan and some overseas Chinese societies still.

Since 1949, in mainland China, the authority abolished the era name of the ROC, and specified the Chinese of Christ Era as common era (Chinese: 公元; pinyin: Gōngyuán). So, the Gōngyuán is regard as the current era name. In some Chinese society, the Western Era (Chinese: 西元; pinyin: Xīyuán) takes the place of Gōngyuán

Continuous year numbering system

Calendric epoch and continuous year

There's a epoch for each version of Han Calendar, which is called as Lìyuán(traditional Chinese: 曆元; simplified Chinese: 历元). The epoch is optimal origin of the calendar, and it's a Jiǎzǐrì, the first day of a lunar month, and the dark moon and solstice is just at the mid-night(Chinese: 日得甲子夜半朔旦冬至). And tracing back to a perfect day, such as that the day with magical star sign, there's a supreme epoch(Chinese: 上元; pinyin: shàngyuán). The continuous year base on the supreme epoch is shàngyuán jīnián(traditional Chinese: 上元積年; simplified Chinese: 上元积年). More and more factors was added into the supreme epoch, and the shàngyuán jīnián became a huge number. So, the supreme epoch and shàngyuán jīnián was neglected from Shòushí calendar.

All Han calendar follows the frame of Tàichū calendar. The calendric epoch, the winter solstice of 105BC, may be regarded as the epoch of Han calendar. And it's clear that it will be a neutral epoch.

     The years before 105 BC,       105-Gōngyuán, such as: 2698 BC is 1594th year before the calendar 
     The year of 105 BC,            105-Gōngyuán,           105 BC is    0th year
     The years form 104 BC to 1 BC, 105-Gōngyuán, Such as:   87 BC is   18th year
     The years after 1 BC,          Gōngyuán+104, such as:   2013  is 2117th year
Yuán-Huì-Yùn-Shì system

Shao Yong (Chinese: 邵雍, 1011–1077, Courtesy name: Yáofū, Posthumous title: Kāngjié, a philosopher, cosmologist, poet and historian who greatly influenced the development of Non-Confucianism in China.) introduced a timing 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 round (Chinese: ; pinyin: yuán), which contains 12'9600 years, is a lifecycle of the world. Each yuán (round) is divided into 12 assembly(traditional Chinese: ; simplified Chinese: ; pinyin: huì), which are named with Earthly Branches.

The Hài, , and Chǒu are the Remote Ages(Chinese: 太古; pinyin: Tàigǔ),which is the opening of the world (Chinese: 天地之分) just as the winter. The Yín, Mǎo, and Chén are the Early Ages(Chinese: 上古; pinyin: Shànggǔ), which is the evolution of the world (Chinese: 天地之化) just as the spring. The , , and Wèi are the Middle Ages(Chinese: 中古; pinyin: Zhōnggǔ), which is the climax of the world (traditional Chinese: 天地之關; simplified Chinese: 天地之关) just as the summer. The Shēn, Yǒu, and are the Late Ages(Chinese: 下古; pinyin: Xiàgǔ, ), which is the closing of the world (天地之合) just as the autumn.

Each assembly is divided into 30 run(traditional Chinese: ; simplified Chinese: ; pinyin: yùn), and each run is divided into 12 generation(Chinese: ; pinyin: shì). So, each generation is equivalent to 30 years.

The Yuán-Huì-Yùn-Shì is corresponded with Nián-Yuè-Rì-Shí. So the Yuán-Huì-Yùn-Shì is called as the major tend or the numbers of the heaven, and the Nián-Yuè-Rì-Shí is called as the minor tend or the numbers of the earth.

The major tend or the numbers of the heaven is far away from people seemingly, but the minor tend or the numbers of the earth is close to people. So the minor tend or the numbers of the earth is adapted by people for predicting destiny or fate. The numbers of Nián-Yuè-Rì-Shí is marked with stem-branches. So the minor tend of the numbers of the earth is show a form of Bāzì, and the four terms are be called as Four Pillars of Destiny

For example, the eight characters of the birth of Emperor Qiánlóng is Xīnmǎo-Dīngyǒu-Gēngwǔ-Bǐngzǐ (辛卯、丁酉、庚午、丙子).

Shào '​s Huángjíjīngshì recorded the history with stem-branches cycle from the first year of the 180th run or 2149th generation (ARGY 6-30-1-1, 2577 BC) and marked the year with reign title from the Jiǎchénnián of the 2156th generation (ARGY 6-30-8-11, 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 ARG/YMD 7-12-10/1-1-1.

