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Reply-To: H-Net list for Asian History and Culture <H-ASIA@H-NET.MSU.EDU>
Sender: H-Net list for Asian History and Culture <H-ASIA@H-NET.MSU.EDU>
; From: "Marilyn Levine, Lewis-Clark State College" <mlevine@lcsc.edu>
Subject: H-Asia: Lunar New Year

Lunar New Year

A dialog on H-Asia list
February-March 1999

Date: Thu, 11 Feb 1999 20:44:49 -0800
From: Wing-kai To <wto@bridgew.edu>

I would appreciate if anyone can inform me about what countries celebrate or observe the Lunar New Year cycle in the past or present. Are there any readings that compare the New Year customs among Asian countries? Thanks in advance.

Wing-kai To
Bridgewater State College

Date: Thu, 25 Feb 1999 18:08:38 -0500
From: Ebowditch@aol.com

It was recently reported in the "LA Times" that for Vietnamese 1999 is the "Year of the Cat" (or Tiger) while the Chinese are ushering in the "Year of the Rabbit." Since the Vietnamese adopted the Chinese lunar calendar which divides time into 12 year cycles I'm curious about what appears to be a one year discrepancy.

Elizabeth Bowditch

Date: Sat, 27 Feb 1999 16:13:23 -0500
From: TT Nguyen <nguyen2@watserv1.uwaterloo.ca>

I don't think that there is a one-year discrepancy.

Vietnamese Chinese
Year of the Tiger Year of the Tiger
Year of the Cat Year of the Rabbit

The source of confusion comes the phrase
> "Year of the Cat" (or Tiger)

The phrase "(or Tiger)" shouldn't be there.

P.S. Are there rabbits in China? Are they originally there or introduced by Westerners? Must be. Otherwise we won't say the Year of the Rabbit.

Trien Nguyen
Department of Economics, University of Waterloo
Waterloo, Ontario N2L 3G1, Canada

Date: Sat, 27 Feb 1999 16:14:20 -0500
From: "[ISO-8859-1] Holger K=FChnle" <HOLGER@gw.sino.uni-heidelberg.de>

As I didn't see any reply on Elizabeth Bodwitch's question up to now I feel moved to reply although I can't give any details. . .

In some variants of the Chinese lunar calendar/zodiac is the rabbit replaced by a cat. I can't say why, I just know this pure fact. And another one: It's a CAT, NOT a tiger!

So the sequenz of the years within that zodiac remains unchanged, also in Vietnam they will have a year of the tiger (the last one was in 1998 in Vietnam as well as in China). The only difference is that they call this year year of the cat and not year of the rabbit

Holger Kuehnle
University of Heidelberg

Date: Sun, 28 Feb 1999 21:10:30 -0600
From: "L. A. Nadybal" <lnadybal@bhutan.org>

Where other than Tibet and Bhutan are lunar new years called by combinations of animals and physical characters, i.e, the

iron dragon year (2000)
wood hog year (1995)
iron horse year (1990)?

Anyone have a calendar or a formula which shows or from which can be calculated on what dates in the Gregorian calendars these years start?


Len Nadybal
Washington DC

Date: Fri, 5 Mar 1999 06:58:33 -0500
From: LEE JOHN # HISTORY <John.Lee@StMarys.ca>

The Chinese scheme, used in all of East Asian countries is as follows:

jia, yi: blue (wood)
bing, ding: red (fire)
wu, ji: yellow (earth)
geng, xin: white (metal)
ren, gui: black (water)

This year is jimao, hence the year of the yellow (or earthen) rabbit (or hare). Next year will be gengchen, hence the year of the white (or metal) dragon.

John Lee
Department of History
St. Mary's University
Halifax, NS Canada

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