The Chinese Calendar

Chinese Astrology
The Han Calendar
Chinese Symbol for Good Luck

The Traditional Chinese Calendar

The official calendar in modern China has been the Gregorian Calendar since October 1, 1949, when Mao Zedung proclaimed People's republic of China.

However, the old, traditional Chinese calendar is stil observed in traditional Chinese communities around the world as well as in rural China. It is used to determine auspicious dates for important events (such as weddings, business deals, etc.) and most of the traditional Chinese festivals.

The traditional Chinese calendar is also called the "Yin Calendar", the "Han Calendar", or the "Rural Calendar".

The Chinese calendar is the longest chronological record in human history. It dates from 2637 BC, when Emperor Huangdi (or Huang Ti) introduced the first cycle of the Chinese zodiac / calendar.

A Lunisolar Calendar

The traditional Chinese calendar is a lunisolar calendar. This means that it combines the solar year and the moon phases.

In the Chinese calendar, a month begins with the day of new moon ("dark moon"), and a year can have 12 or 13 lunar months. An ordinary Chinese year has 12 months and 353-355 days. Every second or third year has 13 months and 383-385 days, and is called a leap year.

A Chinese year begins on the second or third new moon after the winter solstice, depending on the number of new moons between two consecutive winter solstices. Therefore, the date of the Chinese New Year in the Gregorian calendar is variable between January 20th and February 20th. Lower on this page you will find the Gregorian calendar dates of the Chinese New Years in the 77th and 78th cycles (i.e. 1924-2043).

The 60 Years Cycles

While the Gregorian calendar counts years in an infinite sequence, the Chinese calendar counts years in 60-years cycles.

Each year in the Chinese calendar is assigned a name consisting of two components: a celestial stem and a terrestrial branch.

There are 10 celestial stems:

  • Jia (wood, as in growing wood)
  • Yi (wood, as in cut timber)
  • Bing (fire, as in natural fire)
  • Ding (fire, as in artificial fire)
  • Wu (earth, as in soil)
  • Ji (earth, as in earthenware)
  • Geng (metal, as in mineral)
  • Xin (metal, as in wrought metal)
  • Ren (water, as in running water)
  • Gui (water, as in standing water)

The terrestrial branches are the 12 animals in the Chinese zodiac cycle:

  • Zi (rat)
  • Chou (ox)
  • Yin (tiger)
  • Mao (rabbit)
  • Chen (dragon)
  • Si (snake)
  • Wu (horse)
  • Wei (goat)
  • Shen (monkey)
  • You (rooster)
  • Xu (dog)
  • Hai (pig)

The 60-years cycle is generated by combining the two components in a rather complicated sequence. Each 60-years cycle in the Chinese calendar begins with the Wood Rat (Jia Zi) year and ends with the Water Pig (Gui Hai) year.

The 77th Cycle of the Chinese Calendar

The 77th cycle of the traditional Chinese calendar began on February 5, 1924 with the year of the Wood Rat (chinese year 4622).

Zodiac Sign (Element) Chinese New Year
Rat (Wood) 1924, Feb 5
Ox (Wood) 1925, Jan 25
Tiger (Fire) 1926, Feb 13
Rabbit (Fire) 1927, Feb 2
Dragon (Earth) 1928, Jan 23
Snake (Earth) 1929, Feb 10
Horse (Metal) 1930, Jan 30
Goat (Metal) 1931, Feb 17
Monkey (Water) 1932, Feb 6
Rooster (Water) 1933, Jan 26
Dog (Wood) 1934, Feb 14
Pig (Wood) 1935, Feb 4
Rat (Fire) 1936, Jan 24
Ox (Fire) 1937, Feb 11
Tiger (Earth) 1938, Jan 31
Rabbit (Earth) 1939, Feb 19
Dragon (Metal) 1940, Feb 8
Snake (Metal) 1941, Jan 27
Horse (Water) 1942, Feb 15
Goat (Water) 1943, Feb 5
Monkey (Wood) 1944, Jan 25
Rooster (Wood) 1945, Feb 13
Dog (Fire) 1946, Feb 2
Pig (Fire) 1947, Jan 22
Rat (Earth) 1948, Feb 10
Ox (Earth) 1949, Jan 29
Tiger (Metal) 1950, Feb 17
Rabbit (Metal) 1951, Feb 6
Dragon (Water) 1952, Jan 27
Snake (Water) 1953, Feb 14
Horse (Wood) 1954, Feb 3
Goat (Wood) 1955, Jan 24
Monkey (Fire) 1956, Feb 12
Rooster (Fire) 1957, Jan 31
Dog (Earth) 1958, Feb 18
Pig (Earth) 1959, Feb 8
Rat (Metal) 1960, Jan 28
Ox (Metal) 1961, Feb 15
Tiger (Water) 1962, Feb 5
Rabbit (Water) 1963, Jan 25
Dragon (Wood) 1964, Feb 13
Snake (Wood) 1965, Feb 2
Horse (Fire) 1966, Jan 21
Goat (Fire) 1967, Feb 9
Monkey (Earth) 1968, Jan 30
Rooster (Earth) 1969, Feb 17
Dog (Metal) 1970, Feb 6
Pig (Metal) 1971, Jan 27
Rat (Water) 1972, Feb 14
Ox (Water) 1973, Feb 3
Tiger (Wood) 1974, Jan 23
Rabbit (Wood) 1975, Feb 11
Dragon (Fire) 1976, Jan 31
Snake (Fire) 1977, Feb 18
Horse (Earth) 1978, Feb 07
Goat (Earth) 1979, Jan 28
Monkey (Metal) 1980, Feb 16
Rooster (Metal) 1981, Feb 4
Dog (Water) 1982, Jan 23
Pig (Water) 1983, Feb 11

