Chinese Calendrics

Note: This review addresses v10.15 of the software.

Most of us know--or think we know--what Chinese animal is associated with our birth year. However, the Chinese Lunar calendar is complicated and doesn't match precisely with the Gregorian, or Common Era, calendar used in the West. A date in our 2007 might fall in Chinese Lunar Year 4704 or 4705. Chinese Calendrics converts dates between these calendars and gives a wealth of detail on the Chinese Lunar calendar.

Chinese Calendrics's festive red interface window gives very precise and scientific information. (In fact, you may need to look at the free online manual just to understand terms like "lunation" and "Astronomical Julian date.") It automatically brings up the current day and time in Common Era and Chinese Lunar calendars--plus a picture of, and information about, the current moon phase. Buttons let you tweak the CE date backward or forward. It can also generate lists of new years, lunar month starts, and more.

More than just a converter, Chinese Calendrics also shows information about the Chinese years, months, and days. Even if you know the animal for your birth year, you probably don't know which of the five Chinese elements (earth, fire, metal, and water, wood) corresponds. And few of us know that each month and each day has an animal and an element associated with it as well. Chinese Calendrics shows these in English and in Chinese characters. Chinese Calendrics is more of an astronomy program than an astrology one, but it would be useful to anyone delving into Eastern horoscopes.

The free demo version works for 30 days. It also limits the size of the lists generated: For instance, you can list only a year's worth of lunar month starts and leap months in the demo. The full version lifts all such restrictions. The price given here is for a perpetual license; it is available in three-month and one-year versions as well.

--Laura Blackwell

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