Sunday, 24 March 2013

Today's Date in Old Mandarin, Middle Mongolian, Manchu, Jurchen, Khitan, Khitan and Tangut

Last month I had the idea to celebrate the Chinese New Year by creating a javascript-based calendar for the traditional Chinese lunisolar calendar, but with the calendrical data presented in the Manchu language and script rather than in Chinese. My first step was to borrow some code from the internet (in fact the code that displays the Chinese calendar date at the top right of this page), but after a week spent rewriting and testing it I came to realise that it did not work very well, so I decided it was best to write the code myself from scratch. Rather than try to dynamically calculate the data as some implementations do (far too complicated for me), I chose to use a table-based implementation covering 200 years from 1901 to 2100 inclusively. The result is that the javascript file is quite large, but the code is quite simple, and it should be easy to extend the date ranges if required. I have released the javascript code (calendar.js) under a CC BY-SA 3.0 license.

Over the past few weeks I have written a set of seven pages that utilise this javascript code to display today's date (or any selected date between 1901 and 2100) according to the Chinese lunisolar calendar in Old Mandarin (Phags-pa script), Middle Mongolian (Phags-pa script), Manchu (Manchu script), Jurchen (Jurchen script), Khitan (Khitan Large Script), Khitan (Khitan Small Script), and Tangut (Tangut script) :


Several people have asked for an explantion of calendrical data provided on the above pages and/or further information about the calendrical terms in the various languages and scripts used, and this blog post is an attempt to answer such questions. I am by no means an expert on the Chinese calendar, so I won't go into too much technical detail about calendrical calculations, but I attempt to provide the minimum information necessary to understand the data provided on my "Today's Date in ..." pages.




Chinese Lunisolar Calendar

Each of my "Today's Date in ..." pages provides some or all of the following information for the selected date :

  • Lunar date, consisting of the day of the lunar month, lunar month, and cyclical year;
  • Solar term if the day falls on one of the 24 solar terms;
  • Cyclical year, cyclical month, cyclical day, and cyclical hour.

The data for my javascript calendar is derived from the Gregorian-Lunar Calendar Conversion Tables for 1901–2100 provided by the Hong Kong Observatory, as well as the Chinese Calendar, Calendar Converter, Chinese Lunar Calendar pages on the China the Beautiful site. These sources use the official calendrical data calculated using Chinese standard time at a longitude of 120°E, which very occasionally differs from the calculations of the traditional Wannian 萬年 calendars (the lunar dates of August 9th/10th 1953, September 2nd/3rd 1978, and August 1st/2nd 1989 vary between the two calendars).


Lunar Date

Chinese lunar months start on the day of a new moon, and last for 29 or 30 days. The first lunar month starts on the day of the second new moon after the winter solstice, and occurs between January 21 and February 20 inclusively in the 200 years from 1901 to 2100 covered by my javascript calendar. There are normally twelve lunar months in a year, named as the 1st through 12th month. As a lunar cycle is about 29.53 days long and a solar year lasts about 365.2425 days, an intercalary month is inserted every two or three years (approximately seven times every 19 years). When an intercalary month is added, it is the first lunar month of the year that does not contain a midpoint solar term (see Table 4), and it is named after the preceding month (e.g. an intercalary month inserted after the 5th month is called the "intercalary 5th month"). The intercalary month is almost always inserted after one of the 2nd through 8th months, but may very rarely occur after another month. The names of the months and days in the various languages of my javascript calendar pages are listed in Table 2 and Table 3 respectively.


Table 1: Calendrical Terms

English Chinese Old Mandarin Middle Mongolian Classical Mongolian Manchu Jurchen Large
Khitan
Small
Khitan
Tangut
year nián ꡋꡠꡋ nen ꡆꡞꡙ ǰil ᠵᠢᠯ ǰil ᠠᠨᡳᠶᠠ aniya ania ai kjiw
month yuè ꡝꡧꡦ ʼwė ꡕ ꡘ za ra ᠰᠠᠷ᠎ᠠ sara ᠪᡳᠶᠠ biya bia   lhjị
day ꡔꡞ ži ꡢꡡ ꡋꡡꡢ qo noq ᠬᠣᠨᠣᠭ qonoɣ ᡳᠨᡝᠩᡤᡳ inenggi inəŋgi   njɨ̱
hour shí ꡚꡞ ši ꡅꡢ čʽaq ᠴᠠᠭ čaɣ ᡝᡵᡳᠨ erin fo po zjọ

Table 2: Lunar Month Names

Month Chinese Old Mandarin Middle Mongolian Classical Mongolian Manchu Jurchen Large
Khitan
Small
Khitan
Tangut
1st
zhèng
yuè
ꡆꡞꡃ ꡝꡧꡦ ǰiŋ
ʼwė
ꡢ ꡎꡟ ꡘꡟꡋ ꡉꡦ ꡘꡞ ꡖꡟꡋ ꡕ ꡘ qa bu run tʽė ri ·un za ra ᠬᠠᠪᠤᠷ ᠤᠨ ᠲᠡᠷᠢᠭᠦᠨ ᠰᠠᠷ᠎ᠠ qabur-un terigün sara ᠠᠨᡳᠶᠠ ᠪᡳᠶᠠ aniya
biya

nienie
bia


nai (HEAD)
MONTH

tśjow
lhjị
2nd
èr
yuè
ꡔꡞ ꡝꡧꡦ ži
ʼwė
ꡢ ꡎꡟ ꡘꡟꡋ ꡊꡟꡏ ꡊ ꡊꡟ ꡕ ꡘ qa bu run dum da du za ra ᠬᠠᠪᠤᠷ ᠤᠨ ᠳᠤᠮᠳᠠᠳᠤ ᠰᠠᠷ᠎ᠠ qabur-un dumdadu sara ᠵᡠᠸᡝ ᠪᡳᠶᠠ juwe
biya

dʒo
bia


TWO
MONTH

njɨ̱
lhjị
3rd
sān
yuè
ꡛꡏ ꡝꡧꡦ sam
ʼwė
ꡢ ꡎꡟ ꡘꡟꡋ ꡜꡦ ꡅꡟꡛ ꡕ ꡘ qa bu run hė čʽus za ra ᠬᠠᠪᠤᠷ ᠤᠨ ᠡᠴᠦᠰ ᠰᠠᠷ᠎ᠠ qabur-un ečüs sara ᡳᠯᠠᠨ ᠪᡳᠶᠠ ilan
biya

ilan
bia


THREE
MONTH

sọ
lhjị
4th

yuè
ꡛꡜꡞ ꡝꡧꡦ shi
ʼwė
ꡆꡟ ꡋꡟ ꡉꡦ ꡘꡞ ꡖꡟꡋ ꡕ ꡘ ǰu nu tʽė ri ·un za ra ᠵᠤᠨ ᠤ ᠲᠡᠷᠢᠭᠦᠨ ᠰᠠᠷ᠎ᠠ ǰun-u terigün sara ᡩᡠᡳ᠌ᠨ ᠪᡳᠶᠠ duin
biya

duin
bia


FOUR
MONTH

ljɨr
lhjị
5th

yuè
ꡟ ꡝꡧꡦ u
ʼwė
ꡆꡟ ꡋꡟ ꡊꡟꡏ ꡊ ꡊꡟ ꡕ ꡘ ǰu nu dum da du za ra ᠵᠤᠨ ᠤ ᠳᠤᠮᠳᠠᠳᠤ ᠰᠠᠷ᠎ᠠ ǰun-u dumdadu sara ᠰᡠᠨᠵᠠ ᠪᡳᠶᠠ sunja
biya

