Why doesn’t Chinese New Year fall on New Year’s Day?


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Why doesn't Chinese New Year fall on New Year's Day?

Why doesn’t Chinese New Year fall on New Year’s Day?

In 2014, the Chinese New Year falls on Jan. 31, a full month after the western calendar celebrated New Year’s Day on Jan. 1.

Not only do the New Year celebrations not match up this year, they never will: Chinese custom dictates that the winter solstice falls in the 11th month, so the lunar new year begins on the second new moon after that, falling between Jan. 21 and Feb. 20.

But the calendar mismatch goes deeper than that. It’s all about astronomy.


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