Chinese Solar and Lunar New Year
Are you confused by the different dates listed for the Chinese New Year? If so, you’re not alone since two different calendars are observed. One is based on the earth’s movement around the sun (solar) and the other is linked to phases of the moon (lunar.)
The Solar New Year, based on the agricultural or farmer’s (Hsia) calendar, marks the hours, days and minutes it takes earth to complete one circle around the sun. This is known traditionally as the first day of spring when insects and animals stir, soil softens and the planting season begins. We use this date for calculating a person’s Chinese Four Pillars and Bazi astrology, Flying Star Feng Shui and Qi Men Dun Jia predictions. The date typically falls on February 3rd or 4th each year and marks the time when all feng shui adjustments should be in place to properly benefit from the energy of the new year.
The Lunar New Year marks the second New Moon after the Winter Solstice and begins the traditional celebration of the elaborate 15-day Spring Festival. This culturally rich holiday season is associated with different activities each day, culminating with the well-known Lantern Festival Yuen Xiao. This is a joyous period of time when Chinese families cease work and travel home to honor ancestors and celebrate the new year with family.
In 2016, The Solar New Year begins February 4 and the Lunar New Year February 8 and there is still time to prepare with this checklist.
Wishing you good chi and a very Happy New Year of the Fire Monkey – Bing Shen!
Diane Gallin, CFSC