夏历 XiaLi - Solar Calendar
What is XiaLì (夏历)?
夏历 XiàLì The solar, farmers, Chinese, or better known as 万年历 WànNiánLì
The “Ten Thousand Year Calendar
" is a sophisticated astronmical Lunisolar calendar system. Although the evidence indicates that this system predates any remotely assumed Chinese history epoch, it is believed to have been developed during the 夏 Xia Dynasty (2070–1600 BCE); therefore, it is called the (夏曆/夏历 XiaLi) Xia calendar.
The year in this calendar has a division of 24 sectors known as (二十四節氣 ErshiSi JieQi) 24 solar terms
; each of the 24 divisions indicates agricultural activities; therefore, (夏历 XiaLi) is also commonly called as (農曆 NóngLì) “Farming calendar
The astronomical year of this calendar system begins at midnight on the winter solstice, when the earth is closest to the sun and when the day is shortest around December 21. The calendar year, (元旦 Yuán Dàn) the New Year, begins in the second new moon after the winter solstice.
The months begin at midnight when the new moon phases on the (白經 Bái Jīng) white path, the lunar path
on the ecliptic, and (黃經 Huáng Jīng) yellow path, the suns paths
on the ecliptic conjunct.
This calendar system in China was used until 1912 and still often mistaken for a pure (陰曆 Yinli) lunar calendar; however, it is a (陰陽曆 Yīn Yáng lì
) Yin Yang (Moon/Sun) or, in short, a lunisolar calendar
, meaning the months are not based on the lunar phases but the solar terms.Why is it called the Ten Thousand Year Calendar?
Without getting too much into the details of calendar methods and their individual unit names, the “Ten thousand”, or in numbers, “10.000 year calendar”, is not called as such because the calendar lasts or consists of 10.000 years; rather, it is a reference to one of its units
, which is equal to 10.000
years. The largest cycle is 3.600.000 years; this cycle has a division of 360 units, each of which equals 10.000 years.
The smallest unit is known as the (六十花甲 liushi huajia) Sexagenary Cycle
or as the (干支 GānZhī
) stems-and-branches combination. The alignment of the (十天干 Shi Tian Gan) celestial stems and (十二地支 Shí'èr dìzhī) terrestrial branches in a specific order in six sectors (each of the six sectors consists of 10 stems, or starpointer) will result in 60 combinations; hence, these combinations indicate 60 suns (days) or years.
The sexagenary cycle system initially was used only for days; around the Han dynasty, the year was added, and much later, the month and hours were incorporated.
One sexagenary cycle for years is 60 years,
one cycle for months is 5 years,
one cycle for days is 60 days and
one cycle for the hours is 5 days.
|(六十花甲 liushi huajia) Sexagenary Cycle