The Wan Nian Li a.k.a the 10,000 Year Calendar is a conversion chart that allow us to convert between Gregorian Date and the equivalent Chinese Solar and Lunar Dates and vice versa. It usually comes in the form of a thick manual containing pages and pages of tables, typically one for each year. But do not be fooled by the name. There are usually only between 100 to 150 years of current data in each book, not ten thousand!
In the earlier days, the calendar is only available in Chinese but more recently it is also available in English. With the advent of the internet, you can now access software based calendar or conversion tools that allow you to do the same on your PC or phone.
In this article, I will focus on the paper based English version of the Wan Nian Li and I will show you how you can find the Chinese Solar and Lunar equivalent of any Western Gregorian date.
In the table provided you will find a portion of the conversion calendar for the first three Gregorian month of 2017.
The first row shows the Stem Branch of the year 2017 which is Ding You or Fire Rooster (in light red).
The first three column from left to right shows the first, second and third lunar month. On the left of each of the column, you the representation M D which is the Western or Gregorian month and date. That the first lunar month in 2017 starts from 28 Jan (and reading down) and ends on 25 Feb. Similarly the second lunar month starts from 26 Feb and ends on 27 Mar. And the third lunar month from 28 Mar to 25 April.
The rightmost column is the lunar day.
Using this table, it is quite easy to find the equivalent lunar date for any Gregorian Date. Take for example the 15 Mar 2017 (in light yellow). This Greg date falls in the second lunar month and (reading horizontally) coincidences with lunar day 18. Thus the lunar equivalent date for 15 March 2017 is Lunar Month 2, Day 18, Ding You year (2017).
Let’s work on another example. Take the 1 April 2017 (in light green). This Greg date falls in the third column or third lunar month. Reading horizontally, it coincides with lunar day 5. Thus the Chinese lunar equivalent date for the 1 April 2017 is Lunar Month 3, Day 5, Ding You year (2017).
Finding the Chinese Solar equivalent date is a bit harder. In 2017 the first Solar month is called Ren Yin followed by the second month Gui Mao and third month Jia Chen. The first day of the Chinese Solar month however does on fall on the 28 Jan. Instead it falls on the 7th Lunar day when “Spring Arrives” or “Li Chun”. This is equivament to the Greg date 3 March 2017.
This first solar month runs till a day before the start of the second Solar month “Insects Awaken” which is the 7th Lunar day in Feb or 4th March 2017. The second solar month starts from the eighth lunar day or Gregorian 5th March till a day before the start of the Solar 3th Month or “Clear Brightness” or “Ching Ming” on the 3rd April 2017.
Lets work on an example. Let’s take Gregorian 23 Feb 2017 (in light blue). On the right is Xin Si which is the Day Pillar. This date falls between 3 Feb and 4 Mar and hence is the Chinese Solar month one which gives the month pillar Ren Yin – marked in light blue.
Hence the Chinese Solar equivalent date of the 23 Feb 2017 is Day Pillar Xin Si, Month Pillar Ren Yin and Year Pillar Ding You (2017). Again, if this looks familar to you, it is because it is the three of four pillars of Ba Zi!