Solar calendar vs Lunar calendar in China

In China, we follow 2 calendars – modern solar calendar and traditional lunar calendar. Our traditional holidays follow traditional lunar calendar. There are normally 1-2 month difference between these 2 calendars. For instance, January 1, 2021 means beginning of a new year for solar calendar, while it was the 18th date of the 11th month on lunar calendar. When it came to the first day ( Chinese Spring Day) for lunar calendar 2021, it was actually February 12, 2021.

Non-Chinese might wonder how can you do with 2 calendar systems… Mmm, it seems confusing, but not an issue at all. In our modern life, the printing calendars show both dates at the same time, and our smart devices tell us both calendars at the same time. It makes our life much easier.

In our daily life, we normally use solar calendar to make a plan or an appointment. For traditional holidays we use only lunar calendars of course. For birthdays, things got changes nowadays. We used to use lunar calendars to record our birthdays mainly. Nowadays more and more new babies get to use solar calendars to record and celebrate their birthdays.

No matter how long it takes, as long as there is Chinese, the lunar calendar will also remain.

Lantern Festival 2018

Today is March 2nd by Solar Calendar, also the 15th day for the 1st month of Chinese Lunar Calendar, which is called Lantern Festival. This day is officially the last day of Chinese New Year holidays.

On this special day, families will reunion. The traditional food is TANGYUAN, which are very sweet and soft sticky rice balls, made with Glutinous rice flour with peanut or sesame inside. Now you could buy TANGYUAN at any stores by the corner easily.

Nowadays in the city, the communities will often hold activities on Lantern Festivals. The traditional activities include Enjoy the moon and lanterns, Guess the lantern riddles. Both adults and kids love to join in and have fun!

Since tomorrow, there will be changes on the roads you will see. First of all, the big lanterns hanging high up on the lampstandards by the roads all over the city will be taken off over one night. And traffic control will get back to the normal status.

We will all begin to miss the days of holidays before it’s gone 🙂