Huángdì Era and other continuous year system

The official year system of China is divided into many division with reign titles. And there's not an official recognition continuous year system. Referring to BC and AD, many reference points were purposed in the earlier 20th century, such as: Huángdì Era (traditional Chinese: 黄帝紀年; simplified Chinese: 黄帝纪年), Based on the birth or regal of Huángdì Confucius Era (traditional Chinese: 孔子紀年; simplified Chinese: 孔子纪年), Based on the birth or dead year of Confucius Yáo Era (traditional Chinese: 帝堯紀年; simplified Chinese: 帝尧纪年), Based on the regnal of Emperor Yao Xià Era (traditional Chinese: 夏禹紀年; simplified Chinese: 夏禹纪年), Based on the regnal of Yu of Xia Qín Era (traditional Chinese: 秦統一紀年; simplified Chinese: 秦统一纪年), Based on the year when Qin Unified China Yuan Era (traditional Chinese: 亡國紀年; simplified Chinese: 亡国纪年), Based on the year when Song lost China completely Gònghé Era (traditional Chinese: 共和紀年; simplified Chinese: 共和纪年), Based on Gònghé 1 Generally, no reference date is widely accepted. Huángdì Era has significant public implications in oversea Chinese.

In the 17th century, the Jesuits tried to determine what year should be considered the epoch of Han calendar. In his Sinicae historiae decas prima (first published in Munich in 1658), Martino Martini (1614–1661) dated the royal ascension of Huangdi to 2697 BC, but started the Chinese calendar with the reign of Fu Xi, which he claimed started in 2952 BC. 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 Huangdi in 2698 BC and omits Huangdi's predecessors Fu Xi and Shennong, who are considered "too legendary to include".

Starting in 1903, radical publications started using the projected date of birth of the 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 BC. There is no evidence that this calendar was used before the 20th century.[9] Liu calculated that the 1900 international expedition sent by eight foreign powers to suppress the Boxer Uprising entered Beijing in the 4611th year of the Yellow Emperor.

At January 2, 1912, Sun Yat-sen declared that the Republic of China adopt the Gregorian calendar, and establish Shíyīyuè 13th 4609 of Huángdì Era as the new year's day of the first year of the Republic of China (traditional Chinese: 中華民國改用陽曆,以黄帝紀元四千六百零九年十一月十三日爲中華民國元年元旦; simplified Chinese: 中华民国改用阳历,以黄帝纪元四千六百零九年十一月十三日为中华民国元年元旦). Sun Yat-sen's choice, which implied an epoch of 2698 BC, was adopted by many overseas Chinese communities outside Southeast Asia such as San Francisco's Chinatown.[10]

      Sun Yat-sen's version 
     Years before 2698 BC not mentioned
     Years before 1 AD   HE=2699-CE
     Years after 1 BC   HE=2698+CE such as 1912+2698=4610, the year after spring festival of 1912 CE is 4610 HE

Cycle of years

10-year cycle (Heavenly stems cycle)

The years are grouped within a 10-year cycle which is called the 10 Celestial Stems (or called as 10 Heavenly Stems). The names of each year are: Jiǎnián, Yǐnián, Bǐngnián, Dīngnián, Wùnián, Jǐnián, Gēngnián, Xīnnián, Rénnián and Guìnián.

The current year (2014-1-31~2015-2-18) is Jiǎnián.

Each year corresponds to an element in Wǔxíng. Jiǎnián and Yǐnián is Wood(Chinese: ; pinyin: ), Bǐngnián and Dīngnián is Fire(Chinese: ; pinyin: Huǒ), Wùnián and Jǐnián is Earth(Chinese: ; pinyin: ), Gēngnián and Xīnnián is Metal(Chinese: ; pinyin: Jīn), Rénnián and Guìnián is Water(Chinese: ; pinyin: Shuǐ).

Therefore the current year is a Mùnián.

12-year cycle (Earthly Branches cycle)

The years are grouped within a 12-year cycle which is called the 12 Earthly Branches. The names of the years are: Zǐnián, Chǒunián, Yínnián, Mǎonián, Chénnián, Sìnián, Wǔnián, Wèinián, Shēnnián, Yǒunián, Xūnián, and Hàinián.

The current year is Wǔnián.

Each cycle year is corresponds to an animal of the Chinese zodiac. Zǐnián to Rat(Chinese: ; pinyin: Shǔ), Chǒunián to Ox(Chinese: ; pinyin: Níu), Yínnián to Tiger(Chinese: ; pinyin: ), Mǎonián to Rabbit(Chinese: ; pinyin: ), Chénnián to Dragon(traditional Chinese: ; simplified Chinese: ; pinyin: Lóng), Sìnián to Snake(Chinese: ; pinyin: Shé), Wǔnián to Horse(traditional Chinese: ; simplified Chinese: ; pinyin: ), Wèinián to Goat(Chinese: ; pinyin: Yáng), Shēnnián to Monkey(Chinese: ; pinyin: Hóu), Yǒunián to Rooster(traditional Chinese: ; simplified Chinese: ; pinyin: ), Xūnián to Dog(Chinese: ; pinyin: Gǒu) and Hàinián to Pig(traditional Chinese: ; simplified Chinese: ; pinyin: Zhū).

