How to Calculate Chinese Lunar Age

Updated April 17, 2017

The Chinese calendar was introduced in 2637 B.C.E. by Emperor Huangdi and is the world's longest chronological record. More than a quarter of the world's population uses this calendar to celebrate New Year's and plan festivals. People refer to the calendar to find their Chinese lunar age, in order to predict a baby's gender, to discover their Chinese birth sign or just out of simple curiosity. If you want to learn your Chinese lunar age, you will just need some basic information about your birth.

Add one year to your current age. Traditionally, the Chinese consider the time from conception to birth to be one year and count it as part of a person's age. On the day of your birth, you are 1-year-old, according to the Chinese calendar.

Do some extra calculations if you were born in January or February. The Chinese calendar is a combination solar and lunar calendar, based on the movements of the sun and moon. Because of this, the Chinese New Year falls somewhere between January 21 and February 21 each year. If you were born in January or February, the Chinese calendar may consider you one year older.

Look up the year you were born on a list of Chinese New Years, which can be found online. If you have a birthday in January or February, see if your birthday falls before, on, or after the Chinese New Year. A birthday prior to the Chinese New Year means that your birthday would be included in the previous year. For example, in 1980 the Chinese New Year occurred on February 16. According to the Chinese calendar, anyone born before February 16 has a 1979 birth year.

Calculate your Chinese lunar age by subtracting your Chinese birth year from the current year and then adding one year. For example, if according to the Chinese calendar you were born in 1980, then in 2011 you would be 32 years old (2011 - 1980 = 31 + 1 = 32).

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About the Author

Based in southern Idaho, Michelle Johnson started writing in 1991. Her work has been published in the science fiction and fantasy journal, "Extrapolation." Johnson holds a Bachelor of Arts in creative writing and a Master of Arts in fantasy literature, both from Hofstra University in New York.