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What is a “Blind Year” 盲年?


Coming of Spring is the first Ji Qi (Season Qi) of the year for the Chinese Farmer Calendar, therefore, it is the beginning of a new year for metaphysic practice – it is also the official date for changes to take place for auspicious and inauspicious timing and locations for the year.

Having been an agricultural nation as China, Rain in the Spring signifies the abundance of growth and therefore, Chinese regards the Coming of Spring as a very important event of the year. 

Due to the Coming of Spring does not exist in a Blind Year, Chinese believes that is a bad omen for a poor harvest year. No growth also can lead to no children (“off Spring” in English term), therefore, it has become an superstition for Chinese people not wanting to get married on a Blind Year because it is inauspicious.

In 乙酉 year – Coming of Spring was on February 4th, 2005, however, Luna New Year did not come until February 9th, for this reason, there was no Coming of Spring for this乙酉 year. 

Consequently, by the end of this particular Luna Year on January 28th, 2006, it also happened to be ending before the next Coming of Spring. This phenomenal calendar arrangement has made the 乙酉 year totally without Coming of Spring – it was considered as a Blind Year by the Chinese.

The year “Double Coming of Spring and Leap Month” 雙春兼閏月

This is the opposite of the Blind Year, meaning that there are two Coming of Spring(s) plus there is a Leap Month – all happening in the same year. 

For the Chinese, it is very auspicious to choose the Double Coming of Spring and Leap Month year for marriage! 

How does a leap month happen?

Simply, it works as to compensate the gap of days between the solar and luna calendars in a year. There are a total of seven leap months in each 19 years; hence we have a leap month in every 3 years.

For reference: See previous article: Why Chinese Leap Year has 13 months (Leap Month)?

How to identify the year that has the Double Coming of Spring?

This is based on the Coming of Spring season is usually around February 4th or 5th.
If the Luna Calendar’s first day of the first month should appears before February 4th or 5th – and – the  last day of Luna Calendar appears after February 4th or 5th, then we will have two Coming of Spring in that year. 

No leap month on Chinese New Year?

Due to the length of each month’s Ji and Qi is averagely about 29.74 days, it is only marginally longer than the luna month. During the summer time, some of the Ji or Qi can be as long as 16 days at the cut off, therefore, leap months tend to happen on the 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th and 7th luna month. 

The chance for the leap month to occur during the winter months is very small. In Chinese calendar, there are a total of 74 leap months from 1821-2020 –  nevertheless, there has not been and will not be any 11th or 12th luna month with a leap month during these 200 years. Luna New Year is around winter month, and this explains why we don’t see a double Luna Chinese New Year!

Additional reference about calculating the Coming of Spring and Luna Year:

For example:
Someone was born on February 10th 1990.
The official beginning of 庚午year was on Coming of Spring in February 4th. 
The Luna New Year was on February 15th.
This person is considered having been born on庚午year, not the previous己巳year.
This is because the person was born after the new Coming Spring – even though it was before the Luna New Year.

On the contrary:
Someone was born on January 7th, 1988. 
The official beginning of 戊辰 year was on Coming of Spring in February 4th –.
The Luna New Year was on February 17th.
This person can only be considered as having been born on the previous year丁卯, not戊辰 year.
This is because this person was born before the Coming of Spring, 

Hong Kong
May 21st, 2012
壬辰年(閏)乙巳月壬午日 (Leap Month)


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