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Chinese Lunar Calendar

The lunar year is divided into 12 months, each having 29-1/2 days. Every 2 1/2 years, a 13th
month is added to adjust the calendar. That year is known as the lunar leap year. The beginning of
each lunar month is the date of the new moon that is marked on the Western calendar.

The Chinese lunar calendar is the longest chronological record in history. It dates back to 2600
BC, when the first cycle of the zodiac was established. One cycle takes 60 years to complete
and is made up of 5 elements of 12 animals each. The Chinese lunar calendar names each of the
12-year cycles for an animal. Legend has it that the Buddha summoned all the animals to him
before he departed from Earth. Only 12 animals, however, came to bid him farewell. As a reward
to these animals, the Buddha named a year after each one (Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon,
Snake, Horse, Sheep, Monkey, Rooster, Dog, Boar) in the order that they arrived. The Chinese
believe that the animal representing the year you were born has an insightful influence on your life.
“This is the animal that hides in your heart”.

During the complete 60-year cycle, each of the animal signs is combined with 5 main elements:
Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal, and Water. These elements are examples of Yin-Yang polarity, so each
element will manifest itself in either a destructive or constructive manner. For example, Metal in its
most destructive form would be a weapon; while in its most constructive form would be a cooking
pot. The interlocking combination of these 5 elements and the 12 animal signs is the foundation of
the Chinese astrological structure.

07-10-16 07:11
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