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Chinese Calendar 2016

China has launched its Dark Matter Particle Explorer Satellite to space. The satellite has been named Wukong, after the Monkey King character in the 16th century Chinese novel Journey to the West.


On the Chinese lunar calendar, you will find that the coming year is named the the Year of "Bing Shen". It's is one of the sixty terms used for recording days or years in ancient China. Each term consists of two Chinese characters, the first representing a term from ten known as heavenly stems, and the second from twelve known as the earthly branches. A combination of 10 tian gan and 12 di zhi represents a 60-year cycle, a peculiar Chinese way of counting the years, and time progresses in a cyclical instead of a linear fashion, as is true with the Western calendar. It appears, as a means of recording days, in the first Chinese written texts, the Shang dynasty oracle bones from the late second millennium BC. Its use to record years began around the middle of the 3rd century B.C. The Chinese Lunar Year is centuries old and gains significance because of several myths and traditions. This traditional method of numbering days and years no longer has any significant role in modern Chinese time keeping or the official calendar. However, the sexagenary cycle continues to have a role in contemporary Chinese astrology and fortune telling.

To help remember the years created with the combination of the symbols of tian gan and di zhi, the Chinese assign an animal to each of the 12 years with a different symbol of di zhi, while 12 earthly branches are used for counting time from the time of Ancient China, each earthly branch representing a period of day. The animals are Rat, Ox, Tiger, Hare, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Sheep, Monkey, Rooster, Dog and Boar.

Chinese New Year is considered a major holiday for the Chinese and has had influence on the lunar new year celebrations of its geographic neighbours.

The lunisolar Chinese calendar determines the date of Chinese New Year. 2016 Chinese New Year falls on February 8.

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