ʃundʒa
bia


FIVE
MONTH

ŋwə
lhjị
6th
liù
yuè
ꡙꡦꡟ ꡝꡧꡦ lėu
ʼwė
ꡆꡟ ꡋꡟ ꡜꡦ ꡅꡟꡛ ꡕ ꡘ ǰu nu hė čʽus za ra ᠵᠤᠨ ᠤ ᠡᠴᠦᠰ ᠰᠠᠷ᠎ᠠ ǰun-u ečüs sara ᠨᡳᠩᡤᡠᠨ ᠪᡳᠶᠠ ninggun
biya

niŋgu
bia


SIX
MONTH

tśhjiw
lhjị
7th

yuè
ꡑꡞ ꡝꡧꡦ tsʽi
ʼwė
ꡋ ꡏꡟ ꡘꡟꡋ ꡉꡦ ꡘꡞ ꡖꡟꡋ ꡕ ꡘ na mu run tʽė ri ·un za ra ᠨᠠᠮᠤᠷ ᠤᠨ ᠲᠡᠷᠢᠭᠦᠨ ᠰᠠᠷ᠎ᠠ namur-un terigün sara ᠨᠠᡩᠠᠨ ᠪᡳᠶᠠ nadan
biya

nadan
bia


SEVEN
MONTH

śjạ
lhjị
8th

yuè
ꡎ ꡝꡧꡦ ba
ʼwė
ꡋ ꡏꡟ ꡘꡟꡋ ꡊꡟꡏ ꡊ ꡊꡟ ꡕ ꡘ na mu run dum da du za ra ᠨᠠᠮᠤᠷ ᠤᠨ ᠳᠤᠮᠳᠠᠳᠤ ᠰᠠᠷ᠎ᠠ namur-un dumdadu sara ᠵᠠᡴᡡᠨ ᠪᡳᠶᠠ jakūn
biya

dʒakun
bia


EIGHT
MONTH

·jar
lhjị
9th
jiǔ
yuè
ꡂꡞꡓ ꡝꡧꡦ giw
ʼwė
ꡋ ꡏꡟ ꡘꡟꡋ ꡜꡦ ꡅꡟꡛ ꡕ ꡘ na mu run hė čʽus za ra ᠨᠠᠮᠤᠷ ᠤᠨ ᠡᠴᠦᠰ ᠰᠠᠷ᠎ᠠ namur-un ečüs sara ᡠᠶᡠᠨ ᠪᡳᠶᠠ uyun
biya

ujewun
bia


NINE
MONTH

gjɨ̱
lhjị
10th
shí
yuè
ꡚꡞ ꡝꡧꡦ ši
ʼwė
ꡝꡦꡟ ꡎꡟ ꡙꡟꡋ ꡉꡦ ꡘꡞ ꡖꡟꡋ ꡕ ꡘ ʼėu bu lun tʽė ri ·un za ra ᠡᠪᠦᠯ ᠦᠨ ᠲᠡᠷᠢᠭᠦᠨ ᠰᠠᠷ᠎ᠠ ebül-ün terigün sara ᠵᡠᠸᠠᠨ ᠪᡳᠶᠠ juwan
biya

dʒua
bia


TEN
MONTH

ɣạ
lhjị
11th

shí

yuè
ꡚꡞ ꡗꡞ ꡝꡧꡦ ši
yi
ʼwė
ꡝꡦꡟ ꡎꡟ ꡙꡟꡋ ꡊꡟꡏ ꡊ ꡊꡟ ꡕ ꡘ ʼėu bu lun dum da du za ra ᠡᠪᠦᠯ ᠦᠨ ᠳᠤᠮᠳᠠᠳᠤ ᠰᠠᠷ᠎ᠠ ebül-ün dumdadu sara ᠣᠮᡧᠣᠨ ᠪᡳᠶᠠ omšon
biya


dʒua
əmu
bia




TEN
ONE
MONTH


ɣạ
lew
lhjị
12th

shí
èr
yuè
ꡚꡞ ꡔꡞ ꡝꡧꡦ ši
ži
ʼwė
ꡝꡦꡟ ꡎꡟ ꡙꡟꡋ ꡜꡦ ꡅꡟꡛ ꡕ ꡘ ʼėu bu lun hė čʽus za ra ᠡᠪᠦᠯ ᠦᠨ ᠡᠴᠦᠰ ᠰᠠᠷ᠎ᠠ ebül-ün ečüs sara ᠵᠣᡵᡤᠣᠨ ᠪᡳᠶᠠ jorgon
biya


dʒua
dʒo
bia




TEN
TWO
MONTH


ɣạ
njɨ̱
lhjị
Intercalary month
rùn
yuè
ꡔꡦꡟꡋ ꡝꡧꡦ žėun
ʼwė
ꡚꡦꡟꡋ šėun ᠱᠦᠨ šün ᠠᠨᠠᡤᠠᠨ ᡳ ᠪᡳᠶᠠ anagan-i
biya


ala-
-xa
bia



p.ul.uh
MONTH

lhu
lhjị

Notes

  1. For all languages in the table except for Mongolian the months are named numerically, but with a special word for the first month: Chinese and Old Mandarin = "principal month"; Manchu = "[new] year month" (alternatively ᡨᠣᠪ
    ᠪᡳᠶᠠ
    tob biya "principal month"); Jurchen = "spring month"; Khitan = "head month"; Tangut = "principal month".
  2. There are various systems of naming months in Mongolian (see Brian Gregory Baumann, Divine Knowledge: Buddhist Mathematics According to the Anoymous Manual of Mongolian Astrology and Divination (Brill, 2008) pp. 70–83). Extant Mongolian Phags-pa texts use the system referred to as "Black Chinese Mathematics" in Table IV.8 in Baumann pp. 72–73. In this system, months are named as initial, medial or final Spring, Summer, Autumn or Winter month.
  3. The Mongolian Phags-pa word for a leap month is unattested, and has been reconstructed from Classical Mongolian, which is a borrowing via Old Uyghur of the Chinese word rùn 閏. An intercalary month is also called saban sara in Classical Mongolian.
  4. When followed by a date, the Middle Mongolian and Classical Mongolian word for month, za ra/sara is put in the genitive form, za ra yin/sara in.
  5. When followed by a date, the Manchu word for month, ᠪᡳᠶᠠ biya is put in the genitive form, ᠪᡳᠶᠠᡳ biyai. Jurchen dates do not show a written genitive form of the word bia "month" before a date.
  6. Jurchen does have single-character words for "eleven" and "twelve", cognate to Manchu omšon and jorgon, and it is possible that the 11th and 12th months were written as omʃo inəŋgi and dʒïrxon inəŋgi during the Jin dynasty. However, no Jurchen inscriptions dating to the Jin dynasty mention the 11th or 12th months, and in Ming dynasty Jurchen texts the 11th and 12th months are written as "ten-one month" and "ten-two month".
  7. The Khitan Small Script numbers one through nine occur in dotted and undotted forms, but only the undotted forms occur before the word "month".

