The Year of the Tiger

0 CommentsPrint E-mail, February 2, 2010
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According to Chinese Zodiac, the Year of 2010 is a Year of the Tiger which lasts from February 14, 2010 to February 2, 2011. The Chinese New Year (Lunar New Year) does not begin on 1st of January, but on a date that corresponds with the second New Moon after the winter equinox, so it varies from year to year.

The years progress in cycles of 12 and each year is represented by an animal. The Year of the Ox is the Third one in the 12-year cycle. The cycle of 12 repeats five times to form a large cycle of 60 years, and in each of the 12-year cycles, the animals are ascribed an element (Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal, or Water) with Yin or Yang characteristics, which determines their characters. The 60 years' circle is also called the Stem-Branch system.

Chinese calendar

The Chinese calendar has been in continuous use for centuries, which predates the International Calendar (based on the Gregorian Calendar) we use at the present day which goes back only some 425 years. The calendar measures time, from short durations of minutes and hours, to intervals of time measured in months, years, and centuries, entirely based on the astronomical observations of the movement of the sun, moon, and stars.

Years of the Tiger

February 13, 1926 - February 01, 1927

January 31, 1938 - February 18, 1939

February 17, 1950 - February 05, 1951

February 05, 1962 - January 24, 1963

January 23, 1974 - February 10, 1975

February 09, 1986 - January 28, 1987

January 28, 1998 - February 15, 1999

February 14, 2010 - February 02, 2011

The first date indicates Lunar New Year's Day. The second date indicates the last day of the lunar year.

Spring Festival

The oldest and most important festival in China is the Chinese New Year, which marks the first day of the lunar calendar and usually falls somewhere between late January and early February of the Gregorian calendar.

Like all Chinese traditional festivals, the date of the New Year is determined by the Chinese lunar calendar, which is divided into 12 months, each with about 29.5 days. One year has 24 solar terms in accordance with the changes of nature, stipulating the proper time for planting and harvesting. The first day of the first solar term is the Beginning of Spring, which cannot always fall on the first day of the year as in the Western Gregorian Calendar.

Besides celebrating the earth coming back to life and the start of plowing and sowing, this traditional festival is also a festival of reunions. No matter how far people are from their homes they will try their best to come back home for the reunion dinner.

Although the climax of the Spring Festival usually lasts three to five days, including New Year's Eve, the New Year season extends from the Laba Festival (mid-12th month) of the previous year to the Lantern Festival (middle of the first month of the lunar new year). The Lantern Festival marks the end of the New Year season and life becomes routine again.

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