Vikram Samvat. It uses solar sidereal years; the Vikram Samvat is notable because many medieval era inscriptions use it. It is said to be named after the legendary king Vikramaditya, but the term "Vikrama Samvat" does not appear in the historical records before the 9th century, rather the same calendaring system is found by other names such as Krita and Malava. In the colonial era scholarship, the era was believed to be based on the commemoration of King Vikramaditya expelling the Sakas from Ujjain; however epigraphical evidence and scholarship suggest that this theory has no historical basis and likely was an error. Starting in the 9th century and thereafter, epigraphical artwork uses Vikrama-Samvat, suggesting that sometime around the 9th-century, the Hindu calendar era, in use became popular as Vikram Samvat, while Buddhist and Jain epigraphy continued to use an era based on the Buddha or the Mahavira. According to popular tradition, the legendary king Vikramaditya of Ujjain established the Vikrama Samvat era after defeating the Śakas.
Kalakacharya Kathanaka by the Jain sage Mahesarasuri gives the following account: Gandharvasena, the then-powerful king of Ujjain, abducted a nun called Sarasvati, the sister of the monk. The enraged monk sought the help of the Śaka ruler King Sahi in Sistan. Despite heavy odds but aided by miracles, the Śaka king defeated Gandharvasena and made him a captive. Sarasvati was repatriated; the defeated king retired to the forest. His son, being brought up in the forest, had to rule from Pratishthana. On, Vikramaditya invaded Ujjain and drove away from the Śakas. To commemorate this event, he started a new era called the "Vikrama era"; the Ujjain calendar started around 58–56 BCE, the subsequent Shaka era calendar was started in 78 CE at Pratishthana. The association of the era beginning in 57 BCE with Vikramaditya is not found in any source before the 9th century CE; the earlier sources call this era by various names, including Kṛṭa, the era of the Malava tribe, or Samvat. The earliest known inscription that calls the era "Vikrama" is from 842 CE.
This inscription of Chauhana ruler Chandamahasena was found at Dholpur, is dated Vikrama Samvat 898, Vaishakha Shukla 2, Chanda. The earliest known inscription that associates this era with a king called Vikramaditya is dated 971 CE; the earliest literary work that connects the era to Vikramaditya is Subhashita-Ratna-Sandoha by the Jain author Amitagati. For this reason, multiple authors believe that the Vikram Samvat was not started by Vikramaditya, who might be a purely legendary king or the title adopted by a king who renamed the era after himself. V. A. Smith and D. R. Bhandarkar believed that Chandragupta II adopted the title Vikramaditya, changed the name of the era to "Vikrama Samvat". According to Rudolf Hoernlé, the king responsible for this change was Yashodharman: Hoernlé believed that he conquered Kashmir, is the same person as the "Harsha Vikramaditya" mentioned in Kalhana's Rajatarangini. Earlier, some scholars believed that the Vikrama Samavat corresponded to the Azes era of the Indo-Scythian king King Azes.
However, this was disputed by Robert Bracey following the discovery of an inscription of Vijayamitra, dated in two eras. The theory seems to be now discredited by Falk and Bennett, who place the inception of the Azes era in 47–46 BCE; the traditional New Year of Vikram Samvat is one of the many festivals of Nepal, marked by parties, family gatherings, the exchange of good wishes, participation in rituals to ensure good fortune in the coming year. It occurs in mid-April each year, coincides with the traditional new year in Assam, Burma, Kerala, Manipur, Punjab, Sri Lanka, Tamil Nadu and Thailand. In addition to Nepal, the Vikram Samvat calendar is recognized in North and East India, in Gujarat among Hindus. Hindu religious festivals are based on a Luni-Solar calendar, not Solar calendar, based on Vikram Samvat. In North India, the new year in Vikram Samvat starts from the first day of Chaitra Skukla paksha. In Buddhist communities, the month of Baishakh is associated with Buddha's Birthday, it commemorates the birth and passing of Gautama Buddha on the first full moon day in May, except in a leap year when the festival is held in June.