Table 3: Lunar Day Names

Month Chinese Old Mandarin Middle Mongolian Classical Mongolian Manchu Jurchen Large
Khitan
Small
Khitan
Tangut
Jin Dynasty Ming Dynasty
1st
chū
ꡅꡟ ꡗꡞ ꡔꡞ čʽu
yi
ži
ꡋꡞ ꡁꡦꡋ ꡚꡞ ꡋꡦ ni kʽėn ši nė ᠨᠢᠭᠡᠨ nigen ᡳᠴᡝ ᡳᠨᡝᠩᡤᡳ ice
inenggi

əmu
inəŋgi

itʃə
inəŋgi


ONE
DAY

lew
njɨ̱
2nd
chū
èr
ꡅꡟ ꡔꡞ ꡔꡞ čʽu
ži
ži
ꡢꡡ ꡗꡘ ꡚꡞ ꡋꡦ qo yar ši nė ᠬᠣᠶᠠᠷ qoyar ᡳᠴᡝ ᠵᡠᠸᡝ ᡳᠨᡝᠩᡤᡳ ice
juwe
inenggi

dʒo
inəŋgi


itʃə
dʒo
inəŋgi


TWO
DAY

njɨ̱
njɨ̱
3rd
chū
sān
ꡅꡟ ꡛꡏ ꡔꡞ čʽu
sam
ži
ꡢꡟꡘ ꡎꡋ ꡚꡞ ꡋꡦ qur ban ši nė ᠭᠤᠷᠪᠠᠨ ɣurban ᡳᠴᡝ ᡳᠯᠠᠨ ᡳᠨᡝᠩᡤᡳ ice
ilan
inenggi

ilan
inəŋgi


itʃə
ilan
inəŋgi


THREE
DAY

sọ
njɨ̱
4th
chū
ꡅꡟ ꡛꡜꡞ ꡔꡞ čʽu
shi
ži
ꡊꡦꡡꡘ ꡎꡦꡋ ꡚꡞ ꡋꡦ dėor bėn ši nė ᠳᠥᠷᠪᠡᠨ dörben ᡳᠴᡝ ᡩᡠᡳ᠌ᠨ ᡳᠨᡝᠩᡤᡳ ice
duin
inenggi

duin
inəŋgi


itʃə
duin
inəŋgi


FOUR
DAY

ljɨr
njɨ̱
5th
chū
ꡅꡟ ꡟ ꡔꡞ čʽu
u
ži
ꡉ ꡎꡟꡋ ꡚꡞ ꡋꡦ tʽa bun ši nė ᠲᠠᠪᠤᠨ tabun ᡳᠴᡝ ᠰᡠᠨᠵᠠ ᡳᠨᡝᠩᡤᡳ ice
sunja
inenggi

ʃundʒa
inəŋgi


itʃə
ʃundʒa
inəŋgi


FIVE
DAY

ŋwə
njɨ̱
6th
chū
liù
ꡅꡟ ꡙꡦꡟ ꡔꡞ čʽu
lėu
ži
ꡆꡞꡘ ꡢꡡ ꡖꡋ ꡚꡞ ꡋꡦ ǰir qo ·an ši nė ᠵᠢᠷᠭᠤᠭᠠᠨ ǰirɣuɣan ᡳᠴᡝ ᠨᡳᠩᡤᡠᠨ ᡳᠨᡝᠩᡤᡳ ice
ninggun
inenggi

niŋgu
inəŋgi


itʃə
niŋgu
inəŋgi


SIX
DAY

tśhjiw
njɨ̱
7th
chū
ꡅꡟ ꡑꡞ ꡔꡞ čʽu
tsʽi
ži
ꡊꡡ ꡙꡡ ꡖꡋ ꡚꡞ ꡋꡦ do lo ·an ši nė ᠳᠣᠯᠣᠭᠠᠨ doloɣan ᡳᠴᡝ ᠨᠠᡩᠠᠨ ᡳᠨᡝᠩᡤᡳ ice
nadan
inenggi

nadan
inəŋgi


itʃə
nadan
inəŋgi


SEVEN
DAY

śjạ
njɨ̱
8th
chū
ꡅꡟ ꡎ ꡔꡞ čʽu
ba
ži
ꡋꡗꡞ ꡏꡋ ꡚꡞ ꡋꡦ nayi man ši nė ᠨᠠᠢᠮᠠᠨ naiman ᡳᠴᡝ ᠵᠠᡴᡡᠨ ᡳᠨᡝᠩᡤᡳ ice
jakūn
inenggi

dʒakun
inəŋgi


itʃə
dʒakun
inəŋgi


EIGHT
DAY

·jar
njɨ̱
9th
chū
jiǔ
ꡅꡟ ꡂꡞꡓ ꡔꡞ čʽu
giw
ži
ꡗꡞ ꡛꡟꡋ ꡚꡞ ꡋꡦ yi sun ši nė ᠶᠢᠰᠦᠨ yisün ᡳᠴᡝ ᡠᠶᡠᠨ ᡳᠨᡝᠩᡤᡳ ice
uyun
inenggi

ujewun
inəŋgi


itʃə
ujewun
inəŋgi


NINE
DAY

gjɨ̱
njɨ̱
10th
chū
shí
ꡅꡟ ꡚꡞ ꡔꡞ čʽu
ši
ži
ꡜꡘ ꡎꡋ ꡚꡞ ꡋꡦ har ban ši nė ᠠᠷᠪᠠᠨ arban ᡳᠴᡝ ᠵᡠᠸᠠᠨ ᡳᠨᡝᠩᡤᡳ ice
juwan
inenggi

