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Lunar New Year is the most important date in the traditional Chinese calendar. While China observes the Gregorian world calendar of one year consisting of 365 days), Chinese people from around the world celebrate the traditional Chinese New Year as well. The New Moon that falls between winter solstice (around December 21) and the spring equinox (around March 21) marks the beginning of the new year. Lunar (more commonly referred to Chinese) New Year for 2018 will begin at midnight on February 16, 2018 and end on February 4, 2019. Due to variants and anomalies, the actually day of Chinese New Year shifts every year.

Each year is based on the twelve animals represented in the Chinese Zodiac. (For instance, there is the Year of the Snake, Rat, and TK. 2017 was the Year of the Rooster. Each symbol represents one year, so your Chinese horoscope sign will be the same as any person who is born in the same 12 year interval that you are.

2018 is the Year of the Dog.

This year, it starts on 16 February 2018 and will end on 4 February 2019, when the Year of the Pig begins. In the Chinese calendar the days begin and end at midnight. The months begin on the day with the dark (new) moon. The years begin with the dark moon near the midpoint between winter solstice and spring equinox. The solar terms are the important components of the Chinese calendar. In a month there are one to three solar terms.

The currently used traditional Chinese calendar represents the end result of centuries of evolution. Ancient scientists added many astronomical and seasonal factors, and people can reckon the timing of natural phenomena such as the moon phase and tides based on the Chinese calendar. The Chinese calendar has over 100 variants, whose characteristics reflect the calendar’s evolutionary path. As with Chinese characters, different variants are used in different parts of the Chinese cultural sphere.

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