Lunar New Year 2016

The time has come again, to visit relatives, to eat and experience the festive mood. It is however, not at all to my liking. Things changed ever since my grandparents left. Of course, as we grow older, the fun moments that we had can never come back. Every Lunar New Year beginning from 7 years ago gets boring every year. It seems just like a normal day now. Besides for the fact that the radio plays New Year songs almost every single minute.

The time has come again for me to reemphasize my stand. That the Chinese New Year actually begins on Lichun, this year being 4 Feb 2016, 1748hrs. The reason is simple. A year is 365.25 days long, and the Lunar calendar only finishes the year with about 355 days or 385 days on leap years. Then, the Chinese came up with the ingenious Solar calendar. The Solar calendar follows the Earth’s orbit around the Sun in accurate degrees of reference (e.g. Vernal Equinox: 0 degree, Summer Solstice: 90 degrees). Lichun (Beginning of Spring: 315 degrees), is determined to be the start of a new year thousands of years ago. Yes, Chinese New Year was celebrated on Lichun before 1913, before the then-president of the Republic of China changed it to follow the Lunar calendar.

Hence, yes we are correct to call it the Lunar New Year because it follows the Lunar calendar, but to call it the Chinese New Year.. well I guess in today’s context, since all Chinese celebrate it on this day, it would be right too?

I have previously posted a long explanation about why Lichun is the start of the new year, but it seemed too complicated even to me now. (The original post: So I will do a short summary here.

  1. The Chinese calendar has two parts: Lunar and Solar. Lunar is in accordance to the moon period. Solar is in accordance to Earth’s revolution, commonly left out.
  2. The year follows the Solar calendar (for obvious reasons); a year is defined by one revolution of the Earth around the Sun. Lichun is marked as the first solar term.
  3. Chinese New Year was celebrated on Lichun before year 1913.

Hence, the Year of the Monkey has already begun on 4 Feb 2016.


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