Although this festival is not held on the same day as Pahela Baishakh, the holidays fall in the same month of the Bengali and Theravada Buddhist calendars, are related through the spread of Hinduism and Buddhism in the Indian subcontinent. In Gujarat, the day after Diwali is celebrated as the first day of the Vikram Samvat calendar, the first day of the month Kartik; the Vikrami era is an ancient calendar and has been used by Hindus and Sikhs. It is one of the several regional Hindu calendars that have been in use on the Indian subcontinent, it is based on twelve synodical lunar months and 365 solar days; the lunar new year starts on the new moon in the month of Chaitra. This day, known as Chaitra Sukhladi, is a restricted holiday in India; the Vikrami Samvat has been in use in the Indian subcontinent since ancient times, remains in use by the Hindus in north, w
The 15th century was the century which spans the Julian years 1401 to 1500. In Europe, the 15th century is seen as the bridge between the Late Middle Ages, the Early Renaissance, the Early modern period. Many technological and cultural developments of the 15th century can in retrospect be seen as heralding the "European miracle" of the following centuries. In religious history, the Roman Papacy was split in two parts in Europe for decades, until the Council of Constance; the division of the Catholic Church and the unrest associated with the Hussite movement would become factors in the rise of the Protestant Reformation in the following century. Constantinople, in what is today Turkey the capital of the Christian Byzantine Empire, falls to the emerging Muslim Ottoman Turks, marking the end of the tremendously influential Byzantine Empire and, for some historians, the end of the Middle Ages; the event forced Western Europeans to find a new trade route, adding further momentum to what was the beginning of the Age of Discovery, which would lead to the global mapping of the world.
Explorations by the Portuguese and Spanish led to European sightings of the Americas and the sea passage along Cape of Good Hope to India, in the last decade of the century. These expeditions ushered in the era of the Portuguese and Spanish colonial empires; the fall of Constantinople led to the migration of Greek scholars and texts to Italy, while Johannes Gutenberg's invention of the mechanical movable type began the Printing Press. These two events played key roles in the development of the Renaissance; the Spanish Reconquista leads to the final fall of the Emirate of Granada by the end of the century, ending over seven centuries of Muslim rule and returning Spain back to Christian rulers. The Hundred Years' War end with a decisive French victory over the English in the Battle of Castillon. Financial troubles in England following the conflict results in the Wars of the Roses, a series of dynastic wars for the throne of England; the conflicts end with the defeat of Richard III by Henry VII at the Battle of Bosworth Field, establishing the Tudor dynasty in the part of the century.
In Asia, under the rule of the Yongle Emperor, who built the Forbidden City and commanded Zheng He to explore the world overseas, the Ming Dynasty's territory reached its pinnacle. Tamerlane established a major empire in the Middle East and Central Asia, in order to revive the Mongol Empire. In Africa, the spread of Islam leads to the destruction of the Christian kingdoms of Nubia, by the end of the century leaving only Alodia; the vast Mali Empire teeters on the brink of collapse, under pressure from the rising Songhai Empire. In the Americas, both the Inca Empire and the Aztec Empire reach the peak of their influence. 1400s 1401: Dilawar Khan establishes the Malwa Sultanate in present-day central India 1402: Ottoman and Timurid Empires fight at the Battle of Ankara resulting in Timur's capture of Bayezid I. 1402: Sultanate of Malacca founded by Parameshwara. 1403: The Yongle Emperor moves the capital of China from Nanjing to Beijing. 1403: The settlement of the Canary Islands signals the beginning of the Spanish Empire.
1405–1433: Zheng He of China sails through the Indian Ocean to India and East Africa to spread China's influence and sovereignty. 1405: Paregreg war, Majapahit civil war of succession between Wikramawardhana against Wirabhumi. 1405–1407: The first voyage of Zheng He, a massive Ming dynasty naval expedition visited Java, Malacca, Aru and Lambri. 1410s 1410: The Battle of Grunwald is the decisive battle of the Polish–Lithuanian–Teutonic War leading to the downfall of the Teutonic Knights. 1410–1413: Foundation of St Andrews University in Scotland. 1414: Khizr Khan, deputised by Timur to be the governor of Multan, takes over Delhi founding the Sayyid dynasty. 1415: Henry the Navigator leads the conquest of Ceuta from the Moors marking the beginning of the Portuguese Empire. 1415: Battle of Agincourt fought between the Kingdom of England and France. 1415: Jan Hus is burned at the stake as a heretic at the Council of Constance.1420s 1420: Construction of the Chinese Forbidden City is completed in Beijing.
