Happy Chinese New Year – Year of the Sheep
Happy Chinese New Year! We’re going to have Chinese New Year holiday on 18th~23rd February, and will be back in the office on the 24th.
Chinese New Year is counted via the Chinese ordering system and not by numbers like 2015. Such a system is now mostly unknown by most Chinese now, only the few who specialize in this area would know. Most, at most, only have basic knowledge of such a system. For example, 2015 is the year 己未年. The month and date are also equally complicated, being 臘月廿九 today, or 戊寅月甲子日 today. Apologies for my inability to translate it into English. I personally don’t understand such an advanced knowledge of the system, and this is not the most advanced yet.
One has to have specific knowledge to know the exact year and date. It is rather complicated and difficult to get used to. Therefore the people today tend to use the other parallel system used simultaneously on the Chinese calendar: year of animals.
While constellations are changed monthly in the West (for example, modern astrology has it that January belongs to the constellation of Capricorn), constellation are changed annually on the Chinese calendar. Chinese astronomy was very advanced in ancient times, but without mature development of science, superstition always mixed with science. Astronomy was inseparable to astrology back in those days.
Chinese people did not know Greek mythology. They couldn’t use the same system of constellations most Westerners are familiar with today. They used animals familiar to them instead. These animals, in order, are: mouse, cow, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, sheep, monkey, chicken, dog, pig. 2015 is the year Sheep. Next year would be the year Monkey, and so on.
So, happy Chinese New Year of the Sheep, everyone! 🙂
Edit (Feb 24, 2015):
I’m sorry for the mistake! It’s not the Year of the Sheep. It’s the Year of the Goat (links to my discussion on this topic). I’m not too familiar with the Chinese calendar, either, since most people in Taiwan actually use the Gregorian Calendar much more than the Chinese calendar. The Chinese calendar is only used to tell traditional holidays, and which days are “good” or “bad” for those who believe in Chinese astrology or superstition. Or else, we always use the Gregorian Calendar as the people in the West do.Written on February 17, 2015 at 11:38 am