From Round to Square (and back)

For The Emperor's Teacher, scroll down (↓) to "Topics." It's the management book that will rock the world (and break the vase, as you will see). Click or paste the following link for a recent profile of the project: http://magazine.beloit.edu/?story_id=240813&issue_id=240610

A new post appears every day at 12:05* (CDT). There's more, though. Take a look at the right-hand side of the page for over four years of material (2,000 posts and growing) from Seinfeld and country music to every single day of the Chinese lunar calendar...translated. Look here ↓ and explore a little. It will take you all the way down the page...from round to square (and back again).
*Occasionally I will leave a long post up for thirty-six hours, and post a shorter entry at noon the next day.

Friday, January 17, 2020

China's Lunar Calendar 2020 01-18

Click here for the introduction to the Round and Square series "Calendars and Almanacs" 
⇦⇦⇦⇦⇦ From right to left: ⇦⇦⇦⇦
1/24..............................................................................................................1/17
This is one in a never-ending series—following the movements of the calendar—in Round and Square perpetuity. It is today's date in the Chinese lunar-solar (or "luni-solar" calendar; I call it the "lunar" calendar in order to distinguish it from the kinds of calendars most Westerners use. It has a basic translation and minimal interpretation. Unless you have been studying calendars (and Chinese culture) for many years, you will likely find yourself asking "what does that mean?" I would caution that "it" doesn't "mean" any one thing. There are clusters of meaning, and they require patience, reflection, careful reading, and, well, a little bit of ethnographic fieldwork. The best place to start is the introduction to "Calendars and Almanacs" on this blog. I teach a semester-long course on this topic and, trust me, it takes a little bit of time to get used to the lunar calendar. Some of the material is readily accessible; some of it is impenetrable, even after many years.

As time goes on, I will link all of the sections to lengthy background essays. This will take a while. In the meantime, take a look, read the introduction, and think about all of the questions that emerge from even a quick look at the calendar. You will likely find that several of the translations seem quite "fanciful" in English. I am simply trying to convey that they also sound fairly fanciful in Chinese.

Section One
Solar Calendar Date


六期星
First Month, Eighteenth Day 
Saturday, January 18
————

Section Two
Beneficent Stars 
(top to bottom, right to left)
鳴除月天
吠神德德
Heavenly Exemplarity
Lunar Exemplarity
Exorcising Spirits
Chirp and Bark
————

Section Three
Auspicious Hours
(top to bottom, right to left
申辰
吉吉
酉巳丑

戌午寅

亥未卯
23:00-01:00 Inauspicious
01:00-03:00 Auspicious
03:00-05:00 Inauspicious
05:00-07:00 In-Between

07:00-09:00 Auspicious
9:00-11:00 Inauspicious
11:00-13:00 Auspicious
13:00-15:00 Inauspicious

15:00-17:00 Auspicious
17:00-19:00 In-Between
19:00-21:00 Inauspicious
21:00-23:00 In-Between
 ————

Section Four 
Activities to Avoid  
(top-to-bottom; right to left) 

取田安結
魚獵牀網
Binding Nets
Positioning Beds
Field Venery (Hunting)
Garnering Piscinity (Fishing)
 
Section Five 
Cosmological Information
廿





Twenty-Fourth Day (Twelfth Lunar Month)
Cyclical day: gengshen (57/60)
Phase (element): Wood
"Constellation Personality" Cycle: Foundation (3/28)
"Day Personality" Cycle: Danger (8/12)
————

Section Six
Appropriate Activities
and Miscellaneous Information  
(top-to-bottom; right to left)

上開裁祭
梁市衣祀
醞交移祈
釀易徙福 
作修理會
灶造髮友
安動掃出
髒土舎行
將陽
游刀八五
禍砧專離
————
Appropriate Activities
Venerating Ancestors
Inquiring-into Fortune
Meeting Friends
Going Out (and about)
Cutting-out Clothing (Sewing and Tailoring)
Moving Residences
Patterning Hair (Haircuts and Styling)
Sweeping Rooms
Opening Markets
Trade and Commerce
Repairing and Constructing
Moving Soil
Raising Beams
Fermenting Beverages
Stove Work
Positioning Graves

Yang General

Baleful Astral Influences
Five Separations
Eight Specialties
Sword Anvil
Natatorial Disaster

Section Seven
Inauspicious Stars
(the Chinese should be read right to left, 
but the English translation is underneath each character)
白 火
White, Fire
 ————

Section Eight
Miscellaneous Items 
(the Chinese should be read top-to-bottom, and right-to-left;
the English translation for is under the bottom characters)
爐 磨 碓
Furnace, Mortar, Pestle