The seal characters of the earthly branches show the figure of the animals. For example, shows the figure of the horse face.

Therefore the current year is Mǎnián (Horse).

Stem-branch of recent years
Jiǎzǐ[1] Stem, branch Gānzhī(干支) Year of the... Continuous[2] Gregorian date
79:26 07,03 Gēngyínnián (庚寅年) Metal Tiger 4707 Feb 14, 2010-Feb 2, 2011
79:27 08,04 Xīnmǎonián (辛卯年) Metal Rabbit 4708 Feb 3, 2011-Jan 22, 2012
79:28 09,05 Rénchénnián (壬辰年) Water Dragon 4709 Jan 23, 2012-Feb 9, 2013
79:29 10,06 Guǐsìnián (癸巳年) Water Snake 4710 Feb 10, 2013-Jan 30, 2014
79:30 01,07 Jiǎwǔnián (甲午年) Wood Horse 4711 Jan 31, 2014-Feb 18, 2015
79:31 02,08 Yǐwèinián (乙未年) Wood Goat 4712 Feb 19, 2015-Feb 7, 2016
79:32 03,09 Bǐngshēnnián (丙申年) Fire Monkey 4713 Feb 8, 2016-Jan 27, 2017
79:33 04,10 Dīngyǒunián (丁酉年) Fire Rooster 4714 Jan 28, 2017-Feb 15, 2018
79:34 05,11 Wùxūnián (戊戌年) Earth Dog 4715 Feb 16, 2018-Feb 4, 2019
79:35 06,12 Jǐhàinián (己亥年) Earth Pig 4716 Feb 5, 2019-Jan 24, 2020

60-year cycle (Stem-branches cycle)

The Heavenly stems cycle and Earthly Branches cycle runs together, and become a 60-year cycle which is called the stem-branches cycle.

The current year is Jiǎwǔnián, also called as Mùmǎnián (Wood Horse).

Around the Han Dynasty, the stem-branches cycle was introduced. In Míng Dynasty and Qīng Dynasty, the stem-branches cycle was used along with the year mark in the Oration to Yellow Emperor. Such as:

Oration to Yellow Emperor at the first year of Wànlì

That, at the first year of Wànlì, which is Guìyǒunián, at Sìyuè started at Gēngxūrì, at 16th day which is Yǐchǒurì, the Emperor sent... (traditional Chinese: 萬曆元年,歲次癸酉,四月庚戌朔,越十六日乙丑,皇帝遣……; simplified Chinese: 万历元年,岁次癸酉,四月庚戌朔,越十六日乙丑,皇帝遣……)

The table right shows the stem/branch year names, correspondences to the Western (Gregorian) calendar, and other related information for the current decade.[11] Alternatively, see this larger table of the full 60-year cycle.


1 Regard 2697 BC as 01:00.

2 Regard 2698 BC as the first year.

Gregorian, Miao and Chinese-Uighur calendar

From 1912, Chinese adopt Gregorian calendar as the public calendar. Gregorian calendar is a solar calendar.

The Miao calendar is a solar calendar, too. The Miao calendar is used from ten-thousands years ago, and retired at Guāngxù 33 (traditional Chinese: 光緒三十三年; simplified Chinese: 光绪三十三年, 1907). The New Year's Day in Miao calendar is the winter solstice. And Miao calendar is similar with Gregorian calendar.

A year in Gregorian and Miao calendar contains 12 months, which are January(the unformatted month), February(the 0th month), March(the 1st month), April(the 2nd month), May(the 3rd month), June(the 4th month), July(the 5th month), August(the 6th month), September(the 7th month), October(the 8th month), November(the 9th month), December(the 10th month).

In Gregorian calendar, February is an unformatted month, and the length is 29 days in leap year, and 28 days in common year. In Miao Calendar, January is an unformatted month, and the length is 31 days in leap year, and 30 days in common year.

In Gregorian calendar, January/March/May/July/August/October/December(odd in first half, and even in the second half) is 31 days, and April/June/September/November(even in the first half and odd in the second half) is 30 days. In Miao calendar, all odd months(the 1st,3rd,5th,7th,9th month) are 31 days, and all even months(the 0th,2nd,4th,6th,8th,10th month) are 30 days.

In Miao calendar, each Zǐ,Chén,Shēn is leap year. So the intercalary rule is the same as Julian calendar.

There're 6 season in Miao calendar, cold-warm-hot-hot-warm-cold. Each season contains 2 months.