dʒua
inəŋgi


itʃə
dʒua
inəŋgi


TEN
DAY

ɣạ
njɨ̱
11th
shí
ꡚꡞ ꡗꡞ ꡔꡞ ši
yi
ži
ꡜꡘ ꡎꡋ ꡋꡞ ꡁꡦꡋ har ban ni kʽėn ᠠᠷᠪᠠᠨ ᠨᠢᠭᠡᠨ arban nigen ᠵᡠᠸᠠᠨ ᡝᠮᡠ ᡳᠨᡝᠩᡤᡳ juwan
emu
inenggi

omʃo
inəŋgi


dʒua
əmu
inəŋgi




TEN
ONE
DAY


ɣạ
lew
njɨ̱
12th
shí
èr
ꡚꡞ ꡔꡞ ꡔꡞ ši
ži
ži
ꡜꡘ ꡎꡋ ꡢꡡ ꡗꡘ har ban qo yar ᠠᠷᠪᠠᠨ ᠬᠣᠶᠠᠷ arban qoyar ᠵᡠᠸᠠᠨ ᠵᡠᠸᡝ ᡳᠨᡝᠩᡤᡳ juwan
juwe
inenggi

dʒïrxon
inəŋgi


dʒua
dʒo
inəŋgi




TEN
TWO
DAY


ɣạ
njɨ̱
njɨ̱
13rd
shí
sān
ꡚꡞ ꡛꡏ ꡔꡞ ši
sam
ži
ꡜꡘ ꡎꡋ ꡢꡟꡘ ꡎꡋ har ban qur ban ᠠᠷᠪᠠᠨ ᠭᠤᠷᠪᠠᠨ arban ɣurban ᠵᡠᠸᠠᠨ ᡳᠯᠠᠨ ᡳᠨᡝᠩᡤᡳ juwan
ilan
inenggi

gorxon
inəŋgi


dʒua
ilan
inəŋgi




TEN
THREE
DAY


ɣạ
sọ
njɨ̱
14th
shí
ꡚꡞ ꡛꡜꡞ ꡔꡞ ši
shi
ži
ꡜꡘ ꡎꡋ ꡊꡦꡡꡘ ꡎꡦꡋ har ban dėor bėn ᠠᠷᠪᠠᠨ ᠳᠥᠷᠪᠡᠨ arban dörben ᠵᡠᠸᠠᠨ ᡩᡠᡳ᠌ᠨ ᡳᠨᡝᠩᡤᡳ juwan
duin
inenggi

durxon
inəŋgi


dʒua
duin
inəŋgi




TEN
FOUR
DAY


ɣạ
ljɨr
njɨ̱
15th
shí
ꡚꡞ ꡟ ꡔꡞ ši
u
ži
ꡜꡘ ꡎꡋ ꡉ ꡎꡟꡋ har ban tʽa bun ᠠᠷᠪᠠᠨ ᠲᠠᠪᠤᠨ arban tabun ᡨᠣᡶᠣᡥᠣᠨ ᡳᠨᡝᠩᡤᡳ tofohon
inenggi

toboxon
inəŋgi


dʒua
ʃundʒa
inəŋgi




TEN
FIVE
DAY


ɣạ
ŋwə
njɨ̱
16th
shí
liù
ꡚꡞ ꡙꡦꡟ ꡔꡞ ši
lėu
ži
ꡜꡘ ꡎꡋ ꡆꡞꡘ ꡢꡡ ꡖꡋ har ban ǰir qo ·an ᠠᠷᠪᠠᠨ ᠵᠢᠷᠭᠤᠭᠠᠨ arban ǰirɣuɣan ᠵᡠᠸᠠᠨ ᠨᡳᠩᡤᡠᠨ ᡳᠨᡝᠩᡤᡳ juwan
ninggun
inenggi

nixun
inəŋgi


dʒua
niŋgu
inəŋgi




TEN
SIX
DAY


ɣạ
tśhjiw
njɨ̱
17th
shí
ꡚꡞ ꡑꡞ ꡔꡞ ši
tsʽi
ži
ꡜꡘ ꡎꡋ ꡊꡡ ꡙꡡ ꡖꡋ har ban do lo ·an ᠠᠷᠪᠠᠨ ᠳᠣᠯᠣᠭᠠᠨ arban doloɣan ᠵᡠᠸᠠᠨ ᠨᠠᡩᠠᠨ ᡳᠨᡝᠩᡤᡳ juwan
nadan
inenggi

darxon
inəŋgi


dʒua
nadan
inəŋgi




TEN
SEVEN
DAY


ɣạ
śjạ
njɨ̱
18th
shí
ꡚꡞ ꡎ ꡔꡞ ši
ba
ži
ꡜꡘ ꡎꡋ ꡋꡗꡞ ꡏꡋ har ban nayi man ᠠᠷᠪᠠᠨ ᠨᠠᠢᠮᠠᠨ arban naiman ᠵᡠᠸᠠᠨ ᠵᠠᡴᡡᠨ ᡳᠨᡝᠩᡤᡳ juwan
jakūn
inenggi

niuxun
inəŋgi


dʒua
dʒakun
inəŋgi




TEN
EIGHT
DAY


ɣạ
·jar
njɨ̱
19th
shí
jiǔ
ꡚꡞ ꡂꡞꡓ ꡔꡞ ši
giw
ži
ꡜꡘ ꡎꡋ ꡗꡞ ꡛꡟꡋ har ban yi sun ᠠᠷᠪᠠᠨ ᠶᠢᠰᠦᠨ arban yisün ᠵᡠᠸᠠᠨ ᡠᠶᡠᠨ ᡳᠨᡝᠩᡤᡳ juwan
uyun
inenggi

onioxon
inəŋgi


dʒua
ujewun
inəŋgi




TEN
NINE
DAY


ɣạ
gjɨ̱
njɨ̱
20th
èr
shí
ꡔꡞ ꡚꡞ ꡔꡞ ži
ši
ži
ꡢꡡ ꡘꡞꡋ qo rin ᠬᠣᠷᠢᠨ qorin ᠣᡵᡳᠨ ᡳᠨᡝᠩᡤᡳ orin
inenggi

orin
inəŋgi


dʒo
dʒua
inəŋgi


TWENTY
DAY


njɨ̱
ɣạ
njɨ̱
21st 廿
niàn
ꡔꡞ ꡚꡞ ꡗꡞ ꡔꡞ ži
ši
yi
ži
ꡢꡡ ꡘꡞꡋ ꡋꡞ ꡁꡦꡋ qo rin ni kʽėn ᠬᠣᠷᠢᠨ ᠨᠢᠭᠡᠨ qorin nigen ᠣᡵᡳᠨ ᡝᠮᡠ ᡳᠨᡝᠩᡤᡳ orin
emu
inenggi


