This article is from the Calendars FAQ, by Claus Tondering email@example.com with numerous contributions by others.
Although the People's Republic of China uses the Gregorian calendar
for civil purposes, a special Chinese calendar is used for determining
festivals. Various Chinese communities around the world also use this
The beginnings of the Chinese calendar can be traced back to the 14th
century BC. Legend has it that the Emperor Huangdi invented the
calendar in 2637 BC.
The Chinese calendar is based on exact astronomical observations of
the longitude of the sun and the phases of the moon. This means that
principles of modern science have had an impact on the Chinese
I can recommend visiting Helmer Aslaksen's web site at
http://www.chinesecalendar.net for more information about the Chinese