  • 84 mansion-branches

The 28 mansions and the 12 earthly branches runs together, and works out 84 mansion-branches. The 84 mansion-branches are used to count the days, just as 60 stem-branches do.

  • Chinese-Uighur calendar

In 1258, when both North China and the Islamic world were part of the Mongol Empire, Hulagu Khan established an observatory in Maragheh for the astronomer Nasir al-Din al-Tusi at which a few Chinese astronomers were present, resulting in the Chinese-Uighur calendar that al-Tusi describes in his Zij-i Ilkhani.[12] The 12 year cycle, including Turkic/Mongolian translations of the animal names (known as sanawat-e turki سنوات ترکی,) remained in use for chronology, historiography, and bureaucratic purposes in the Persian and Turkic speaking world from Asia Minor to India and Mongolia throughout the Medieval and Early Modern periods. In Iran it remained common in agricultural records and tax assessments until a 1925 law deprecated its use.

In Chinese-Uighur calendar, the year was computed from the vernal equinox, and each month was determined by the transit of the sun into the corresponding zodiac region. So, the month in Chinese-Uighur calendar is 3 month later than that in Miao calendar, and there're 29–32 days in each month.

Ancient Yi calendars

  • Yi 10-month solar calendar

In Yi areas, a 10-month calendar was found in the early 1980s. It was a solar calendar that contained 10 months of 36 days, and 2/3 transition days before the winter solstice (the minor year) and summer solstice (the major year). The 36 days were named with the 12 earthly branches (from tiger to ox), repeated 3 times.

The 10 months were named with 10 animals (tiger, oter, crocodile, boa, pangolin, muntjac, bharal, ape, panther, and lizard). The 10 months were divided into five seasons, which were named with the five elements (earth, bronze, water, wood, and fire).

  • Yi 18-month solar calendar

In Yi areas, an 18-months calendar was found in the late 1950s. It was a solar calendar that contained 18 months of 20 days, and 2/3 transition days before the winter solstice and summer solstice.

The 18 months were named as: wind month, twitter month, sprout month, bloom month, fruit month, drought month, rainy month, freshet month, sunny month, withered month, fallen month, frost month, and celebration month.

See also


  1. ^ a b c d e Deng, Yingke. (2005). Ancient Chinese Inventions. Translated by Wang Pingxing. Beijing: China Intercontinental Press (五洲传播出版社). ISBN 7-5085-0837-8. Page 67.
  2. ^ Cullen, Atronomy and Methematics in Ancient China. Cambridge, 1996.
  3. ^ Needham, Joseph. (1986). Science and Civilization in China: Volume 5, Chemistry and Chemical Technology, Part 6, Missiles and Sieges. Cambridge University Press., reprinted Taipei: Caves Books, Ltd.(1986). Page 151.
  4. ^ Ebrey, Patricia Buckley (1999). The Cambridge Illustrated History of China. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-66991-X (paperback). Pages 124–125.
  5. ^ Asiapac Editorial. (2004). Origins of Chinese Science and Technology. Translated by Yang Liping and Y.N. Han. Singapore: Asiapac Books Pte. Ltd. ISBN 981-229-376-0, p. 132.
  6. ^ Needham, Joseph. (1959). Science and Civilization in China: Volume 3, Mathematics and the Sciences of the Heavens and the Earth. Cambridge University Press., reprinted Taipei: Caves Books, Ltd.(1986), pp. 109–110.
  7. ^ Ho, Peng Yoke. (2000). Li, Qi, and Shu: An Introduction to Science and Civilization in China. Mineola: Dover Publications. ISBN 0-486-41445-0. p. 105.
  8. ^ Restivo, Sal. (1992). Mathematics in Society and History: Sociological Inquiries. Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic Publishers. ISBN 1-4020-0039-1. p. 32.
  9. ^ Cohen (2012), p. 1, 4.
  10. ^ Aslaksen, p. 38.
  11. ^ The following link provides conversion of Chinese calendar dates to Western calendar dates: [1]
  12. ^ Benno van Dalen, E.S. Kennedy, Mustafa K. Saiyid, "The Chinese-Uighur Calendar in Tusi's Zij-i Ilkhani", Zeitschrift für Geschichte der Arabisch-Islamischen Wissenschaften 11 (1997) 111–151.

Further reading

  • Cohen, Alvin (2012). "Brief Note: The Origin of the Yellow Emperor Era Chronology". Asia Major 25 (pt 2): 1–13. 


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External links

  • Chinese months
  • Gregorian-Lunar calendar years (1900–2100)
  • Chinese calendar and holidays
  • Chinese calendar with Auspicious Events
Calendar conversion
  • Western-Chinese calendar converter
  • Mathematics of the Chinese Calendar
  • The Structure of the Chinese Calendar
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