orin
əmu
inəŋgi



dʒo
dʒua
əmu
inəŋgi




TWENTY
ONE
DAY



njɨ̱
ɣạ
lew
njɨ̱
22nd 廿
niàn
èr
ꡔꡞ ꡚꡞ ꡔꡞ ꡔꡞ ži
ši
ži
ži
ꡢꡡ ꡘꡞꡋ ꡢꡡ ꡗꡘ qo rin qo yar ᠬᠣᠷᠢᠨ ᠬᠣᠶᠠᠷ qorin qoyar ᠣᡵᡳᠨ ᠵᡠᠸᡝ ᡳᠨᡝᠩᡤᡳ orin
juwe
inenggi


orin
dʒo
inəŋgi



dʒo
dʒua
dʒo
inəŋgi




TWENTY
TWO
DAY



njɨ̱
ɣạ
njɨ̱
njɨ̱
23rd 廿
niàn
sān
ꡔꡞ ꡚꡞ ꡛꡏ ꡔꡞ ži
ši
sam
ži
ꡢꡡ ꡘꡞꡋ ꡢꡟꡘ ꡎꡋ qo rin qur ban ᠬᠣᠷᠢᠨ ᠭᠤᠷᠪᠠᠨ qorin ɣurban ᠣᡵᡳᠨ ᡳᠯᠠᠨ ᡳᠨᡝᠩᡤᡳ orin
ilan
inenggi


orin
ilan
inəŋgi



dʒo
dʒua
ilan
inəŋgi




TWENTY
THREE
DAY



njɨ̱
ɣạ
sọ
njɨ̱
24th 廿
niàn
ꡔꡞ ꡚꡞ ꡛꡜꡞ ꡔꡞ ži
ši
shi
ži
ꡢꡡ ꡘꡞꡋ ꡊꡦꡡꡘ ꡎꡦꡋ qo rin dėor bėn ᠬᠣᠷᠢᠨ ᠳᠥᠷᠪᠡᠨ qorin dörben ᠣᡵᡳᠨ ᡩᡠᡳ᠌ᠨ ᡳᠨᡝᠩᡤᡳ orin
duin
inenggi


orin
duin
inəŋgi



dʒo
dʒua
duin
inəŋgi




TWENTY
FOUR
DAY



njɨ̱
ɣạ
ljɨr
njɨ̱
25th 廿
niàn
ꡔꡞ ꡚꡞ ꡟ ꡔꡞ ži
ši
u
ži
ꡢꡡ ꡘꡞꡋ ꡉ ꡎꡟꡋ qo rin tʽa bun ᠬᠣᠷᠢᠨ ᠲᠠᠪᠤᠨ qorin tabun ᠣᡵᡳᠨ ᠰᡠᠨᠵᠠ ᡳᠨᡝᠩᡤᡳ orin
sunja
inenggi


orin
ʃundʒa
inəŋgi



dʒo
dʒua
ʃundʒa
inəŋgi




TWENTY
FIVE
DAY



njɨ̱
ɣạ
ŋwə
njɨ̱
26th 廿
niàn
liù
ꡔꡞ ꡚꡞ ꡙꡦꡟ ꡔꡞ ži
ši
lėu
ži
ꡢꡡ ꡘꡞꡋ ꡆꡞꡘ ꡢꡡ ꡖꡋ qo rin ǰir qo ·an ᠬᠣᠷᠢᠨ ᠵᠢᠷᠭᠤᠭᠠᠨ qorin ǰirɣuɣan ᠣᡵᡳᠨ ᠨᡳᠩᡤᡠᠨ ᡳᠨᡝᠩᡤᡳ orin
ninggun
inenggi


orin
niŋgu
inəŋgi



dʒo
dʒua
niŋgu
inəŋgi




TWENTY
SIX
DAY



njɨ̱
ɣạ
tśhjiw
njɨ̱
27th 廿
niàn
ꡔꡞ ꡚꡞ ꡑꡞ ꡔꡞ ži
ši
tsʽi
ži
ꡢꡡ ꡘꡞꡋ ꡊꡡ ꡙꡡ ꡖꡋ qo rin do lo ·an ᠬᠣᠷᠢᠨ ᠳᠣᠯᠣᠭᠠᠨ qorin doloɣan ᠣᡵᡳᠨ ᠨᠠᡩᠠᠨ ᡳᠨᡝᠩᡤᡳ orin
nadan
inenggi


orin
nadan
inəŋgi



dʒo
dʒua
nadan
inəŋgi




TWENTY
SEVEN
DAY



njɨ̱
ɣạ
śjạ
njɨ̱
28th 廿
niàn
ꡔꡞ ꡚꡞ ꡎ ꡔꡞ ži
ši
ba
ži
ꡢꡡ ꡘꡞꡋ ꡋꡗꡞ ꡏꡋ qo rin nayi man ᠬᠣᠷᠢᠨ ᠨᠠᠢᠮᠠᠨ qorin naiman ᠣᡵᡳᠨ ᠵᠠᡴᡡᠨ ᡳᠨᡝᠩᡤᡳ orin
jakūn
inenggi


orin
dʒakun
inəŋgi



dʒo
dʒua
dʒakun
inəŋgi




TWENTY
EIGHT
DAY



njɨ̱
ɣạ
·jar
njɨ̱
29th 廿
niàn
jiǔ
ꡔꡞ ꡚꡞ ꡂꡞꡓ ꡔꡞ ži
ši
giw
ži
ꡢꡡ ꡘꡞꡋ ꡗꡞ ꡛꡟꡋ qo rin yi sun ᠬᠣᠷᠢᠨ ᠶᠢᠰᠦᠨ qorin yisün ᠣᡵᡳᠨ ᡠᠶᡠᠨ ᡳᠨᡝᠩᡤᡳ orin
uyun
inenggi


orin
ujewun
inəŋgi



dʒo
dʒua
ujewun
inəŋgi




TWENTY
NINE
DAY



njɨ̱
ɣạ
gjɨ̱
njɨ̱
30th
sān
shí
ꡛꡏ ꡚꡞ ꡔꡞ sam
ši
ži
ꡢꡟ ꡅꡞꡋ qu čʽin ᠭᠤᠴᠢᠨ ɣučin ᡤᡡᠰᡳᠨ ᡳᠨᡝᠩᡤᡳ gūsin
inenggi

guʃïn
inəŋgi


ilan
dʒua
inəŋgi


THIRTY
DAY


sọ
ɣạ
njɨ̱

Notes

  1. Manchu days may use ᡩᡝ de instead of inenggi.
  2. Middle Mongolian dates do not give the word "day" after the day number, but the 1st through 10th days are followed the word ši nė "new". In narrative contexts the last word of the date is in the dative, but is given in the nominative on my calendar pages.
  3. Jin dynasty Jurchen inscriptions use a mixture of the forms in the "Jin Dynasty" column and the "Ming Dynasty" column, but Ming dynasty Jurchen inscriptions and texts only use the forms in the "Ming Dynasty" column. Ming dynasty Jurchen texts also use the prefix itʃə "new", cognate to Manchu ice, for the 1st to 10th days, but this prefix is not used in any extant Jin dynasty Jurchen inscriptions.
  4. The Khitan Small Script numbers one through nine occur in dotted and undotted forms, but only the undotted forms occur before the word "day".

