Tuesday, 20 December 2016

Li Chun (立春), 2017

Ever since I've been writing about Li Chun (立春) (or Lip Chun) in this blog - which would have been in Year 2007 or 10 years ago - I've always been mentioning that this Chinese festival, signifying the Coming of Spring, falls on the fourth of February.

But apparently, this has not always been the case. I took the trouble to check up on past occurrences of Li Chun in Joey Yap's book, The Ten Thousand Year Calendar (万年历), and to my surprise, found that during the past 20th Century from Year 1900 till Year 1999, Li Chun had occurred 33 times on the fifth of February. That is a rather high percentage indeed.

There were even several cases on Li Chun falling on the fifth of February for three consecutive years but as the century rolled along, this became less frequent and the Coming of Spring last fell on a fifth of February in 1980. In the years since then, Li Chun had almost invariably fallen on the fourth of February. However, I should have been alerted that in Year 2000, Li Chun fell instead on the third of February.

But I've a good explanation for missing that fact: Yap's book was published in 2004 and it was three years later that I first became interested in knowing the time of day for every year's occurrence of Li Chun. It's now part of my household responsibility to continue with our tradition of pasting a new Chun (春) character on the rice bucket. If this Chinese character cannot be found, I suppose another auspicious character, such as a Hock (福), on the bucket will do just as well.

So what happens in Year 2017? After having written so much today about Li Chun falling on the third, fourth or fifth of February, it shouldn't surprise anyone now to learn that in Year 2017, the Coming of Spring will be on 3 February 2017 at 23.36 pm. Well before then, I'll be getting my new packet of rice and my new Chun (春) character ready for the rice bucket.

Meantime, here are my past blog entries on this Chinese festival:
Li Chun, 2016
Li Chun, 2015
Li Chun, 2014
Li Chun, 2013
Li Chun, 2012
Li Chun, 2011
Li Chun, 2010
Li Chun, 2009
Li Chun, 2008
Li Chun, 2007

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