This year’s Lantern Festival is 11 days earlier than last year. Why?
The Lantern Festival is coming, the first full moon of the Lunar New Year.Some members of the public have found the Lantern Festival “mischievous” because last year it fell on Feb. 26, this year on Feb. 15 and next year on Feb. 5, meaning this year’s festival is 11 days earlier than last year’s and next year’s is 10 days earlier.Tourists and villagers play Lantern Festival in Wangmantian village of Shitou County, Huangshan City, Anhui Province, Feb 26, 2021, the 15th day of the first lunar month.Xinhua News Agency reporter Han Xu photo is the same Lantern Festival, why the Gregorian calendar date earlier and later?Zhao Zhiheng, a member of the Chinese Astronomical Society and an expert on astronomy science in Tianjin, explained that the calendar used in ancient China is called the lunar calendar, which is a lunisolar calendar based on the phases of the moon and the annual apparent movement of the sun.According to the Chinese lunar calendar, the major month has 30 days and the minor month 29 days. The total 12 lunar months are 354 days or 355 days.In the Gregorian calendar, the earth makes one revolution around the sun in a tropical year, with 365 days in a normal year and 366 in leap years.The difference is about 11 days.To make up for the difference in days from the tropical year without causing a serious disconnect between the months and the seasons, the adjustment is to have two of the same 13 months in some years, called a “leap”.The “leap” rule is based on 24 solar terms.People take part in lantern riddles guessing at the Lantern Festival, the 15th day of the first lunar month, in Tangshan Harbor Economic Development Zone, North China’s Hebei Province, Feb. 26, 2021.Xinhua News Agency (Photo by Li Lei) Due to the clever arrangement of “leap” in China’s calendar, the date of the Lantern Festival corresponds to the Gregorian calendar every year, always about 11 days in advance, or about 19 days later.This also causes the Lantern Festival to be celebrated in February of the Gregorian calendar in some years, such as 2016 and 2025.The Lantern Festival is celebrated in March in some years, such as 2018 and 2037.Reporters through the astronomical calendar found that in the 21st century this 100 years, the earliest Lantern Festival is on February 4, such as 2061;The latest Lantern Festival falls on March 5 of the Gregorian calendar, as in 2015.As the last climax of the Spring Festival, the Lantern Festival is also known as The Lantern Festival, Yuan Evening, Yuan Night or Lantern Festival. It emphasizes the joy of all people, and people enjoy the full moon together, watch lanterns, guess lantern riddles and set off firecrackers. It shows a custom picture of “fire trees and silver flowers that stay up all night”.Tourists view lanterns at the Confucius Temple scenic spot in Nanjing, capital of East China’s Jiangsu Province, on Feb. 26, 2021, the Lantern Festival, the 15th day of the first lunar month.In recent years, as we strengthen our cultural confidence, more and more Chinese people, especially young people, have begun to pay attention to and understand their traditional festivals and culture, and integrate them with modern expressions of emotion such as romance, gratitude and love, said Zhao Zhiheng, Xinhua News Agency reporter li Bo.