1420–1434: Hussite Wars in Bohemia. 1424: James I returns to Scotland after being held hostage under three Kings of England since 1406. 1424: Deva Raya II succeeds his father Veera Vijaya Bukka Raya as monarch of the Vijayanagara Empire. 1425: Catholic University of Leuven founded by Pope Martin V. 1429: Joan of Arc ends the Siege of Orléans and turns the tide of the Hundred Years' War. 1429: Queen Suhita succeeds Wikramawardhana as ruler of Majapahit.1430s 1431 January 9 – Pretrial investigations for Joan of Arc begin in Rouen, France under English occupation. March 3 – Pope Eugene IV succeeds Pope Martin V, to become the 207th pope. March 26 – The trial of Joan of Arc begins. May 30 – Nineteen-year-old Joan of Arc is burned at the stake. June 16 – the Teutonic Knights and Švitrigaila sign the Treaty of Christmemel, creating anti-Polish alliance September – Battle of Inverlochy: Donald Balloch defeats the Royalists. October 30 – Treaty of Medina del Campo, consolidating peace between Portugal and Castille.
December 16 – Henry VI of England is crowned King of France. 1438: Pachacuti founds the Inca Empire.1440s 1440: Eton College founded by Henry VI. 1440s: The Golden Horde breaks up into the Siberia Khanate, the Khanate of Kazan, the Astrakhan Khanate, the Crimean Khanate, the Great Horde. 1440–1469: Under Moctezuma I, the Aztecs become the dominant power in Mesoamerica. 1440: Oba Ewuare comes to power in the West African city of Benin, turns it into an empire. 1441: Jan van Eyck, Flemish painter, dies. 1441: Portuguese navigators cruise West
Indian national calendar
The Indian national calendar, sometimes called the Shalivahana Shaka calendar. It is used, alongside the Gregorian calendar, by The Gazette of India, in news broadcasts by All India Radio and in calendars and communications issued by the Government of India; the Saka calendar is used in Java and Bali among Indonesian Hindus. Nyepi, the "Day of Silence", is a celebration of the Saka new year in Bali. Nepal's Nepal Sambat evolved from the Saka calendar. Prior to colonization, the Philippines used to apply the Saka calendar as well as suggested by the Laguna Copperplate Inscription; the term may ambiguously refer to the Hindu calendar. The historic Shalivahana era calendar is still used, it has years. The calendar months follow the signs of the tropical zodiac rather than the sidereal zodiac used with the Hindu calendar. Chaitra has 30 days and starts on March 22, except in leap years, when it has 31 days and starts on March 21; the months in the first half of the year all have 31 days, to take into account the slower movement of the sun across the ecliptic at this time.
The names of the months are derived from older, Hindu lunisolar calendars, so variations in spelling exist, there is a possible source of confusion as to what calendar a date belongs to. Years are counted in the Saka era. To determine leap years, add 78 to the Saka year – if the result is a leap year in the Gregorian calendar the Saka year is a leap year as well, its structure is just like the Persian calendar. Senior Indian Astrophysicist Meghnad Saha was the head of the Calendar Reform Committee under the aegis of the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research. Other members of the Committee were: A. C. Banerjee, K. K. Daftari, J. S. Karandikar, Gorakh Prasad, R. V. Vaidya and N. C. Lahiri, it was Saha's effort. The task before the Committee was to prepare an accurate calendar based on scientific study, which could be adopted uniformly throughout India, it was a mammoth task. The Committee had to undertake a detailed study of different calendars prevalent in different parts of the country. There were thirty different calendars.
