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Nations & Customs
Spring Festival

Spring Festival


In China, Chinese New Year is called the Spring Festival. That芒鈧劉s because the first day of Chinese New Year falls on the start of spring.

But why is it that Chinese New Year always falls on a different day each year?
 
Here芒鈧劉s a list of Chinese New Year dates from the year 2000 to 2014.

You芒鈧劉ll notice that Chinese New Year falls on a different day each year.

Why is this so?

Spring begins (Lichun) each year around Feb 4th (Western calendar)

The first day of Chinese New Year starts on the new moon closest to spring.

(That芒鈧劉s why Chinese New Year is called the Spring Festival.)

And ends on the full moon 15 days later with the Lantern Festival. The first day of Chinese New Year is always between Jan 21st and Feb 21st.

Why are Chinese New Year dates so 芒鈧搖npredictable芒鈧?

To answer this question, one has to look at how a month in the Chinese calendar or lunar calendar is calculated.

A Chinese month Yue which means 芒鈧搈oon芒鈧?is a real moon.

Each lunar month starts on the day of the New Moon. This is the day the moon is closest to the sun and not visible at all.

Does it mean that one has to look at the sky each time to tell the new moon?

Fortunately, the answer is 芒鈧搉o芒鈧?

Because the new moon occurs with enough regularity to devise a calendar based on its phases. (Full moon in the middle of the month. Moon wanes at the end of the month).


On average, each lunar month is 29.5 days. (Almost the same as Western calendar)

But multiplying 29.5 days by 12 months gives 354 days. Which is 11 days short of 365 1/4 days, the cycle of the four seasons.

So, how does the Chinese calendar 芒鈧搘ait芒鈧?for the natural world to catch up?

By adding an extra month to make a 芒鈧搕hirteen-month year芒鈧?seven times each nineteen years.

In this way, the Chinese calendar year keeps in step with the natural world.

Each year in the Chinese Calendar is also named after one of 12 animals of the Zodiac.

Here芒鈧劉s a chart of Chinese New Year dates from the year 1900 to 2019 you can use to tell which is your animal sign.

It芒鈧劉s a 芒鈧揷ool芒鈧?system because you won芒鈧劉t have to remember how old you are.

 

 

 
   
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