The Chinese year that began in January 2012 gives a powerful opportunity to witness.
This year, 2012, is the Year of the Dragon in the Chinese calendar. It didn’t start on January 1, but 22 days later. January 23, 2012 marked the beginning of the Chinese New Year (sometimes referred to as the Chinese lunar New Year).
The Chinese year, the full delineation of which is based on the movements of both the sun and moon, has considerable significance not just for people living in China, or overseas Chinese. The Chinese calendar is also used by non-Chinese in several other Asian countries, though with modifications varying from country to country. Though the chronology of ancient China is not without controversy, the calendar in its present form appears to have been in operation for at least five centuries before the time of Christ; its origins are possibly several centuries earlier, perhaps not that long after the Babel dispersion.1
In matters of practical commerce, Chinese businessmen today mainly use the Western (Gregorian) calendar. But the Chinese calendar still retains huge cultural significance, and is even used to denote birthdays. A person might therefore celebrate two birthdays in each calendar year—their Chinese birthday and their ‘western’ one. However, because the Gregorian and Chinese calendars will mostly line up at 19-year cycles, most people will find that in their 19th, 38th and 57th year, both birthdays will likely fall on the same day.
Chinese horoscopes and the like
In addition to being a time marker, with seasonal notations and festivals, the Chinese calendar is associated with what is sometimes called the Chinese Zodiac. Each new year is assigned to one of 12 animals, with an exact sequence, in a cycle of 12. Always in the same order…..
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