Chinese New Year

What year is it in the Chinese calendar: Chinese New Year calendar 2019

When a Chinese friend tells you about his birthday, be careful! You’d better ask him first what calendar he’s talking about and What year is it in the Chinese calendar, the Gregorian calendar or the Chinese calendar (also known as the lunar calendar).

The lunar or chinese calendar has been used by all the dynasties that ruled China until 1911, when the Republic of China began. Then it was replaced little by little by the Gregorian calendar, but not completely. In addition, this curious way of measuring time has been used in other countries such as Korea, Vietnam or Japan .

Chinese calendar 2019

What year is it in the Chinese calendar

Chinese Calendar 4716, Year of the Pig.

What is the Chinese New Year calendar?

The traditional Chinese calendar is a lunisolar calendar that organizes the years, months and days according to the regular movement of the moon. The days begin and end at midnight, the months begin on the day of the new moon and the years begin when the moon is near the midpoint between the winter solstice (December 20-23) and the spring equinox (March 21st).

The 24 solar periods

Regarding solar information, the most important are the 24 solar periods or Ershisi jieqi (二十 四 节气) that divide the year into 24 regular periods. In each one, certain natural phenomena occur that are especially useful for farmers or anyone working in the collection and nature.

Nong Li

Chinese calendar 2019

This calendar influenced throughout history in other regions of the Chinese sphere, such as the calendar of Vietnam (âm lich), Korea (역법) Mongolia (цаг тооны бичиг) and Japan (日本 の 暦). In Chinese it has several names, but the most famous is “Nong Li” ( 农历 Nónglì) .

The first character, nóng, makes reference to the peasants or the work in the field. This is because the Chinese calendar is especially useful in rural areas of China and is an indispensable tool for knowing the periods of agricultural production, to the point of being used in villages much more than the Gregorian calendar. In addition, the lunar calendar is the only valid one to determine the start date of each Chinese zodiac animal.

The Chinese lunar calendar

The Chinese lunar calendar is the traditional calendar by which the Chinese population was formerly ruled, however, to this day, the Chinese live taking into account the solar calendar, like most mortals.

When the Chinese New Year 2019 arrives, many friends always ask me what year it is in China. Then I will explain in what year the Chinese live and how their calendar works.

The history of the Chinese lunar calendar

According to the Shiji Work (史记 Historical Memoirs) of Sima Qian, the first Chinese calendar was made in the year 2937 BC, during the reign of the Yellow Emperor. Since then, each century consists of 60 years, distributed in 5 cycles of 12 years.

The traditional Chinese era began that same year and, according to this calendar, we are in the third cycle of the 78th century . There are more than 100 versions of different calendars, which have evolved throughout history. With the current calendars you can recognize the exact date of natural phenomena such as tides or phases of the moon.

How are the years in the Chinese calendar counted?

The years that make up a century in the traditional calendar are governed by a curious numbering system based on astronomical observation. To ‘name’ the 60 years of a century combine 10 numbers known as celestial trunks (Tiangan 天干) with 12 other numbers called earthly branches (Dizhi 地支).

The different combinations of the 10 celestial trunks (5 times in total) with the 12 earthly branches (6 times in total) gives 60 combinations, one for each year. These sixty combinations are fixed and repeated every century. In any Chinese historical book we can verify that to chronologically locate the years, it is usually indicated first the dynasty, the reign and finally the years.

Curiosities about the Chinese calendar 2019

  1. Normal years have 12 months formed by 353, 354 or 355 days, depending on the lunar phases.
  2. Leap years have 13 months formed by 383, 384 or 385 days.
  3. The calendar does not count the years through numbers in an infinite sequence, like ours. But they are repeated in cycles of 60 years in which each year has a specific name.
  4. It was invented and began to be used in the year 2637 BC
  5. The solar calendar was introduced in China through the Jesuit missionaries in the 17th century, however, it was not established as an official until the revolution of 1911.
  6. The Chinese New Year is celebrated on the second new moon after the winter solstice.
  7. The Moon Festival or Mid-Autumn Festival is celebrated on the 15th day of the eighth month of the Chinese lunar calendar.

Chinese new year calendar 2019 animal

As is well known, the Chinese year differs from the rest as it is based on their lunar calendar and usually falls between January 21 and February 20.

Chinese astrology consists of a circle of 12 years, where each one is represented by one of the … twelve animals.

These twelve animals are rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, sheep, monkey, rooster, dog and pig.

Straight forward answer is Pig is the animal for Chinese new year 2019.

According to the Chinese tradition, the 12 zodiacs are represented by 12 animals or creatures and represent 12 different types of personality. Traditionally, the zodiac begins with the rat and ends with the pig, and there are many legends about how this series of zodiacs emerged.

More uses of the traditional Chinese calendar 2019

If you know someone who works in China, he will surely tell you that all traditional festivals are governed according to the lunar calendar. For example, the Moon Festival, the Lantern Festival or the Spring Festival (春节 Chunjie), known as the Chinese New Year. According to the Gregorian calendar, in 2017 the party fell on January 18, while in 2016 it was on February 16.

This is because the traditional Chinese calendar is based on the phases of the moon , so each month has 29.5 days, and 12 months total 354 days. This means that in the lunar calendar there are 11 days less than in the solar calendar (365 days). To reduce the gap between the two, a leap month is added to the Chinese calendar every 3 years (in exactly 19 years, 7 months have been added). In this way, the Chinese New Year party will never be celebrated in summer. However, it seems that the Gregorian calendar date is always changing.

Currently, in any store in China , the two systems appear on the same calendar : the Gregorian calendar (Gong Li 公历) and the traditional Chinese calendar. As we have said, it is mainly used in rural areas, but it is also used to choose which day is the best luck to hold a wedding or a funeral , open a new company or change the place of a business.

How to know on what day of the Chinese calendar we are?

If you are interested in knowing your birth date in the Chinese calendar, there are many applications or web pages that can help you. You can read more information about calculating your birthday on the Chinese calendar 2019.

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