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Lunar Leap Months in Chinese Calendar 2001
Leap 4th Lunar Month or Leap 5th Lunar Month

There is a leap month (extra lunar month) in the Chinese Calendar year 2001. Using the different theories of Chinese Calendars or different time zones to calculate the Chinese Calendar year 2001, some calendars have leap 4th lunar month and some others have leap 5th lunar month.

There are two types of Chinese Calendars. One is the Chinese Civil Calendar, which is posted by the Chinese government. The other is the Chinese Astronomical Calendar, which is used by astronomers. The basic rules for both these Chinese Calendars are

The major difference between the Chinese Civil Calendar and the Chinese Astronomical Calendar is the assignment of leap months.

If the new moon day and the Solar Center Point are on the same day, the lunar month contains that Solar Center Point in the Civil Calendar system. In the Astronomical Calendar, we have to compare the new moon time and the Solar Center Point time (hour, minute and second). The lunar month contains that Solar Center Point only if the Solar Center Point time comes after new moon time.

In short, the Astronomical Calendar is much more accurate than the Civil Calendar. For more information about the Chinese Calendar, please read the Essence of the Chinese Calendar or FAQ pages.

The following is the listing of leap months for Chinese Calendar year 2001 in China, PST and EST time zones. We can see the leap months in the Astronomical Calendar side are consistent, but not in the Civil Calendar side.

China Beijing/Taiwan Standard Time - Longitude East 120th degree - click here for explanation

China Civil Calendar China Astronomical Calendar
Year New moon Leap Month Year New Moon Leap Month
2001 05-21 10:46 04 2001 06-21 19:58 05

Pacific Standard Time (PST) - USA Longitude West 120th degree - click here for explanation

Civil Calendar Astronomical Calendar
Year New moon Leap Month Year New Moon Leap Month
2001 06-21 03:58 05 2001 06-21 03:58 05

Eastern Standard Time (EST) - USA Longitude West 75th degree - click here for explanation

Civil Calendar Astronomical Calendar
Year New moon Leap Month Year New Moon Leap Month
2001 05-22 21:46 04 2001 06-21 06:58 05

Since the Astronomical Calendar is much more accurate than the Civil Calendar and the leap months are consistent in all the time zones. The Chinese Fortune Calendar Online web site uses the Astronomical Calendar for non-China time zones to calculate the Chinese Astrology birth chart.

The Date of Chinese Dragon Festival in Year 2001

The different Chinese leap months in year 2001 from the different systems and time zones causes much confusion in the calendar conversion for the Gregorian calendar between 5-22-2001 and 7-21-2001.

For example, the Chinese Dragon Boat festival is the 5th day of 5th Chinese lunar month. The Dragon Boat festival is on the Gregorian calendar 6-25-01 in the Chinese Civil Calendar year 2001. However, there are two Chinese Dragon Boat days in both the Chinese Civil Calendar and Chinese Astronomical Calendar using US PST. One is on the Gregorian calendar 5-26-01. The other one is on 6-25-01 because the leap 5th lunar month.

If you use the page of Find the date of Chinese Festivals or Chinese Lunar Calendar Conversion, you need to select the China Civil Calendar option to get the Chinese official calendar in China time zone. All other time zones must select the Chinese Astronomical Calendar option, since the Civil Calendar option is not available for non-China time zones.

The Chinese Civil Calendar is the official Chinese Calendar. Therefore, the official Dragon Boat festival date is 6-25 in year 2001.

Anyway, if the Chinese government won't use the Chinese Astronomical Calendar, then the confusion about leap months will continue throughout the next generations.

More about Chinese Lunar Leap Month


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