Chinese Calendar 2008
Rat Year

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The Chinese Calendar

    Chinese New Year is the main holiday of the year for more than one quarter of the world's population. Although the People's Republic of China uses the Gregorian calendar for civil purposes, a special Chinese calendar is used for determining festivals. Various Chinese communities around the world also use this calendar.

    The beginnings of the Chinese calendar can be traced back to the 14th century B.C.E. Legend has it that the Emperor Huangdi invented the calendar in 2637 B.C.E.

    The Chinese calendar is based on exact astronomical observations of the longitude of the sun and the phases of the moon. This means that principles of modern science have had an impact on the Chinese calendar. The Chinese calendar does not use a continuous year count! They used a 60 year cycle and a system of regional years (starting with each emperor).

      Chinese Year Names
      1. jia-zi16. ji-mao 31. jia-wu46. ji-you
      2. yi-chou17. geng-chen 32. yi-wei47. geng-xu
      3. bing-yin18. xin-si 33. bing-shen48. xin-hai
      4. ding-mao19. ren-wu 34. ding-you49. ren-zi
      5. wu-chen20. gui-wei 35. wu-xu50. gui-chou
      6. ji-si21. jia-shen 36. ji-hai51. jia-yin
      7. geng-wu22. yi-you 37. geng-zi52. yi-mao
      8. xin-wei23. bing-xu 38. xin-chou53. bing-chen
      9. ren-shen24. ding-hai 39. ren-yin54. ding-si
      10. gui-you25. wu-zi 40. gui-mao55. wu-wu
      11. jia-xu26. ji-chou 41. jia-chen56. ji-wei
      12. yi-hai27. geng-yin 42. yi-si57. geng-shen
      13. bing-zi28. xin-mao 43. bing-wu58. xin-you
      14. ding-chou29. ren-chen 44. ding-wei59. ren-xu
      15. wu-yin30. gui-si 45. wu-shen60. gui-hai

      Within each 60-year cycle, each year is assigned name consisting of two components:

      The first component is a Celestial Stemm. These words have no English equivalent:


      1. jia 6. ji
      2. yi 7. geng
      3. bing 8. xin
      4. ding 9. ren
      5. wu    10. gui

      The second component is a Terrestrial Branch. The names of the corresponding animals in the zodiac cycle of 12 animals are given in parentheses.


      1. zi (rat) 7. wu (horse)
      2. chou (ox) 8. wei (sheep)
      3. yin (tiger) 9. shen (monkey)
      4. mao (hare, rabbit) 10. you (rooster)
      5. chen (dragon) 11. xu (dog)
      6. si (snake)    12. hai (pig)

The Chinese believe the animal ruling the year in which a person is born has a profound influence on personality, saying: "This is the animal that hides in your heart." Each new year, people will decorate their homes with many New Year Graphics; the best of which are from the small town called Yangliuqing. Yanliuqing paintings were first produced between 1573 and 1620.

           
The Chinese New Year is celebrated at the second new moon after the winter solstice and falls between January 21 and February 19 on the Gregorian calendar.
The year 2008 translates to the Chinese year 4705–4706.
Rat 1924 1936 1948 1960 1972 1984 1996 2008
Ox 1925 1937 1949 1961 1973 1985 1997 2009
Tiger 1926 1938 1950 1962 1974 1986 1998 2010
Rabbit 1927 1939 1951 1963 1975 1987 1999 2011
Dragon 1928 1940 1952 1964 1976 1988 2000 2012
Snake 1929 1941 1953 1965 1977 1989 2001 2013
Horse 1930 1942 1954 1966 1978 1990 2002 2014
Sheep 1931 1943 1955 1967 1979 1991 2003 2015
Monkey 1932 1944 1956 1968 1980 1992 2004 2016
Rooster 1933 1945 1957 1969 1981 1993 2005 2017
Dog 1934 1946 1958 1970 1982 1994 2006 2018
Boar 1935 1947 1959 1971 1983 1995 2007 2019
   

>>Persian Calendar 1387
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