Date::Chinese - Calculate dates in the Chinese calendar
use Date::Chinese; $year = yearofthe( 1999 ); # "Year of the hare, earth"
Please note that the API of this module is guaranteed to change in future versions. I'll hopefully be adding more details about the date, rather than just the year.
You should also note that the Chinese new year does not conicide with the Gregorian new year, so the determination of what year it is in the Chinese calendar is only going to be correct for a portion of the Gregorian year.
Rich Bowen CPAN ID: RBOW firstname.lastname@example.org http://www.rcbowen.com
Copyright (c) 2001 Rich Bowen. All rights reserved. This program is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the same terms as Perl itself.
The full text of the license can be found in the LICENSE file included with this module.
Reference: The Oxford Companion to the Year - Bonnie Blackburn and Leofranc Holford-Strevens. Pg 696-707
The Chinese calendar is a 19 year cycle. Seven of these 19 years have 13 months, and the rest have 12. There's a whole heck of a lot more to it than the 12 animals that you see on your placemat at your favorite Chinese restaurant.
There is a cycle of 10 stems and 12 branches. Each stem has associated with it an element (wood, fire, earth, metal, water) a yang (fir, kindling, hill, weapons, waves) a yin (bamboo, lamp-flame, plain, kettle, brooks) a cardinal point (east, south, centre, west, north) and a planet (Jupiter, Mars, Saturn, Venus, Mercury).
Likewise, each branch has associated with it an animal, an element, a double-hour, a compass point, and a sign of the zodiac.
Each of these various cycles are going on at the same time, and so interact with each other to produce combinations of all of these different components. And various combinations mean various things.
There are, of course, many folks that have more knowledge of how this all works than I do. I just used to be a mathematician.
http://www.math.nus.edu.sg/aslaksen/calendar/chinese.shtml seems like a good place to start, but there are many other very informative sites on the net.