Solar Terms

The Chinese solar year is divided into 24 equal periods marked by points 15° apart on the ecliptic, known as solar terms 節氣. Twelve of the solar terms, at 30° intervals, are nodes (jiēqì 節氣), and each of these nodes mark the start of a new solar month (see "Cyclical Month" below). The other twelve solar terms are midpoints (zhōngqì 中氣), and these are used in the calculation of intercalary months. Each solar term falls on approximately the same day each year according to the Gregorian calendar.

For the Old Mandarin and Manchu calendar pages the solar term will be displayed in the second column from the left if the selected day falls on a solar term. Solar terms are not displayed in the Jurchen, Khitan, Mongolian and Tangut calendar pages as I do not know what the solar terms are called in these languages.


Table 4: 24 Solar Terms

Ecliptic
Longitude
Type Date Range* Solar Term
Chinese Old Mandarin Manchu
Characters Pinyin English Name Phags-pa Transliteration Manchu Transliteration
315° node February 3rd – 5th 立春 lìchūn Start of Spring ꡙꡞ ꡅꡦꡟꡋ li čʽėun ᠨᡳᠶᡝᠩᠨᡳᠶᡝᡵᡳ ᡩᠣᠰᡳᠮᠪᡳ niyengniyeri dosimbi
330° midpoint February 18th – 20th 雨水 yǔshuǐ Rain Water ꡝꡦꡟ ꡚꡟꡠ ʼėu šue ᠠᡤᠠ ᠮᡠᡴᡝ aga muke
345° node March 4th – 7th 驚蟄 jīngzhé Awakening of Insects ꡂꡞꡃ ꡄꡞ giŋ či ᠪᡠᡨᡠᠨ ᠠᡧᡧᠠᠮᠪᡳ butun aššambi
midpoint March 19th – 22nd 春分 chūnfēn Vernal Equinox ꡅꡦꡟꡋ ꡤꡟꡋ čʽėun fun ᠨᡳᠶᡝᠩᠨᡳᠶᡝᡵᡳ ᡩᡠᠯᡳᠨ niyengniyeri dulin
15° node April 4th – 6th 清明 qīngmíng Clear and Bright ꡑꡞꡃ ꡏꡞꡃ tsʽiŋ miŋ ᡥᠠᠩᠰᡳ hangsi
30° midpoint April 19th – 21st 穀雨 gǔyǔ Grain Rain ꡂꡟ ꡝꡦꡟ gu ʼėu ᠵᡝᡴᡠ ᠠᡤᠠ jeku aga
45° node May 4th – 7th 立夏 lìxià Start of Summer ꡙꡞ ꡜꡨ li hya ᠵᡠᠸᠠᡵᡳ ᡩᠣᠰᡳᠮᠪᡳ juwari dosimbi
60° midpoint May 20th – 22nd 小滿 xiǎomǎn Grain Full ꡛꡦꡓ ꡏꡡꡋ sėw mon ᠠᠵᡳᡤᡝ ᠵᠠᠯᡠᡴᠠ ajige jaluka
75° node June 4th – 7th 芒種 mángzhòng Grain in Ear ꡏꡃ ꡆꡟꡃ maŋ juŋ ᠮᠠᡳ᠌ᠰᡝ ᡠᡵᡝᠮᠪᡳ maise urembi
90° midpoint June 20th – 22nd 夏至 xiàzhì Summer Solstice ꡜꡨ ꡆꡞ hya ji ᠵᡠᠸᠠᡵᡳ ᡨᡝᠨ juwari ten
105° node July 6th – 8th 小暑 xiǎoshǔ Minor Heat ꡛꡦꡓ ꡚꡦꡟ sėw šėu ᠠᠵᡳᡤᡝ ᡥᠠᠯᡥᡡᠨ ajige halhūn
120° midpoint July 22nd – 24th 大暑 dàshǔ Major Heat ꡈꡗ ꡚꡦꡟ tay šėu ᠠᠮᠪᠠ ᡥᠠᠯᡥᡡᠨ amba halhūn
135° node August 6th – 9th 立秋 lìqiū Start of Autumn ꡙꡞ ꡑꡞꡓ li tsʽiw ᠪᠣᠯᠣᡵᡳ ᡩᠣᠰᡳᠮᠪᡳ bolori dosimbi
150° midpoint August 22nd –24th 處暑 chǔshǔ Limit of Heat ꡅꡦꡟ ꡚꡦꡟ čʽėu šėu ᡥᠠᠯᡥᡡᠨ ᠪᡝᡩᡝᡵᡝᠮᠪᡳ halhūn bederembi
165° node September 6th – 9th 白露 báilù White Dew ꡌꡗ ꡙꡟ pay lu ᡧᠠᠨᠶᠠᠨ ᠰᡳᠯᡝᠩᡤᡳ šanyan silenggi
180° midpoint September 22nd – 24th 秋分 qiūfēn Autumnal Equinox ꡑꡞꡓ ꡤꡟꡋ tsʽiw fun ᠪᠣᠯᠣᡵᡳ ᡩᡠᠯᡳᠨ bolori dulin
195° node October 7th – 9th 寒露 hánlù Cold Dew ꡣꡋ ꡙꡟ xan lu ᡧᠠᡥᡡᡵᡠᠨ ᠰᡳᠯᡝᠩᡤᡳ šahūrun silenggi
210° midpoint October 22nd – 24th 霜降 shuāngjiàng Frost Descent ꡚꡜꡃ ꡂꡨꡃ šhaŋ gyaŋ ᡤᡝᠴᡝᠨ ᡤᡝᠴᡝᠮᠪᡳ gecen gecembi
225° node November 6th – 8th 立冬 lìdōng Start of Winter ꡙꡞ ꡊꡟꡃ li duŋ ᡨᡠᠸᡝᡵᡳ ᡩᠣᠰᡳᠮᠪᡳ tuweri dosimbi
240° midpoint November 21st – 23rd 小雪 xiǎoxuě Minor Snow ꡛꡦꡓ ꡛꡧꡦ sėw swė ᠠᠵᡳᡤᡝ ᠨᡳᠮᠠᠩᡤᡳ ajige nimanggi
255° node December 6th – 8th 大雪 dàxuě Major Snow ꡈꡗ ꡛꡧꡦ tay swė ᠠᠮᠪᠠ ᠨᡳᠮᠠᠩᡤᡳ amba nimanggi
270° midpoint December 21st – 23rd 冬至 dōngzhì Winter Solstice ꡊꡟꡃ ꡆꡞ duŋ  ji ᡨᡠᠸᡝᡵᡳ ᡨᡝᠨ tuweri ten
285° node January 4th – 7th 小寒 xiǎohán Minor Cold ꡛꡦꡓ ꡣꡋ sėw  xan ᠠᠵᡳᡤᡝ ᡧᠠᡥᡡᡵᡠᠨ ajige šahūrun
300° midpoint January 19th – 21st 大寒 dàhán Major Cold ꡈꡗ ꡣꡋ tay xan ᠠᠮᠪᠠ ᡧᠠᡥᡡᡵᡠᠨ amba šahūrun

* These are the ranges of possible dates in the Gregorian calendar that the solar terms fall on during the 200 period from 1901 to 2100 that is covered by my javascript calendar.


