Chinese calendar not easy to date

Feb. 18, 2003

QUESTION: The Chinese year 4701 began this month. When did the Chinese calendar begin, and what's its significance?

ANSWER: The Chinese year 4701, the year of the sheep or goat, began Feb. 1. Working out the arithmetic, we find that 4,701 years ago, on our calendar, was 2698 B.C., or maybe 2697, depending on just when the new year was observed. According to tradition, this was the date when the legendary hero Huangdi mounted the throne.

Another system of counting, though, began in 2637 B.C., when Huangdi is said to have invented the calendar (or ordered his brilliant minister Danao to devise it), after reigning more than 60 years.

Many modern scholars believe Huangdi and his achievements are mostly mythical.

Hard archaeological evidence for the Chinese calendar goes back to the Shang Dynasty, which ruled from about 1800 to 1100 B.C.

It was only later, about the time of Christ, that scholars trying to reconstruct China's earliest history pegged their chronologies on either the accession of Huangdi or his command to create a calendar.

For more information, visit /aslaksen, or /calendars/.

- Dan Kincaid/
The Arizona Republic

Crazy Atheist Libertarian
Crazy Atheist
Government Crimes
Government News
Religious Crimes
Religious News
Useless News!
Legal Library
Libertarians Talk
War Talk
Arizona Secular Humanists
Putz Cooks the ASH Book's
Cool Photos & Gif's
More cool Gif & JPEG images
How to underline in yellow
Google News
New Krap
News New
Az Atheists United
HASHISH - Arizona
"David Dorn"    -    Hate Monger
"David Dorn" Government Snitch?
Dorn Agency
Dorn Agency
Dorn Insurance
Dorn Insurance
Vin Suprynowicz