农历 (pronounced as “nóng lì”) – Chinese Traditional Calendar
为什么很多华人每年都会庆祝两个生日呢？那是因为华人遵循两套历法系统 – 公历和农历。公历(也称为阳历)的标准名称是格里高利历, 它是国际通用的日历系统。而农历 (也称为阴历) 则是中国传统的日历。农历的意思是农时之历，因为它很好的反应了对农耕非常重要的二十四节气。在很久以前中国的古人就根据天体运行规律来计算时间并发明了日历。从西汉时期 (公元前100年左右) 发展至今，中国先后采用了不同版本的农历。如今的农历结合了对月圆月缺的观察，所以也叫做阴历。每个月的初一都是新月，每个月的十五都是月圆。尽管我们现在大部分的活动都会采用公历，但一些传统的节日(例如春节和中秋节)还是遵循着农历。农历一般一年有12个月, 大概354天。如果是闰年则有13个月, 大概 384天。由此可见，因为每年的农历日数和公历日数不同，所以每年的农历日期都会在公历上显示为不同的日期。同样，我们出生的那一天的农历日期在之后的每一年在公历上都会显示为不同的日期。所以我们会过两个生日，一个公历的生日和一个农历的生日。如果赶上了闰年闰月，我们也许还会庆祝三个生日呢。你们知道吗: 世界上还有很多其它国家也有自己国家的传统日历喔。
Why do many Chinese people celebrate two birthdays each year? That’s because Chinese people follow two sets of calendars – the Western calendar (also called Gregorian calendar) and Chinese traditional calendar (also called lunar calendar). Western calendar is the standard calendar used worldwide. Chinese traditional calendar (pronounced as “nong” “li”, which means “farming” and “calendar”) includes the important twenty-four seasonal points for farming.
In ancient China, people used astronomical movements for keeping track of time and making calendars. From XiHan dynasty (about 100BC) to nowadays, China had used many different versions of calendars. The version we use today reflects the moon phases, hence the name - Lunar calendar. It always begins with new moon and the 15th of each month is always full moon. Even though nowadays we use western calendar for most of our activities, many traditional holidays (such as Chinese Lunar New Year and Mid-Autumn Festival) are still observed using the traditional calendar. Chinese traditional calendar normally has 12 months with about 354 days each year. If it’s a leap year, then it has 13 months with about 384 days.
Now you can see that because Chinese traditional calendar and Gregorian calendar have different number of days each year, particular dates on the Chinese traditional calendar shows on the Gregorian calendar as a different date each year. So, the Chinese traditional calendar date that we were born on will change on the Gregorian calendar every year.
Therefore, Chinese people can celebrate two birthdays each year, one Gregorian calendar birthday and one Chinese traditional calendar birthday. And, if it’s a leap year/leap month, we can even celebrate three birthdays. Do you know: many other countries in the world also have their own traditional calendars?
做一做, 找一找 Challenges for you - 自己设计并制作一份日历 Design your own calendar
我们可以自己制作日历。农历的，公历的，或者公历农历结合的都可以。下面是一个自己做的日历的例子。Let’s make our own calendar. It can be a Chinese traditional calendar, a Gregorian calendar, or a combination of both. Here’s an example of a homemade combination calendar.
你也可以看看这个视频，教你怎么制作简易的公历日历。Here’s a video of how to make a simple Gregorian calendar.
学会怎么查找农历。比如可以用下面这个网站来查找 Learn how to look up a date on a Chinese traditional calendar.
Use the Chinese Calendar.
填上你要查找的年月日，例如2020年5月10日， 然后点击 “Convert Calendar”. Fill in the year/month/date you want to find out, for example 10th May 2020, and then click “Convert Calendar”.
结果显示是农历四月十八。我们也能看到这一年是鼠年。The result shows that it’s the 18th of April (the 4th month) on Chinese traditional calendar. It also shows that this year is the year of Rat (zodiac animal).
现在，你来用上面的网站找到自己的农历生日。Now, you have a go with finding out what’s your birthday on a Chinese traditional calendar using the above website.
最后，你们去找找看还有哪些国家有自己的传统日历。 Finally, find out what other countries/cultures have their own traditional calendar.
把你们做好的日历或查到的结果在下面留言告诉我们吧。You can post your finished calendar, or your search results in the comments below.
相关的衔接 Links to useful resources
如果你想更多地了解农历，可以看看这两个简短的视频。If you want to find out more about Chinese traditional calendar, you can check out these two videos: Chinese Lunar Calendar | Introduction – with Chinese subtitles (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rOaBd266xbc) and Understanding how the Chinese lunar calendar works (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uHSm9lFJ7T4)
另外还有基督城图书馆的关于日历的电子资源 (有一些需要用你的图书馆会员信息来登录观看)。You can also explore these cool resources from Christchurch City Libraries’ eResource collection on calendars
Some may need to log in with your library account details to to view:
- Clocks, Calendars, & Calculators Origins- The History of Everything!
- Britannica Library Kids - Calendar
- World book Kids – Calendar