Introduction to the Chinese Calendar
Most Chinese presently use the lunar calendar and the solar calendar concurrently. Chinese
traditional holidays and festivals are mainly based on the lunar calendar. Some
social activities like weddings, funerals, and other important actions like
moving house, etc. also depend on the traditional Chinese calendar.
Currently, in China year notation follows the western calendar year.
This type of year follows the tradition of the old Chinese imperial year notation.
Pagoda above lake
When we speak of the Chinese calendar, it is always necessary to clarify which one we are talking of. Historically, China has always used two different time recording methods. One is the imperial year notation, the other is based on the 60-year cyclic calendar, which itself is based on the 12-year zodiac calendar.
Collectors of ceramics should usually have knowledge of both. They may be required for dating, although the imperial year notation will be encountered more often. Cyclic calendar years are mostly encountered on 19th and early 20th century items.
Traditional year notation
One year (seasonal) calendar
Current Chinese year notation
China has adopted western year notation. Traditional festivals still follow the lunar or agriculture calendar.
Year notation in Taiwan
For year notation related to international matters the western calendar year is used.
Internally, Taiwan counts the year beginning with the first year of the republic (the same method as with imperial year notation).
1911 was the last year of the Qing dynasty. The first year of the republic falls on 1912. Thus, 2013 is the (republic) year 102.