Tibetan almanac: documents broad societal concerns

2011-10-18 10:17:00 | From:

According to the Tibetan calendar, 2009 is the year of earth-ox. Thus the cover of that year is in yellow, which represents the color of earth. [Photo/ 51tibettour]

After the introduction of the characteristics of Tibetan calendar, Kunga Rigzin turned to the Tibetan almanac.

Firstly about the book covers, according to the Tibetan calendar, 2009 is the year of earth-ox. Thus the cover of that year is in yellow, which represents the color of earth. If it is a year of water, the color would be blue. In this way, the cover of the year of wood is in green, year of iron in white, and year of fire in red.

A Tibetan almanac covers the date, prediction of astronomical phenomena, weather trends and natural disasters. In addition, it guides the farming and husbandry work in different regions of Tibet and gives collection methods of hundreds of Han and Tibetan herbs. Moreover, it even concludes the rules of changes in human body in four seasons. With rich content, it has surpassed any other almanac.

According to Kunga, the almanac published by the Tibet astronomy and calendrical calculation research institute where he works would be released more than 100,000 copies. The circulation is only next to Tibetan text books. This little almanac not only has a good sale in Tibet, but also in the Tibetan areas of Qinghai, Gansu, Sichuan, Yunnan as well as some foreign countries, such as India, Nepal, Bhutan and other countries.

The content of Tibetan almanac is generally divided into three parts: the general condition of the year, the general introduction of each month and the details of each day.

In the part of the general condition, there are verses of respect (to those who devoted to the heritage of Tibetan calendar calculation), the important years in the history of Buddhism based on the Buddha's prophecy; the position of the five planets and their relationship with the climate; the agricultural seasons of every Tibetan region, which is the most important part to farmers and herdsmen, and the prediction of the eclipse in the year. 

In the part of general introduction of each month, there are the date and time of the sun enter the zodiac, the date and time of the 24 solar terms, the length of daytime and night of the date of solar terms, the "skipped date" and "repeated date" of the month, the position of the planet and constellation, and the festivals of each month.

The daily interpretation is the mainly content of Tibetan almanac. Each day takes up a square, and there are six square on a page. In the upper left corner of the square is the Tibetan date, and in lower right corner is the Gregorian calendar. There are several figures in the lower left corner, giving the date and time of the Solar Day or Lunar Day, the position of the sun or moon and so on. In the upper half the square, there are many calendar notes.

In addition, there are descriptions of the phenology, the agricultural and Animal husbandry activities, the climate of recent days and all kind of traditional and modern festivals. The "skipped date" and "repeated date" would be marked on and the position of the sun and the time of the 24 solar terms would be written inside a frame-shaped pattern.

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