The 78th Cycle of the Han Calendar

The 78th cycle of the traditional Chinese calendar began on February 2, 1984 with the year of the Wood Rat (chinese year 4682) and will end on January 30, 2044.

Zodiac Sign (Element) Chinese New Year
Rat (Wood) 1984, Feb 2
Ox (Wood) 1985, Feb 20
Tiger (Fire) 1986, Feb 9
Rabbit (Fire) 1987, Jan 29
Dragon (Earth) 1988, Feb 17
Snake (Earth) 1989, Feb 6
Horse (Metal) 1990, Jan 27
Goat (Metal) 1991, Feb 15
Monkey (Water) 1992, Feb 4
Rooster (Water) 1993, Jan 23
Dog (Wood) 1994, Feb 10
Pig (Wood) 1995, Jan 31
Rat (Fire) 1996, Feb 19
Ox (Fire) 1997, Feb 8
Tiger (Earth) 1998, Jan 29
Rabbit (Earth) 1999, Feb 17
Dragon (Metal) 2000, Feb 6
Snake (Metal) 2001, Jan 25
Horse (Water) 2002, Feb 13
Goat (Water) 2003, Feb 2
Monkey (Wood) 2004, Jan 23
Rooster (Wood) 2005, Feb 10
Dog (Fire) 2006, Jan 29
Pig (Fire) 2007, Feb 17
Rat (Earth) 2008, Feb 7
Ox (Earth) 2009, Jan 26
Tiger (Metal) 2010, Feb 14
Rabbit (Metal) 2011, Feb 3
Dragon (Water) 2012, Jan 23
Snake (Water) 2013, Feb 10
Horse (Wood) 2014, Jan 31
Goat (Wood) 2015, Feb 19
Monkey (Fire) 2016, Feb 8
Rooster (Fire) 2017, Jan 28
Dog (Earth) 2018, Feb 16
Pig (Earth) 2019, Feb 5
Rat (Metal) 2020, Jan 25
Ox (Metal) 2021, Feb 12
Tiger (Water) 2022, Feb 1
Rabbit (Water) 2023, Jan 22
Dragon (Wood) 2024, Feb 10
Snake (Wood) 2025, Jan 29
Horse (Fire) 2026, Feb 17
Goat (Fire) 2027, Feb 6
Monkey (Earth) 2028, Jan 26
Rooster (Earth) 2029, Feb 13
Dog (Metal) 2030, Feb 3
Pig (Metal) 2031, Jan 23
Rat (Water) 2032, Feb 11
Ox (Water) 2033, Jan 31
Tiger (Wood) 2034, Feb 19
Rabbit (Wood) 2035, Feb 8
Dragon (Fire) 2036, Jan 28
Snake (Fire) 2037, Feb 15
Horse (Earth) 2038, Feb 4
Goat (Earth) 2039, Jan 24
Monkey (Metal) 2040, Feb 12
Rooster (Metal) 2041, Feb 1
Dog (Water) 2042, Jan 22
Pig (Water) 2043, Feb 10

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Astrologer: Ariana

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