Thursday, February 7, 2008

Happy Chinese New Year!!!

"2008 The Year of the Rat"

February 7, 2008 is the first day of the Chinese new year.

The Chinese calendar has been in continuous use for centuries, which predates the International Calendar (based on the Gregorian Calendar) we use at the present day which goes back only some 425 years. The calendar measures time, from short durations of minutes and hours, to intervals of time measured in months, years and centuries, entirely based on the astronomical observations of the movement of the Sun, Moon and stars. Read more about it.
There are three ways to name a Chinese year.
By an animal (like a mscot). 2008 is known as the Year of the Rat.There are 12 animal names; so by this system, year names are re-cycled every 12 years. More.
By its Formal Name (Stem-Branch). This year is the year of Wu Zi.
In the 'Stem-Branch' system, the years are named in 60-year cycles, and the Name of the Year is repeated every 60 years.2008 is the 9th year in the current 60-year cycle.
Current year is Year 4705 by the Chinese calendar.
How is Chinese New Year's Day determined?
In one sentence, the Chinese New Year is the second New Moon after the winter solstice.
It is based strictly on astronomical observations, and has nothing to do with the Pope, emperors, animals or myths. Due to its scientific and mathematical nature, we can easily and precisely calculate backward or forward for thousands of years.
What is the story about the animal of the year?
In Chinese calendar, one of the scheme for counting years is a 12-year cycle. One counts from Year 1,2,3,... up to 12. Then starts over from Year 1. (In modern mathematics, this is modulo 12.) Instead of inventing 12 special symbols for this purpose, 12 animals are used to represent these 12 years. Rabbit (hare), for example, is the 4-th year of the cycle.See more about this.
Each year is also designated by one of the 12 Animals For instance, 2005 is Year of Rooster; 2006 is Year of Dog; and 2007 is the Year of Pig. 2008 is the Year of the Rat
This system is extremely practical. A child does not have to learn a new answer to the question, "How old are you?" in each new year. Old people often lose track of their age, because they are rarely asked about their present age. Every one just have to remember that he or she was born in the "Year of the Dog" or whatever.
Since 2008 is the Year of the Rat, any one who was born in the Year of the Rat is now either 1 or 13, 25, 37, 49, 61, 73, 85 or 97 years old. More about this.
(The information above is from )

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