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Chinese Lunar Calendar

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Chinese months follow the phases of the moon. As a result, they do not accurately follow the seasons of the solar year. To assist farmers to decide when to plant or harvest crops, the drafters of the calendar put in 24 seasonal markers, which follow the solar year, and are called jiéqì 節氣.

24 facts:

Bai Lu
   is the time of   
White Dew
September 8 - September 22. Condensed moisture makes dew white; a sign of autumn
Chun Fen
   is the time of   
The Vernal Equinox
March 21 - April 4. Lit. the central divide of spring (referring to the Chinese seasonal definition)
Chu Shu
   is the time of   
The Limit of Heat
August 23 - September 7. Lit. dwell in heat
Dan Han
   is the time of   
Severe Cold
January 20 - February 3. coldest time of year
Dong Zhi
   is the time of   
The Winter Soltice
December 22 - January 5. Lit. winter extreme (of sun's height)
Da Shu
   is the time of   
Great Heat
July 23 - August 6. the hottest time of the year
Da Xue
   is the time of   
Heavy Snow
December 8 - December 21. Season of snowstorms in full swing
Gu Yu
   is the time of   
Grain Rains
April 20 - May 5. Rain helps grain grow
Han Lu
   is the time of   
Cold Dew
October 8 - October 22. Dew starts turning into frost
Jing Zhe
   is the time of   
Excited Insects
March 5 - March 20. When hibernating insects awake
Li Chun
   is the time of   
The Beginning of Spring
February 4 - February 18. Spring starts here according to the Chinese definition of a season.
Li Dong
   is the time of   
The Beginning of Winter
November 7 - November 21. Refers to the Chinese seasonal definition
Li Qiu
   is the time of   
The Beginning of Autumn
August 7 - August 22. Uses the Chinese seasonal definition
Li Xia
   is the time of   
The Beginning of Summer
May 6 - May 20. Refers to the Chinese seasonal definition
Mang Zhong
   is the time of   
Grain in Ear
June 6 - June 20. Lit. awns (beard of grain) grow
Qing Ming
   is the time of   
Clear and Bright
April 5 - April 19. A Chinese festival where, traditionally, ancestral graves are tended
Qui Fen
   is the time of   
The Autumn Equinox
September 23 - October 7. Lit. central divide of autumn (refers to the Chinese seasonal definition)
Shuang Jiang
   is the time of   
Frost Descending
October 23 - November 6. Appearance of frost and descent of temperature
Xiao Han
   is the time of   
Minor Cold
January 6 - January 19. Cold starts to become unbearable
Xiao Man
   is the time of   
Grain Fills
May 21 - June 5. Grains are plump
Xiao Shu
   is the time of   
Minor Heat
July 7 - July 22. When heat starts to get unbearable
Xiao Xue
   is the time of   
Minor Snow
November 22 - December 7. Snow starts falling
Xia Zhi
   is the time of   
The Summer Solstice
June 21 - July 6. Lit. summer extreme (of sun's height)
Yu Shui
   is the time of   
Rain Water
February 19 - March 4. Starting at this point, the temperature makes rain more likely than snow


Facts contributed by:


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