The task was further complicated by the fact that religion and local sentiments were integral to those calendars. India's first prime minister, Jawaharlal Nehru, in his preface to the Report of the Committee, published in 1955, wrote: “They represent past political divisions in the country.... Now that we have attained Independence, it is desirable that there should be a certain uniformity in the calendar for our civic and other purposes, this should be done on a scientific approach to this problem.” Usage started at 1 Chaitra 1879, Saka Era, or 22 March 1957. Report of the Calendar Reform Committee – online link. Mapping Time: The Calendar and its History by E. G. Richards, 1998, pp. 184–185. Calendars and their History Indian Calendars Positional astronomy in India Indian National Calendar abstract
The Berber calendar is the agricultural calendar traditionally used by Berbers. It is known as the fellaḥi; the calendar is utilized to regulate the seasonal agricultural works. The Islamic calendar, a lunar calendar, is not suited for agriculture because it does not relate to seasonal cycles. In other parts of the Islamic world either Iranian solar calendars, the Coptic calendar, the Rumi calendar, or other calendars based on the Julian calendar, were used before the introduction of the Gregorian calendar; the current Berber calendar is a legacy of the Roman province of Mauretania Caesariensis and the Roman province of Africa, as it is a surviving form of the Julian calendar. The latter calendar was used in Europe before the adoption of the Gregorian calendar, with month names derived from Latin. Berber populations used various indigenous calendars, such as that of the Guanche autochthones of the Canary Islands; however little is known of these ancient calendrical systems. The agricultural Berber calendar still in use is certainly derived from the Julian calendar, introduced in the Roman province of Africa at the time of Roman domination.
The names of the months of this calendar are derived from the corresponding Latin names and races of the Roman calendar denominations of Kalends and Ides exist: El Qabisi, an Islamic jurisconsult by Kairawan who lived in the 11th century, condemned the custom of celebrating "pagans'" festivals and cited, among traditional habits of North Africa, that of observing January Qalandas. The length of the year and of the individual months is the same as in the Julian calendar: three years of 365 days followed by a leap year of 366, without exceptions, 30- and 31-day months, except for the second one that has 28 days; the only slight discrepancy lies in that the extra day in leap years is not added at the end of February, but at the end of the year. This means that the beginning of the year corresponds to the 14th day of January in the Gregorian calendar, which coincides with the offset accumulated during the centuries between astronomical dates and the Julian calendar. In addition to the subdivision by months, within the traditional agricultural calendar there are other partitions, by "seasons" or by "strong periods", characterized by particular festivals and celebrations.
Not all the four seasons have retained a Berber denomination: the words for spring and autumn are used everywhere, more sparingly the winter and, among northern Berbers, the Berber name for the autumn has been preserved only in Jebel Nafusa. Spring tafsut – Begins on 15 furar Summer anebdu – Begins on 17 mayu Autumn amwal / aməwan ( – Begins on 17 ghusht Winter tagrest - Begins on 16 numbír An interesting element is the existing opposition between two 40-day terms, one representing the coldest part of winter and one the hottest period of summer; the coldest period is made up by 20 "white nights", from 12 to 31 dujamber, 20 "black nights", beginning on the first day of yennayer, corresponding to the Gregorian 14 January. The first day of the year is celebrated in various ways in the different parts of North Africa. A widespread tradition is a meal with particular foods. In some regions, it is marked by the sacrifice of an animal. In Algeria, such a holiday is celebrated by many people who don't use the Berber calendar in daily life.
A characteristic trait of this festivity, which blurs with the Islamic Day of Ashura, is the presence, in many regions, of ritual invocations with formulas like bennayu, babiyyanu, bu-ini, etc. Such expressions, according to many scholars, may be derived from of the ancient bonus annus wishes. A curious aspect of the Yennayer celebrations concerns the date of New Year's Day. Though once this anniversary fell everywhere on 14 January, because of a mistake introduced by some Berber cultural associations active in recovering customs on the verge of extinction, at present in a wide part of Algeria it is common opinion that the date of "Berber New Year's Day" is 12 January and not the 14th; the celebration at the 12, two days before the traditional one, it had been explicitly signaled in the city of Oran. El Azara is the period of the year extending, according to the Berber calendar, from 3 to 13 February and known by a climate sometimes hot, sometimes cold. Before the cold ends and spring begins there is a period of the year, feared.
