Chinese Calendar

The Chinese Lunar New Year is the longest chronological record in history, dating from 2600 BC, when the Emperor Huang Ti introduced the first cycle of the zodiac. The Chinese calendar is lunisolar, incorporating elements of a lunar calendar with those of a solar calendar. It is not exclusive to China, but followed by many other Asian cultures. It is often referred to as the Chinese calendar because it was first perfected by the Chinese around 500 BC. In most of East Asia today, the Gregorian calendar is used for day to day activities, but the Chinese calendar is still used for marking traditional East Asian holidays such as the Chinese New Year (or Spring Festival, not to be confused with Lunar New Year, which is the beginning for several lunisolar calendars), the Duan Wu festival, and the Mid-Autumn Festival, and in astrology, such as choosing the most auspicious date for a wedding or the opening of a building. Because each month follows one cycle of the moon, it is also used to determine the phases of the moon.

Chinese Calendar

Like the Western calendar, The Chinese Lunar Calendar is a yearly one, with the start of the lunar year being based on the cycles of the moon. Therefore, because of this cyclical dating, the beginning of the year can fall anywhere between late January and the middle of February. This year it falls on February 12th. A complete cycle takes 60 years and is made up of five cycles of 12 years each.

The Chinese Lunar Calendar names each of the twelve years after an animal. Legend has it that the Lord Buddha summoned all the animals to come to him before he departed from earth. Only twelve came to bid him farewell and as a reward he named a year after each one in the order they arrived. 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.”

The sequence of Chinese year are as follows :

  1. Rat           1924     1936     1948     1960     1972     1984     1996    2008
  2. Ox           1925     1937     1949     1961     1973     1985     1997    2009
  3. Tiger        1926     1938     1950     1962     1974     1986     1998    2010
  4. Rabbit      1927     1939     1951     1963     1975     1987     1999    2011
  5. Dragon    1928     1940     1952     1964     1976     1988     2000    2012
  6. Snake      1929     1941     1953     1965     1977     1989     2001    2013
  7. Horse      1930     1942     1954     1966     1978     1990     2002    2014
  8. Sheep      1931     1943     1955     1967     1979     1991     2003    2015
  9. Monkey   1932     1944     1956     1968     1980     1992     2004    2016
  10. Rooster   1933     1945     1957     1969     1981     1993     2005    2017
  11. Dog         1934     1946     1958     1970     1982     1994     2006    2018
  12. Boar        1935     1947     1959     1971     1983     1995     2007     2019

I won’t explain too detail about this Chinese calendar history. You can read more detail here. There are two worksheets in this calendar. The first worksheet is a holiday and event worksheet where you can put your gregorian holiday and event, and Chinese holiday and events in lunar and solar column. Once you finished customize them, you can go to the second worksheet to see the calendar. The calendar is based on Gregorian calendar where Gregorian dates are above Chinese dates. And I put “moon” lookalike next to Chinese dates. The starting date of a month will have black moon next to its date, where the date 15th of the month will have white moon with red background to symbolize full moon.

The default year of this calendar is 2010, so you can use this as your Chinese calendar 2010 reference. You can send me feedback on how to improve this calendar. You can download the file here.