The lunar Chinese calendar is a calendar used by Chinese people for cultural practices and traditional holidays. It also acts as a guideline to help the Chinese choose lucky dates when celebrating major events in life such as weddings, new business ventures, engagements and burial of loved ones among others.
The lunar Chinese calendar is believed to have been in existence as far back as the 14th century B.C. History has it that Emperor Huangdi invented the calendar in 2637 B.C. The lunar Chinese calendar uses astronomical observations of the sun's longitude and moon phases to arrange the year, month and day. In this calendar, the days begin at midnight and end the following day at midnight. The months begin on a new moon and end the day before the next dark moon. The new moon occurs when the moon is in conjunction with the sun and is completely invisible from Earth.
A lunar Chinese calendar has 29 or 30 days in a month; these are known as short and long months respectively. There are 12 or 13 months in a Chinese calendar. Years with 12 months are the common years with 353, 354 or 355 days in a year. Years with 13 months are leap years and have 383, 384 or 385 days in a year.