It consists of ten days straddling the months of furar and mars, it is characterised by strong winds. It is said that, during this term, one should suspend many activities, should not marry nor go out during the night, leaving instead full scope to mysterious powers, which in that period are active and celebrate their weddings. Due to a linguistic taboo, in Djerba these creatures are called imbarken, i.e. "the blessed ones", whence this period takes its name. Jamrat el Ma, "embers of the sea", 27 February, is marked by a rise in sea temperature. Jamrat el Trab, "land embers" in English, is the period from 6 to 10 March and known to be marked by a mixture of heavy rain and sunny weather. Jamrat or coal is a term used t
The Buddhist calendar is a set of lunisolar calendars used in mainland Southeast Asian countries of Cambodia, Laos and Thailand as well as in Sri Lanka and Chinese populations of Malaysia and Singapore for religious or official occasions. While the calendars share a common lineage, they have minor but important variations such as intercalation schedules, month names and numbering, use of cycles, etc. In Thailand, the name Buddhist Era is a year numbering system shared by the traditional Thai lunisolar calendar and by the Thai solar calendar; the Southeast Asian lunisolar calendars are based on an older version of the Hindu calendar, which uses the sidereal year as the solar year. One major difference is that the Southeast Asian systems, unlike their Indian cousins, do not use apparent reckoning to stay in sync with the sidereal year. Instead, they employ their versions of the Metonic cycle. However, since the Metonic cycle is not accurate for sidereal years, the Southeast Asian calendar is drifting out of sync with the sidereal one day every 100 years.
Yet no coordinated structural reforms of the lunisolar calendar have been undertaken. Today, the traditional Buddhist lunisolar calendar is used for Theravada Buddhist festivals, no longer has the official calendar status anywhere; the Thai Buddhist Era, a renumbered Gregorian calendar, is the official calendar in Thailand. The calculation methodology of the current versions of Southeast Asian Buddhist calendars is based on that of the Burmese calendar, in use in various Southeast Asian kingdoms down to the 19th century under the names of Chula Sakarat and Jolak Sakaraj; the Burmese calendar in turn was based on the "original" Surya Siddhanta system of ancient India. One key difference with Indian systems is that the Burmese system has followed a variation of the Metonic cycle, it is unclear from where, how the Metonic system was introduced. The Burmese system, indeed the Southeast Asian systems, thus use a "strange" combination of sidereal years from Indian calendar in combination with the Metonic cycle better for tropical years.
In all Theravada traditions, the calendar's epochal year 0 date was the day in which the Buddha attained parinibbāna. However, not all traditions agree on when it took place. In Burmese Buddhist tradition, it was 13 May 544 BCE, but in Thailand, it was 11 March 545 BCE, the date which the current Thai lunisolar and solar calendars use as the epochal date. Yet, the Thai calendars for some reason have fixed the difference between their Buddhist Era numbering and the Christian/Common Era numbering at 543, which points to an epochal year of 544 BCE, not 545 BCE. In Myanmar, the difference between BE and CE can be 543 or 544 for CE dates, 544 or 543 for BCE dates, depending on the month of the Buddhist Era. In Sri Lanka, the difference between BE and CE is 544; the calendar recognizes two types of months: sidereal month. The Synodic months are used to compose the years while the 27 lunar sidereal days, alongside the 12 signs of the zodiac, are used for astrological calculations; the days of the month are counted in two halves and waning.
The 15th of the waxing is the civil full moon day. The civil new moon day is the last day of the month; because of the inaccuracy of the calendrical calculation systems, the mean and real New Moons coincide. The mean New Moon precedes the real New Moon; as the Synodic lunar month is 29.5 days, the calendar uses alternating months of 29 and 30 days. Various regional versions of Chula Sakarat/Burmese calendar existed across various regions of mainland Southeast Asia. Unlike Burmese systems, Lan Na, Lan Xang and Sukhothai systems refer to the months by numbers, not by names; this means reading ancient texts and inscriptions in Thailand requires constant vigilance, not just in making sure one is operating for the correct region, but for variations within regions itself when incursions cause a variation in practice. However, Cambodian month system, which begins with Margasirsa as the first month, demonstrated by the names and numbers; the Buddhist calendar is a lunisolar calendar in which the months are based on lunar months and years are based on solar years.