Cyclical Year

The cyclical year is named according to the sexagenary cycle of 10 heavenly stems (天干) and 12 earthly branches (地支), and repeats every sixty years.


Table 5: The Sexagenary Cycle

 
jiǎ bǐng dīng gēng xīn rén guǐ
wood fire earth gold water
green red yellow white black
rat 1   13   25   37   49  
chǒu ox   2   14   26   38   50
yín tiger 51   3   15   27   39  
mǎo rabbit   52   4   16   28   40
chén dragon 41   53   5   17   29  
snake   42   54   6   18   30
horse 31   43   55   7   19  
wèi goat   32   44   56   8   20
shēn monkey 21   33   45   57   9  
yǒu rooster   22   34   46   58   10
dog 11   23   35   47   59  
hài pig   12   24   36   48   60

The ten heavenly stems can be divided into five pairs, with each pair corresponding to one of the five elements (五行) and five colours. The Manchu, Jurchen and Khitan sexagenary cycles use the five colours instead of the ten heavenly stems for the first cyclic element, and in the case of Manchu, each colour is subdivided into two shades, each corresponding to one heavenly stem. The Tangut sexagenary cycle has ten terms corresponding to the ten heavenly stems of the Chinese tradition, but these terms are not translations or transliterations of the Chinese terms, but are semantically more closely related to the five elements. The terms corresponding to the 10 heavenly elements used in the various languages are shown in Table 6.

The 12 earthly branches correspond to twelve zodiacal animals, and the Manchu, Jurchen, Mongolian, Khitan and Tangut sexagenary cycles use the names of the zodiacal animals instead of the earthly branches used in the Chinese tradition. The terms corresponding to the 12 earthly branches used in the various languages are shown in Table 7.


Table 6: The 10 Heavenly Stems and 5 Elements

No. Heavenly Stems Colours Elements
Chinese Old Mandarin Middle Mongolian Classical Mongolian Manchu Jurchen Large
Khitan
Small
Khitan
Tangut Old Mandarin Chinese English
1 jiǎ ꡂꡨ gya ga ᠭᠠ ga ᠨᡳᠣᠸᠠᠩᡤᡳᠶᠠᠨ niowanggiyan green
non.giɛn blue/green s.iau.qu blue/green nẹj seedling ꡏꡟ mu wood
2 ꡖꡞ ·i ꡗꡞ yi ᠶᠢ yi ᠨᡳᠣᡥᠣᠨ niohon greenish ljịj seedling
3 bǐng ꡎꡞꡃ biŋ ꡎꡞꡃ biŋ ᠪᠢᠩ bing ᡶᡠᠯᡤᡳᠶᠠᠨ fulgiyan red
fula.giɛn red l.iau.qu red bji (fire-related) ꡜꡧꡡ hwo huǒ fire
4 dīng ꡊꡞꡃ diŋ ꡊꡞꡃ diŋ ᠳᠢᠩ ding ᡶᡠᠯᠠᡥᡡᠨ fulahūn redish we (fire-related)
5 ꡏꡟꡓ muw u u ᠰᡠᠸᠠᠶᠠᠨ suwayan yellow
so.giɛn yellow   yellow/gold we black ꡉꡟ tʽu earth
6 ꡂꡞ gi ꡂꡞ gi ᠭᠢ gi ᠰᠣᡥᠣᠨ sohon yellowish tshjị earth
7 gēng ꡂꡦꡞꡃ gėiŋ ꡂꡞꡃ giŋ ᠭᠢᠩ ging ᡧᠠᠨᠶᠠᠨ šanyan white
ʃaŋ.giɛn white   white lhej to transform ꡂꡞꡏ gim jīn metal/gold
8 xīn ꡛꡞꡋ sin ꡛꡞꡋ sin ᠰᠢᠨ sin ᡧᠠᡥᡡᠨ šahūn whitish khie̱j result
9 rén ꡔꡞꡏ žim ꡚꡞꡏ šim ᠱᠢᠮ šim ᠰᠠᡥᠠᠯᡳᠶᠠᠨ sahaliyan black
saxa.lia black yô.ú black nej (water-related) ꡚꡟꡠ šue shuǐ water
10 guǐ ꡂꡦꡟꡠ gėue ꡂꡦꡟꡠ gėue ᠭᠦᠢ güi ᠰᠠᡥᠠᡥᡡᠨ sahahūn blackish du̱ to store

Notes

  1. The exact meaning of the secondary manchu colours is not certain. Sometimes they are translated as "light green", "light red", "light yellow", "light white" and "light black".
  2. The Small Khitan words for "gold" and "white" occur in undotted and dotted forms. The undotted forms of "gold" and "white" are most common preceding the name of a zodiacal animal, although dotted forms are occasionally attested before the name of a zodiacal animal, but usage is not consistent in the extant inscriptions. The Small Khitan words for "green", "red" and "black" each occur in two spellings, with different final phonograms. However, there is no consistency in extant inscriptions about when to use which spelling (different spellings of the same colour word may be used before the same zodiacal animal in different inscriptions), and so in my Small Khitan calendar the same colour term is used before all zodiacal animals. The various attested terms for the five colours that occur before names of the zodiacal animals in fifteen Khitan Small Script epitaphs are listed in Table 8.
  3. Although modern Mongolian cyclical terms use the five colours, Classical Mongolian texts generally use transcriptions of the Chinese names for the ten heavenly stems. Cyclical year dates in extant Mongolian Phags-pa inscriptions and manuscripts only give the zodiacal animal, and don't use a stem or colour in naming years, so the Phags-pa spellings for Middle Mongolian in this table are reconstructed from the Classical Mongolian spellings of the ten heavenly stems given in Grøbech and Krueger, An Introduction to Classical (Literary) Mongolian (Otto Harrassowitz, 1976).

