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901Re: Chronology of Chinese History and Culture

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  • kitmengleong
    Oct 1 12:21 AM
      Hi Jane,

      Here's what I found from
      webexhibits.org/calendars/calendar-chinese.html.

      "In China, the calendar was a sacred document, sponsored and
      promulgated by the reigning monarch. For more than two millennia, a
      Bureau of Astronomy made astronomical observations, calculated
      astronomical events such as eclipses, prepared astrological
      predictions, and maintained the calendar.

      Evidence from the Shang oracle bone inscriptions shows that at least
      by the 14th century BC the Shang Chinese had established the solar
      year at 365 1/4 days and lunation at 29 1/2 days. In the calendar that
      the Shang used, the seasons of the year and the phases of the Moon
      were all supposedly accounted for.

      So when did the calendar really start? If the Chinese calendar
      started in 2637 B.C.E., why is the current year 60 years too late?
      (e.g., in 1999, the current year was 4697? and not 4637)?

      The Chinese calendar does not use a continuous year count! They used a
      60 year cycle and a system of regional years (starting with each
      emperor). Before the 1911 revolution, Sun Yat-sen wanted to establish
      a republican alternative to the imperial reign cycles. According to
      Chinese tradition, the first year of the Yellow Emperor was 2698
      B.C.E., so he introduced a counting system based on this. Under this
      system, 2000 is year 4698."

      So, to answer your original question, the start date of 2698 is the
      first year of the Yellow Emperor and was established by Sun Yat-sen as
      the official start date. An alternative system is to start with the
      first historical record of the 60-day cycle from March 8, 2637 B.C.E.
      Based on this system, 2000 is year 4637.

      Jieming
      DragonSeedLegacy
      ChineseCultureOnline



      --- In DragonSeedLegacy@yahoogroups.com, "ming18ming2003"
      <ming18ming2003@y...> wrote:
      > I still have questions about this calendar. Can you please tell who
      > invented it and how it was counted? I am aware that the year in the
      > dynasties were counted with the name of the emperor and followed with
      > the number of years of his reign. For example, Guangxi the 1st
      > implying that is the the first year of Guangxi emperor (in Qing
      > Dynasty)'s reign.
      >
      > thanks
      >
      > Jane
      >
      > --- In DragonSeedLegacy@yahoogroups.com, "kitmengleong"
      > <kmleong@a...> wrote:
      > > Hi Jane,
      > >
      > > Didn't get to answer this earlier. The current Chinese year is
      > 4701.
      > >
      > > Jieming
      > >
      > >
      > > >
      > > > "2698 B.C. The beginning of the Chinese calendar."
      > > >
      > > > What's that?
      > > >
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