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:

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, May 31, 2013

China's Lunar Calendar 2013 05-31

Click here for the introduction to the Round and Square series "Calendars and Almanacs"  
⇦⇦⇦⇦⇦ From right to left: ⇦⇦⇦⇦⇦
LEFT June 7.....................................................................................................May 31 RIGHT

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 calendar, along with basic translation and minimal interpretation. Unless you have been studying lunar 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.
Section One
Solar Calendar Date
(top to bottom; right to left)  

Fifth month, thirty-first day
Astral Period Five
Friday, May 31
Section Two
Beneficent Stars 
(top to bottom, right to left)
Generational Branch
Three Linkages 
Ten Spirits
Not General
Section Three
Auspicious Hours
(top to bottom, right to left
23:00-01:00 In-Between
01:00-03:00 Auspicious
03:00-05:00 In-Between
05:00-07:00 Inauspicious

07:00-09:00 In-Between
09:00-11:00 In-Between
11:00-13:00 Auspicious
13:00-15:00 Auspicious

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

The hours above are for Hong Kong. It is up to you if you want to recalibrate or to assume that the cyclicality of the calendar "covers" the rest of the world. This is a greater interpretive challenge than you might think.
Section Four
Activities to Avoid 
(top-to-bottom; right to left) 
Patterning Hair
Trimming Nails
Repairs and Installation
Housing Additions
 Section Five 
Cosmological Information 

Twenty-second Day (fourth lunar month)
Cyclical day: dingyou (34/60)
Phase (element): Fire
Constellation: Mound (16/28)
"Day Personality" Cycle: Decide (5/12)
Section Six
Appropriate Activities 
(and Miscellaneous Information)
(top-to-bottom; right to left)

Appropriate Activities
Going Out (and about)
Taking-up Office
Marriage Engagements
Grain Payments
Marriage Alliances
Putting-together Clothing
Moving Residences
Opening Markets
Trade and Commerce
Repairs and Building
Moving Soil 
Erecting Beams
Repairing Granaries
Livestock Payments
Putting-together Clothing
Positioning Graves

Autumn Wheat Arrives*
(the twenty-fourth of seventy-two five-day micro-periods in the solar calendar)
*This curious phrasing is different from the standard listing for #24: (小暑至). 
A good explanation can be found here.

Miscellaneous Information  
Five Separations
Death Vapor
Vermilion Bird
Upper Amputee
Section Seven
Inauspicious Stars
(right to left)
人 林
Person, Thicket
Section Eight 
Miscellaneous Activities
(Top to bottom; right to left) 
庫 倉 門
Granary, Gate

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