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.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

China's Lunar Calendar 2014 02-04

Click here for the introduction to the Round and Square series "Calendars and Almanacs"  
⇦⇦⇦⇦⇦ From right to left: ⇦⇦⇦⇦⇦
LEFT February 12...........................................................................................February 4 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.

I apologize for today's imperfect scan of the day column. I will remedy this soon.
Section One
Solar Calendar Date
(top to bottom; right to left) 

 Second Month, Fourth Day
Astral Period Two
Tuesday, February 4

Section Two
Beneficent Stars 
(top to bottom, right to left)
Timely Virtue
Lunar Kindness

Section Three
Auspicious Hours
(top to bottom, right to left
23:00-01:00 Inauspicious
01:00-03:00 In-Between
03:00-05:00 In-Between
05:00-07:00 In-Between

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

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

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) 
Repairing Kitchens
Stove Work
Thatched Coverings
Building Outhouses

 Section Five 
Cosmological Information 

Fifth Day (First Lunar Month)
Cyclical day: bingwu (43/60)
Phase (element): Water
Constellation: Pyre (12/28)
"Day Personality" Cycle: Decide (5/12)*
*Occasionally a "personality" day will be repeated, as it is today).
Section Six
Appropriate Activities
(and Miscellaneous Information
(top-to-bottom; right to left)
Beginning of Spring
In the middle of the mao hour—6:03 a.m.
(The first of twenty-four fifteen-day solar periods on the calendar).

Appropriate Activities
Venerating Ancestors
Inquiring-into Fortune
Going out (and about)
Marriage Alliances
Moving Households
Opening Markets
Moving Soil
Positioning Graves

East Wind Melts the Ice
(the first of seventy-two five-day micro-periods on the calendar)

Miscellaneous Information
 White Tiger
Death Vapor
Yang General
Lunar Taboo

Section Seven
Inauspicious Stars 
(right to left)
丫 火
Bifurcation, Fire

Section Eight
Miscellaneous Information 
(Top to bottom; right to left)
碓 灶 廚
Pestle, Stove, Kitchen

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