One of its primary objectives is to synchronize the lunar part with the solar part. The lunar months twelve of them, consist alternately of 29 days and 30 days, such that a normal lunar year will contain 354 days, as opposed to the solar year of ~365.25 days. Therefore, some form of addition to the lunar year is necessary; the overall basis for it is provided by cycles of 57 years. Eleven extra days are inserted in every 57 years, seven extra months of 30 days are inserted in every 19 years; this provides 20819 complete days to both calendars. This 57-year cycle would provide a mean year of about 365.2456 days and a mean month of about 29.530496 days, if not corrected. As such, the calendar adds an intercalary month in leap years and sometimes an intercalary day in great leap years; the intercalary month not only corrects the length of the year but corrects the accumulating error of the month to extent of half a day. The average length of the month is further corrected by adding a day to Nayon
Japanese calendar types have included a range of official and unofficial systems. At present, Japan uses the Gregorian calendar together with year designations stating the year of the reign of the current Emperor; the lunisolar Chinese calendar was introduced to Japan via Korea in the middle of the sixth century. After that, Japan calculated its calendar using various Chinese calendar procedures, from 1685, using Japanese variations of the Chinese procedures, but in 1873, as part of Japan's Meiji period modernization, a calendar based on the solar Gregorian calendar was introduced. In Japan today, the old Chinese calendar is ignored. Japan has had more than one system for designating years. Including: The Chinese sexagenary cycle was introduced early into Japan, it was used together with era names, as in the 1729 Ise calendar shown above, for "the 14th year of Kyōhō, tsuchi-no-to no tori", i.e. 己酉. Now, the cycle is used except around New Year; the era name system was introduced from China, has been in continuous use since AD 701.
Since the Taishō Emperor's ascension in 1912, each emperor's reign has begun a new era. Nengō are the official means of dating years in Japan, all government business is conducted using that system, it is in general use in private and personal business. The Japanese imperial year is based on the date of the legendary founding of Japan by Emperor Jimmu in 660 BC, it was first used in the official calendar in 1873. However, it never replaced era names, since World War II has been abandoned; the Western Common Era system has come into common use since the Meiji period. Now, most people know it, as well as era names; the official dating system known as nengō, has been in use since the late 7th century. Years are numbered within eras. Beginning with Meiji, each reign has been one era, but many earlier Emperors decreed a new era upon any major event; the nengō system remains in wide use on official documents and government forms. The imperial year system was used from 1872 to the Second World War. Imperial year 1 was the year when the legendary Emperor Jimmu founded Japan – 660 BC according to the Gregorian Calendar.
Usage of kōki dating can be a nationalist signal, pointing out that the history of Japan's imperial family is longer than that of Christianity, the basis of the Anno Domini system. Kōki 2600 was a special year; the 1940 Summer Olympics and Tokyo Expo were planned as anniversary events, but were canceled due to the Second Sino-Japanese War. The Japanese naval Zero Fighter was named after this year. After the Second World War, the United States occupied Japan, stopped the use of kōki by officials. Today, kōki is used, except in some judicial contexts; the 1898 law determining the placement of leap years is based on the kōki years, using a formula, equivalent to that of the Gregorian calendar: if the kōki year number is evenly divisible by four, it is a leap year, unless the number minus 660 is evenly divisible by 100 and not by 400. Thus, for example, the year Kōki 2560 is divisible by 4; the Japanese government has announced a new period of year on 2019 April Reiwa. The Heisei Period will end on 2019 April 30 and so the new period of year is expected to start on first of May 2019.
See "Seasonal days", below. The modern Japanese names for the months translate to "first month", "second month", so on; the corresponding number is combined with the suffix 月. The table below uses traditional numerals. In addition, every month has a traditional name, still used by some in fields such as poetry; the opening paragraph of a letter or the greeting in a speech might borrow one of these names to convey a sense of the season. Some, such as Yayoi and Satsuki, do double duty as given names; these month names appear from time to time on jidaigeki, contemporary television shows and movies set in the Edo period or earlier. The old Japanese calendar was an adjusted lunar calendar based on the Chinese calendar, the year—and with it the months—started anywhere from about 3 to 7 weeks than the modern year, so in historical contexts it is not accurate to equate the first month with January. Japan uses a seven-day week, aligned with the Western calendar; the seven-day week, with names for the days corresponding to the Latin system, was brought to Japan around AD 800 with the Buddhist calendar.
