The Major Events in the Chinese Calendar Reform History
The History of Chinese Lunar Calendar
Many historical books were burned during the first emperor of China in the Chin Dynasty (221 B.C.). There is no solid evidence of the first Chinese Lunar Calendar. But the Chinese calendar has a Stem-Branch counting system, which is a cycle of 60. The first king of China is the Yellow King
We have about 365 days a year. A new moon to another new moon takes about 29.5 days. 12 lunar months takes 29.5 X 12 = 354 days. The cycle of the Moon is off the cycle of the Sun 11 days a year. After three years, the cycle of the Moon has an extra 33 days. The lunar calendar needs to add an extra lunar month to match up the cycle of the Sun. The history of the Chinese Lunar Calendar focused on how to add that lunar leap month into the calendar.
The First Day of the Chinese Calendar Year
Shiah Dynasty (2205 B.C.) used the Tiger month as the first month of the year
Chou Dynasty (1122 B.C.) used the Rat (Winter Solstice) month as the first month of the year Yin Dynasty (1401 B.C.) used the Cow month as the first month of the year Chin Dynasty (221 B.C.) used the Pig month as the first month of the year Han (104 B.C.) Dynasty used the Tiger month as the first month of the year
- 8-22 (A.D.) used the
Cow month as the first month of the year for a short period
Beginning Time of Chinese Lunar and Solar Months
In order to find out the good solution for the Lunar Leap
month, ancient Chinese astronomers had been looking for the common cycle of
Sun and Moon. They studied the length of lunar and solar months, the length of
a day and year, the number of lunar months in a year and so on, then made many changes in the calendar system. For example, in
Before 619 A.D., the Chinese used
After 619, during
Mean Moon time is the length of a lunar month is the average length of lunar months a year.
True Moon time is the length of a lunar month is the length between two new moons.
Mean Sun time is the length of a solar month is the average length of solar months in a year.
True Moon time is the length of a lunar month is the length between two solar Sector Points.
The Starting Day of Chinese Calendar Cycle
Many ancient Chinese astronomers in different dynasties kept trying to calculate back and searching for the beginning of the Chinese calendar cycle. The theoretic day of the starting point of Chinese Calendar is that the day must be
- Sun and Moon were on the same position in the sky at midnight, which must be a New Moon Day
- The Day is the Winter Solstice Day
- The Day is a
Wood Rat Day, the first day of 60 Stem-Branch cycle
They all failed to get a satisfying answer.