Table 7: The 12 Earthly Branches and 12 Animals

No. Earthly Branches Zodiacal Animals
Chinese Old Mandarin Middle Mongolian Classical Mongolian Manchu Jurchen Large
Khitan
Small
Khitan
Tangut Old Mandarin Chinese English
1 ꡒꡜꡞ dzhi ꡢꡟ ꡙꡟ ꡢ ꡋ qu lu qa na ᠬᠤᠯᠤᠭᠠᠨ᠎ᠠ quluɣana ᠰᡳᠩᡤᡝᡵᡳ singgeri
ʃïn.gə ?.hu xjwi ꡚꡦꡟ šėu shǔ rat, mouse
2 chǒu ꡅꡞꡓ čʽiw ꡖꡦꡟ ꡁꡦꡘ ʼėu kʽėr ᠦᠬᠡᠷ üker ᡳᡥᠠᠨ ihan
weixa.an uni mju̱ ꡃꡞꡓ ŋiw niú ox
3 yín ꡗꡞꡋ yin ꡎꡘꡛ bars ᠪᠠᠷᠰ bars ᡨᠠᠰᡥᠠ tasha tasxa qa.ha.as le ꡜꡟ hu tiger
4 mǎo ꡏꡓ maw ꡉꡓ ꡙꡗꡞ taw layi ᠲᠠᠤᠯᠠᠢ taulai ᡤᡡᠯᠮᠠᡥᡡᠨ gūlmahūn gulma
tau.lí.a tser ꡉꡟ tʽu rabbit, hare
5 chén ꡚꡞꡋ šin ꡙꡟ lu ᠯᠤᠤ luu ᠮᡠᡩᡠᡵᡳ muduri
mudu.r lu we ꡙꡦꡟꡃ lėuŋ lóng dragon
6 ꡕꡜꡞ zhi ꡏꡡ ꡢꡡꡗꡞ mo qoyi ᠮᠣᠭᠠᠢ moɣai ᠮᡝᡳᡥᡝ meihe
mei.xə
mu.ho.o phio ꡚꡠ še shé snake
7 u ꡏꡡ ꡘꡞꡋ mo rin ᠮᠣᠷᠢᠨ morin ᠮᠣᡵᡳᠨ morin
mori.in mo.ri gjij ma horse
8 wèi ꡓꡞ wi ꡢꡡ ꡋꡞꡋ qo nin ᠬᠣᠨᠢᠨ qonin ᡥᠣᠨᡳᠨ honin xoni iam.a mjo ꡗꡃ yaŋ yáng goat, sheep
9 shēn ꡚꡞꡋ šin ꡎꡦ ꡅꡞꡋ bė čʽin ᠪᠡᠴᠢᠨ bečin ᠪᠣᠨᡳᠣ bonio
mo.non
p.o.o wjị ꡣꡞꡓ xiw hóu monkey
10 yǒu ꡗꡞꡓ yiw ꡉ ꡁꡞ ꡗ tʽa kʽi ya ᠲᠠᠬᠢᠶ᠎ᠠ takiya ᠴᠣᡴᠣ coko tixo te.qo.a dźjwow ꡂꡦꡞ gėi rooster, hen
11 ꡛꡦꡟ sėu ꡋꡡ ꡢꡡꡗꡞ no qoyi ᠨᠣᠬᠠᠢ noqai ᡳᠨᡩᠠᡥᡡᠨ indahūn
inda.xoŋ ńi.qo na ꡂꡜꡞꡓ ghiw gǒu dog
12 hài ꡣꡗ xay ꡢ ꡢꡗꡞ qa qayi ᠭᠠᠬᠠᠢ ɣaqai ᡠᠯᡤᡳᠶᠠᠨ ulgiyan ulja ui gju ꡆꡦꡟ ǰėu zhū pig

Notes

  1. The Khitan large script words for rabbit, snake and monkey may also be written with the two characters ligated together vertically to fit a single character space.
  2. The Mongolian Phags-pa spellings for "goat" and "pig" are not attested, and have been reconstructed from Classical Mongolian. The Mongolian Phags-pa word for "ox" is only attested once, where it is spelled ꡜꡦꡟ ꡁꡦꡘ hėu kʽėr; but hėu is not used in Mongolian Phags-pa orthography, and is probably a mistake for ʼėu (Junast takes it as a mistake for hu, which seems less plausible to me).

Table 8: Attested Khitan Small Script Colour Names

Zodiacal Animal
jiǎ bǐng dīng gēng xīn rén guǐ
wood fire earth gold water
green red yellow white black
rat   ?        
chǒu ox     ?     ?   ?
yín tiger      
  ?  
mǎo rabbit     ?     ?   ?
chén dragon ?          
snake   ?   ?   ?     ?
horse      
  ?  
wèi goat  
  ?     ?   ?
shēn monkey ?     ?   ?  
 
yǒu rooster          
dog
 
  ?   ?    
hài pig   ?       ?   ?

Cyclical Month

The cyclical month is named according to the sexagenary cycle of 10 heavenly stems (天干) and 12 earthly branches (地支), and repeats every sixty months. There are two different and incompatible systems for determining the cyclical month, although in both systems a year is spanned by twelve cyclical months which overlap to a certain extent. In one system (not used in my javascript calendar) a cyclical name is assigned to each lunar month (an intercalary lunar month has the same cyclical name as the preceding lunar month, so there are only twelve cyclical months in a year), whereas in the other system (which is used in my javascript calendar) the cyclical months do not coincide with lunar months, but correspond to the length of time covered by two consecutive solar terms (i.e. twelve solar months). A new solar month commences at the time that a transition to one of the solar periods at 30° intervals on the ecliptic occurs (i.e. on transition to chūnfēn, gǔyǔ, etc.), and lasts the length of that jiēqì and the following zhōngqì (e.g. the period of chūnfēn and qīngmíng corresponds to one solar month). As the transition to the new solar period occurs sometime after the start of the day of the solar term, the day of the solar term is included in the previous month in the calendar, and the first day of the solar month according to the calendar is the day after the solar term (even though technically the month started sometime during the previous day).


Cyclical Day

The cyclical day is named according to the sexagenary cycle of 10 heavenly stems (天干) and 12 earthly branches (地支), and repeats every sixty days.


Cyclical Hour

The calendrical "hour" actually lasts two hours, with each day and night divided into twelve equal-lengthed "hours". The cyclical hours are named according to the sexagenary cycle of 10 heavenly stems (天干) and 12 earthly branches (地支), and repeats every sixty hours (i.e. every five days). Within each day, the same zodiacal animal corresponds to the same "hour".


Table 9: The Twelve Hours

Time Branch Animal
23:00 – 01:00 hour of the rat
01:00 – 03:00 chǒu hour of the ox
03:00 – 05:00 yín hour of the tiger
05:00 – 07:00 mǎo hour of the rabbit
07:00 – 09:00 chén hour of the dragon
09:00 – 11:00 hour of the snake
11:00 – 13:00 hour of the horse
13:00 – 15:00 wèi hour of the goat
15:00 – 17:00 shēn hour of the monkey
17:00 – 19:00 yǒu hour of the rooster
19:00 – 21:00 hour of the dog
21:00 – 23:00 hài hour of the pig