From the Taipei Times (which has a beautiful calligraphy rabbit)
Emerging from the fierce Year of the Tiger, the Chinese lunar calendar now enters the Year of the Rabbit (or Year of the Hare), and the imagery is certainly of a more peaceable nature, although much of the trauma from the Tiger still continues to cause havoc across the globe. . .
From the Qi Journal:
January 29, 1903 to February 15, 1904 (water)
February 14, 1915 to February 2, 1916 (wood)
February 2, 1927 to January 22, 1928 (fire)
February 19, 1939 to February 7, 1940 (earth)
February 1951 to January 26 1952 (metal)
January 25, 19673 to February 12, 1964 (water)
February 11, 1975 to January 30, 1976 (wood)
January 29, 1987 to February 16, 1988 (fire)
February 16, 1999 to February 4, 2000 (earth)
Michelangelo - Napoleon - Albert Einstein - Walt Whitman - Marie Curie
Hares (rabbits) are happiest when with friends and safely inside of social circles. They are often meek and withdrawn among groups of strangers. They seldom like to argue and enjoy quiet, peaceful lives. A Hare is cautious and will weigh the pros and cons from every angle before moving ahead.A lover of good conversation, reading, and intellectual discussions, the hare is sincere and are often gifted healers, herbalists, and doctors. Traditionally associated with clear-sightedness, the Hare is an excellent judge of character and has a certain ability to recognize when others are lying. A Hare's home is typically a beautiful one, and they take great care and expend a lot of energy making it comfortable. You will find a lot of expensive and precious items in the home of a Hare personality.The Chinese have many strange legends about the Hare, one of them is that they inhabit the moon, together with three-legged frogs. Another legend has it that the Hare possesses the secret recipe for the elixir of immortality.
The Chinese calendar - like the Hebrew - is a combined solar/lunar calendar in that it strives to have its years coincide with the tropical year and its months coincide with the synodic months. It is not surprising that a few similarities exist between the Chinese and the Hebrew calendar:
When determining what a Chinese year looks like, one must make a number of astronomical calculations:
- An ordinary year has 12 months, a leap year has 13 months.
- An ordinary year has 353, 354, or 355 days, a leap year has 383, 384, or 385 days.
First, determine the dates for the new moons. Here, a new moon is the completely "black" moon (that is, when the moon is in conjunction with the sun), not the first visible crescent used in the Islamic and Hebrew calendars. The date of a new moon is the first day of a new month.
Second, determine the dates when the sun’s longitude is a multiple of 30 degrees. (The sun’s longitude is 0 at Vernal Equinox, 90 at Summer Solstice, 180 at Autumnal Equinox, and 270 at Winter Solstice.) These dates are called the Principal Terms and are used to determine the number of each month:
Each month carries the number of the Principal Term that occurs in that month.
- Principal Term 1 occurs when the sun’s longitude is 330 degrees.
- Principal Term 2 occurs when the sun’s longitude is 0 degrees.
- Principal Term 3 occurs when the sun’s longitude is 30 degrees. (etc.)
- Principal Term 11 occurs when the sun’s longitude is 270 degrees.
- Principal Term 12 occurs when the sun’s longitude is 300 degrees.
In rare cases, a month may contain two Principal Terms; in this case the months numbers may have to be shifted. Principal Term 11 (Winter Solstice) must always fall in the 11th month.
All the astronomical calculations are carried out for the meridian 120 degrees east of Greenwich. This roughly corresponds to the east coast of China.
Some variations in these rules are seen in various Chinese communities.
[This site has a lot more interesting information about the Chinese year and calendar.]
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