Chinese Calendar 2014
Chinese calendar is infamous. There are not many people out there that haven't at least heard of it before. It carries with it an aura of mystic. Some people even refer to the Chinese calendar in almost reverent, hushed tones. So what exactly is the deal when it comes to this time keeping device?
What Makes it Different:
The Chinese calendar is different from what is often referred to as the Gregorian or Western calendar. This is the calendar that you are probably most familiar with. Sometimes it is even referred to as the traditional calendar.
This phrase is misleading since the Chinese calendar is actually older and more traditional in its culture than the solar calendaris now widely used. The Chinese calendar keeps track of time using a lunisolar system. This method utilizes the orbit of the moon as well as the orbit of the sun to keep track of time.
Chinese Calendar 2013
|1 Jan||New Year's Day||12 Jun||Dragon Boat Festival|
|2 Jan||New Year's weekend||1 Jul||CPC Founding Day|
|3 Jan||New Year's weekend||11 Jul||Maritime Day|
|9 Feb||Spring Festival Golden Week holiday||1 Aug||Army Day|
|10 Feb||Chinese New Year||13 Aug||Double Seven Festival|
|11 Feb||Spring Festival Golden Week holiday||21 Aug||Spirit Festival|
|12 Feb||Spring Festival Golden Week holiday||10 Sep||Teachers' Day|
|13 Feb||Spring Festival Golden Week holiday||19 Sep||Mid-Autumn Festival|
|14 Feb||Spring Festival Golden Week holiday||1 Oct||National Day|
|15 Feb||Spring Festival Golden Week holiday||2 Oct||National Day Golden Week holiday|
|24 Feb||Lantern Festival||3 Oct||National Day Golden Week holiday|
|8 Mar||International Women's Day||4 Oct||National Day Golden Week holiday|
|12 Mar||Arbor Day||5 Oct||National Day Golden Week holiday|
|13 Mar||Zhonghe Festival||6 Oct||National Day Golden Week holiday|
|4 Apr||Qing Ming Jie||7 Oct||National Day Golden Week holiday|
|1 May||Labor Day / May Day||13 Oct||Double Ninth Festival|
|4 May||Youth Day||8 Nov||Journalists' Day|
|1 Jun||Children's Day|
This calendar is also referred to as:
- the agricultural calendar
- the Yin calendar
- the old calendar
- the Xia calendar
Since this calendar is partly based on the cycles of the moon, it has great need to be adjusted periodically. As the moon orbits around the earth, the earth is moving around the sun simultaneously. The end result of both bodies moving is that the moon moves at a variable rate. This means that there is great need for a Leap Year. In a calendar that uses the sun as its basis, every four years one day must be added to make things stay precise. In a lunar calendar, when Leap Year happens, an entire month must be added to keep things aligned properly.
How it is Used:
In China today, the Gregorian calendar is the standard calendar, but the Chinese calendar is still used to determine the day of the Chinese New Year, the Duan Wu festival, and the Mid-Autumn festival. This ancient calendar also helps people to determine the best day to get married or even to open a business. Astrology has even picked up using this particular calendar to help make predictions. This adds to the mystery behind this calendar.
Names of the Years:
This calendar utilizes a system which cycles around every 12 years. The names of animals are used to label the years, and the same 12 animals are continuously cycled.
The animals that are used are:
- the tiger
- the rabbit
- the dragon
- the snake
- the horse
- the ram
- the monkey
- the rooster
- the dog
- the pig
- the rat
- the ox
The custom of the people says that the people that are born in the year of a specific animal have the characteristics of that animal. Usually the positive characteristics are focused on rather than the negative ones. In China the Zodiac signs are even labeled according to the names of these animals. When it comes right down to it, the Chinese calendar is not all that mysterious. It simply looks at keep track of time in a different way.