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, February 16, 2018

China's Lunar Calendar 2018 02-16 New Year's Day

Click here for the introduction to the Round and Square series "Calendars and Almanacs"  
⇦⇦⇦⇦⇦ From right to left: ⇦⇦⇦⇦
2/19..........................................2/16..................Monthly Calendar Information
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
六六    八零
Second Month, Sixteenth Day 
Friday, February 16

Section Two
Beneficent Stars 
(top to bottom, right to left)
Generational Branch
Virtuous Days
Generational Branch
Six Linkages
Entering Spirits
Heavenly Kindness

Section Three
Auspicious Hours
(top to bottom, right to left

23:00-01:00 Auspicious
01:00-03:00 Inauspicious
03:00-05:00 Auspicious
05:00-07:00 Auspicious

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

15:00-17:00 Inauspicious
17:00-19:00 Inauspicious
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) 

Boring Wells
Opening Ponds
Patching Embankments
Plugging Caves
New Boats
Entering Water

Section Five 
Cosmological Information

First Day (First Lunar Month)
Cyclical day: jimao (16/60)
Phase (element): Earth
Constellation: Neck (2/28)
"Day Personality" Cycle: Discard (2/12)

Section Six
Appropriate Activities
and Miscellaneous Information  
(top-to-bottom; right to left)
A long series of descriptions of fortune relating to the calendrical baseline times follows (including an eclipse that will not be seen in Hong Kong); literal translation is almost meaningless (see below) without an "inner story" understanding of calendrical matters that remains almost meaningless for readers who do not live in the "cultural worlds" of China's agricultural calendar. It is almost impenetrable even to people living in China today.
*** ***
Noble spirits—southwest. Incense wicks—appropriate to use. Zi, yi, mao, si times—harmoniously auspicious. Going out (and about)—appropriate. Zi, yi, mao, si, wu, wei time—southwest. Greeting noble spirits—highly auspicious or going out (and about) toward the northwest—also auspicious. This day's chou, chen, shen, you, hai times are inauspicious. Shen and you times are a blocked road, vacant loss—not appropriate to go out (and about). Startling spirits—due west. Five ghosts—due north. Death gate—northeast. This day has a partial solar eclipse—not seen in the Hong Kong area.

No comments:

Post a Comment