Date Format

Dates on this site are denoted by the 24 solar terms🪐.

Quite often, exact dates and hours are more of a disturbance. The ever-changing numbers inevitably create a slight but constant sense of urgency; meanwhile, many of life’s events do not fit into a specific moment. Recording dates in terms of time periods represented by the solar terms while maintaining a log of recent revisions, therefore, is more ideal for this site.

This is a solar calendar system. According to the position of the Sun on the ecliptic, a tropical year (the time the Earth takes for one revolution around the Sun) is divided into twelve parts, which are known as the twelve solar months, numbered with the twelve Earthly Branches🪐. Each month is divided into two halves, the first named “Jie” (season) and the second named “Qi” (climate), totalling 24 periods, which are named according to the patterns in weather and natural phenomena that the ancient Chinese had drawn from their farming experience, and are now collectively named “the solar terms”.

SeasonSolar TermAbbr.Gregorian CalendarSolar Month
SpringSpring’s establishmentSpEstmid-FebYin (Tiger)
Rain’s bedewingBedewFeb — March
Insects’ arousalArousemid-MarchMao (Rabbit)
Vernal equinoxVerEqMarch — April
Clear brightnessClearmid-AprilChen (Dragon)
Rain-soaked grainsSoakApril — May
SummerSummer’s establishmentSmEstmid-MaySi (Snake)
Drips of budsBudMay — June
Ripeness of awnsAwnmid-JuneWu (Horse)
Summer solsticeSmSolsJune — July
Mild heatHeatmid-JulyWei (Goat)
Torrid heatTorridJuly — Aug
AutumnAutumn’s establishmentAuEstmid-AugShen (Monkey)
Embers of heatEmberAug — Sept
White dewWhitemid-SeptYou (Rooster)
Autumnal equinoxAutEqSept — Oct
Chilled dewChillmid-OctXu (Dog)
Frost’s descentFrostOct — Nov
WinterWinter’s establishmentWnEstmid-NovHai (Pig)
Light snowFlurryNov — Dec
Heavy snowSnowmid-DecZi (Rat)
Winter solsticeWnSolsDec — Jan (+1)
Mild coldColdmid-JanChou (Ox)
Freezing coldFreezeJan — Feb

This site starts the new year with the month of Tiger, or Spring’s arrival; for simplicity, the year is written as the last two digits of the Gregorian calendar year in which this moment falls. For instance, late January of 2022 is denoted as <21-Freeze> , while the middle of February is denoted as <22-SpEst> .

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