Hear Ye! Since 1998.
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11
Feb 02
Mon

CNY

Well, while we’re on the topic of the zodiac, it’s now the year of the horse, first day of the Chinese New Year. We had a New Year’s gathering last Sunday – a barbeque of all things.

I’ve mouthed the words “Happy New Year” a few times in the last few days, but all in all, CNY doesn’t really hold much significance for me, it’s just an observance I follow. It’s a time when family and friends normally get together, and hoong pow are distributed (scored a small stash this year, to the tunes of my uncle muttering “why don’t you all go get married so we don’t have to keep giving you free money each year?”). Oh yes, and there’s that dragon dancing through Chinatown.

I know nothing about the Chinese year, save that it’s based on the moon and not the sun which is why the new year starts on a different day each year. How many months does it have? Are there months? If a lunar month is 28 days, why does CNY always fall in January/February? Why doesn’t it progressively occur earlier and earlier in the Gregorian year? I’m sure I’m not the only one ignorant about the Chinese calendar, so I found a link that explains it all out. While you’re at it, there’s also the Indian, Islamic and Jewish calendars explained there, in addition to several deprecated ones. (The answer to the question above is that there are 12 months, but a Chinese leap year has, not an extra day, but an extra month.)