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Chinese New Year
Apr 17, 2008 19:16
  • CANADAGUY
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Why is Chinese New Year also called 'Spring Festival' when it is celebrated in the middle of winter and not in the spring?

Wouldn't 'Winter Festival' be more appropriate?
Apr 17, 2008 20:23
#1  
  • LEONARDO
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Good question. As far as I know, it is closely related to Chinese Lunar Calendar, more precisely Chinese Twenty-four Terms. The Chinese New Year is called the Spring Festival because it starts from the Beginning of Spring (the first of the twenty-four terms in coordination with the changes of Nature). According to Lunar Calendar, "?" (spring) is the first season of a year, signifying the beginning. It is my understanding and knowledge of the origin of Spring Festival. Hope someone else can shed more instructive light on this topic. I am also expecting to learn about the topic.
Apr 17, 2008 20:40
#2  
  • CANADAGUY
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>>...The Chinese New Year is called the Spring Festival because it starts from the Beginning of Spring (the first of the twenty-four terms in coordination with the changes of Nature). According to Lunar Calendar, "?" (spring) is the first season of a year, signifying the beginning. It is my understanding and knowledge of the origin of Spring Festival. Hope someone else can shed more instructive light on this topic. I am also expecting to learn about the topic.

Thanks Leonardo for your answer!

OK, so now I have more questions than before. :)
If spring is the first season of the year, how many seasons are there and when do they take place in a Chinese calendar year?

Thanks!
Apr 17, 2008 21:11
#3  
  • LEONARDO
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Canadaguy, you are welcome!

Oh, I have to search about it. Here it is:

Beginning of Spring (立春) usually starting from the fourth or fifth of Febrary.
Rain Water (雨水)from the nineteeth or twentieth of Febrary, a time when rainy seasons are setting in.
Waking of Insects(惊蛰)from the fifth or sixth of March, as the earth awakes from hibernation;
Spring Equinox (春分)from the twentieth or twenty-first of March;
Pure Brightness (清明)from the fourth or fifth of April;
Grain Rain (谷雨)from the twentieth or twenty-first of April;

Beginning of Summer(立夏)from the fifth or sixth of May;
Grain Full (小满)from the twentieth or twenty-first of May;
Grain in Ear (芒种)from the fifth or sixth of June;
Summer Solstice (夏至)from the twenty-first or second of June;
Slight Heat (小暑)from the sixth or seventh of July;
Great Heat (大暑) from the twenty-second or third of July;

Beginning of Autumn(立秋)from the seventh or eighth of August;
Limit of Heat (处暑)from the twenty-third or fourth of August;
White Dew (白露)from the seventh or eighth of September;
Autumnal Equinox(秋分)from the twenty-third or fourth of September;
Cold Dew (寒露)from the eighth or nineth of October;
Frost's Descent (霜降)from the twentieth-three or fourth of October;

Beginning of Winter (立冬)from the seventh or eighth of November;
Slight Snow (小雪)from the twenty-second or third of November;
Great Snow (大雪)from the seventh or eighth of December;
Winter Solstice (冬至)from the twenty-second or third of December;
Slight Cold (小寒)from the fifth or sixth of January; and lastly
Great Cold (大寒)from the twentieth or twenty-first of January which brings the 24-term cycle to an end.

For more information, you can google " Chinese Twenty-four Terms" or "Twenty-four Solar Terms".
Apr 17, 2008 21:39
#4  
  • CANADAGUY
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Ah.. I see. Thank you Leonardo!

So basically the western and eastern seasons are off by quite a degree, in time anyways.

Spring East: Feb 4 - May 5 West: Mar 20 - June 20
Summer East: May 5 - Aug 7 West: June 20 - Sept 22
Autumn East: Aug 8 - Nov 7 West: Sept 22 - Dec 21
Winter East: Nov 8 - Feb 4 West: Dec 21 - Mar 20

We are behind you with our time (clocks) and our seasons!
The Chinese are so much ahead of the West! :)
Apr 24, 2008 21:19
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  • ICEBLUE
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It is said that Chinese Twenty-four Terms is much earlier than the western calendar.
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