The system was used for astrological purposes and little else until 1876. The names of the days come from the five visible planets, which in turn are named after the five Chinese elements, from the moon and sun. On the origin of the names of the days of the week see East Asian Seven Luminaries. Sunday and Saturday are regarded as "Western style take-a-rest days". Since the late 19th century, Sunday has been regarded as a "full-time holiday", Saturday a half-time holiday; these holidays have no religious meaning. Many Japanese retailers
The traditional China calendar, or Former Calendar, Traditional Calendar or Lunar Calendar, is a lunisolar calendar which reckons years and days according to astronomical phenomena. It is defined by GB/T 33661-2017, "Calculation and promulgation of the Chinese calendar", issued by the Standardisation Administration of China on 12 May 2017. Although modern day China uses the Gregorian calendar, the traditional Chinese calendar governs holidays in China and in overseas Chinese communities, it lists the dates of traditional Chinese holidays and guides people in selecting auspicious days for weddings, moving, or starting a business. Like Chinese characters, variants of this calendar are used in different parts of the Chinese cultural sphere. Korea and the Ryukyu Islands adopted the calendar, it evolved into Korean and Ryukyuan calendars; the main difference from the traditional Chinese calendar is the use of different meridians, which leads to some astronomical events—and calendar events based on them—falling on different dates.
The traditional Japanese calendar derived from the Chinese calendar, but its official use in Japan was abolished in 1873 as part of reforms after the Meiji Restoration. Calendars in Mongolia and Tibet have absorbed elements of the traditional Chinese calendar, but are not direct descendants of it. Days begin and end at midnight, months begin on the day of the new moon. Years begin on the second new moon after the winter solstice. Solar terms govern the end of each month. Written versions in ancient China included stems and branches of the year and the names of each month, including leap months as needed. Characters indicated whether a month was short; the traditional Chinese calendar was developed between 771 and 476 BC, during the Spring and Autumn period of the Eastern Zhou dynasty. Before the Zhou dynasty, solar calendars were used. One version of the solar calendar is the five-elements calendar. A 365-day year was divided into five phases of 73 days, with each phase corresponding to a Day 1 Wu Xing element.
A phase began followed by six 12-day weeks. Each phase consisted of two three-week months. Years began followed by a bǐngzǐ day and a 72-day fire phase. Other days were tracked using the Yellow River Map. Another version is a four-quarters calendar. Weeks were ten days long, with one month consisting of three weeks. A year had 12 months, with a ten-day week intercalated in summer as needed to keep up with the tropical year; the 10 Heavenly Stems and 12 Earthly Branches were used to mark days. A third version is the balanced calendar. A year was 365.25 days, a month was 29.5 days. After every 16th month, a half-month was intercalated. According to oracle bone records, the Shang dynasty calendar was a balanced calendar with 12 to 14 months in a year; the first lunisolar calendar was the Zhou calendar, introduced under the Zhou dynasty. This calendar set the beginning of the year at the day of the new moon before the winter solstice, it set the shàngyuán as the winter solstice of a dīngsì year, making the year it was introduced around 2,758,130.
Several competing lunisolar calendars were introduced by states fighting Zhou control during the Warring States period. The state of Lu issued its own Lu calendar. Jin issued the Xia calendar in AD 102, with a year beginning on the day of the new moon nearest the March equinox. Qin issued the Zhuanxu calendar, with a year beginning on the day of the new moon nearest the winter solstice. Song's Yin calendar began its year on the day of the new moon after the winter solstice; these calendars are known as the six ancient calendars, or quarter-remainder calendars, since all calculate a year as 365 1⁄4 days long. Months begin on the day of the new moon, a year has 12 or 13 months. Intercalary months are added to the end of the year; the Qiang and Dai calendars are modern versions of the Zhuanxu calendar, used by mountain peoples. After Qin Shi Huang unified China under the Qin dynasty in 221 BC, the Qin calendar was introduced, it followed most of the rules governing the Zhuanxu calendar, but the month order was that of the Xia calendar.
The intercalary month, known as the second Jiǔyuè, was placed at the end of the year. The Qin calendar was used into the Han dynasty. Emperor Wu of Han r. 141 – 87 BC introduced reforms halfway through his reign. His Taichu Calendar defined a solar year as 365 385⁄1539 days, the lunar month was 29 43⁄81 days; this calendar introduced the 24 solar terms. Solar terms were paired, with the 12 combined periods known as climate terms; the first solar term of the period was known as a pre-climate, the second was a mid-climate. Months were named for the mid-climat