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Chinese Lunar Calendar

History | Chinese Lunar Calendar

The Chinese Lunar Calendar has been around for many generations. In fact, the earliest use dated back to the Shang Dynasty, which was around the late second millennium, B.C. The calendar was based on cycles of the moon which causes the Chinese New Year to fall on a different day each year between late January and early February. Each year, the Chinese calendar has a different animal sign according to which one was born and that sign repeats every dozen years.

However, the lunar calendar is only used on special occasions, now that China uses the Gregorian calendar, or as it is commonly called, the “Western calendar," since 1911. The 12 Chinese zodiac signs have developed Chinese culture and horoscopes just as moons and planets have developed Western horoscopes. People of China take these fortunes seriously while others see it as a superstition. The calendar is significant to Chinese society because of its influence on the Chinese zodiac, which is elaborated in 'Cultural Significance.'

History | Chinese Lunar Calendar



  • "The Chinese Animal Zodiac." Chinese Culture Center's Zodiac Page. 24 Jul 2007 <>.