Chinese Traditional Calendar

Relationship: Child of im/migrant

I was intrigued when I realized that my friends had only one calendar in their house when I had two. On the walls of every traditional Chinese household is a Chinese lunar year calendar. Every day my grandpa would tear off the thinly made paper inked with red and green all over. Not being able to read Chinese, I always wondered the significance of the calendar and why we needed both calendars. Since the traditional calendar is based on the moon cycles, the days that holidays fall on change every year. My grandpa told me that the calendar was used to determine which day we would celebrate birthdays, Chinese new year, Mid-Autumn Day, and many more festivals. It is also used for the choosing of lucky days for weddings and funerals. Nowadays, most people in China follow the Gregorian calendar, however my Chinese American family continues to flip the pages of our lunar year calendar.

Place(s): China, New York

– Shirley Liu

Relationship:  Child of im/migrant Child of im/migrant