Monday February 8, marked the Chinese lunar new year, an event celebrated by Chinese all over the world. Hundreds of millions of Chinese travel across the globe to reunite with families (In China, there is even a specific name for this travel season, Chunyun, which describes the extremely high traffic load around this time of year), to participate in what has been called the largest annual human migration in the world. And while there are slight differences in the zodiac, this same lunar calendar cycle is also shared by Vietnamese, Tibetans, Koreans, and Mongolian peoples.
[You can read more about the Chinese zodiac here]
Lunar calendars — that is, any calendar based on the cycles of the moon — trace back millennia to the Ancient Chinese, Greeks, Babylonians, and Jews. In fact, there are many cultures around the world today, such as the Islamic Hijri Qamari Calendar, Chinese Calendar, Hebrew Calendar, and Hindu Calendar, that still mark their calendars by the moon, and each follows a different lunar phase for determining the start of their annual cycle. There are also many who use the Gregorian calendar for everyday use but use the lunar calendar to determine holidays and festive occasions. (more…)