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Chinese Lunar Calendar Theory, History & Conversion

This Chinese Lunar Calendar guide talks about the theory of the Chinese Lunar Calendar, Chinese lunar leap month, the history of Chinese calendar reform, high-precision astronomical data (1 to 2246 A.D.), and Chinese Lunar Calendar conversion programming.

What is the Chinese Lunar Calendar?

How does the Chinese Lunar Calendar work? When people are saying the Chinese Lunar Calendar, they mean the Chinese calendar. Chinese calendar combines solar-Lunar and Stem-Branch counting systems together. There is no short answer for how the Chinese Lunar Calendar works. It's a little bit complicated. We explain it in the following article - The theory of Chinese Lunar Calendar. The next common question is how to convert the Chinese Lunar Calendar.

Many people are looking for the calculation formula to convert from the Gregorian calendar to the Chinese Lunar Calendar. Actually, there is no mathematical or astronomical formula for the Chinese Lunar Calendar Conversion to satisfy me during my research from 1988 to 1992. All the formulas I found create low-precision results, which are unable to handle the Chinese lunar leap months. This is because the motion and rotation of the moon are uneven, unstable, and wobbling, it's very hard to have an accurate formula for the Chinese Lunar Calendar over any century. Any straightforward formula available today only gives us a low-precision result. Without high-precision astronomical data, the assignments of Chinese Lunar Leap Month (a.k.a. Intercalary Month) will become great chaos. Before learning how to do the Chinese Lunar Calendar conversion programming with high-precision astronomical data used in the chinesefortunecalendar.com, we have to know the theory and the imperfection of the Chinese Lunar Calendar system.

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By Master Allen Tsai on January 29, 2023

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