Chunfen

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See also: Vernal equinox
Solar term
  Longitude     Term     Calendar
  Spring
  315°   Lichun    4 – 5 February
  330°   Yushui   18–19 February
  345°   Jingzhe    5 – 6 March
  0°   Chunfen   20–21 March
  15°   Qingming    4 – 5 April
  30°   Guyu   20–21 April
  Summer
  45°   Lixia    5 – 6 May
  60°   Xiaoman   21–22 May
  75°   Mangzhong    5 – 6 June
  90°   Xiazhi   21–22 June
  105°   Xiaoshu    7 – 8 July
  120°   Dashu   22–23 July
  Autumn
  135°   Liqiu    7 – 8 August
  150°   Chushu   23–24 August
  165°   Bailu    7 – 8 September
  180°   Qiufen   23–24 September
  195°   Hanlu    8 – 9 October
  210°   Shuangjiang     23–24 October
  Winter
  225°   Lidong    7 – 8 November
  240°   Xiaoxue   22–23 November
  255°   Daxue    7 – 8 December
  270°   Dongzhi   21–22 December
  285°   Xiaohan    5 – 6 January
  300°   Dahan   20–21 January

The traditional East Asian calendars divide a year into 24 solar terms (節氣). Chūnfēn (pīnyīn) or Shunbun (rōmaji) (Chinese and Japanese: 春分; Korean: 춘분; Vietnamese: Xuân phân; literally: "vernal equinox") is the 4th solar term. It begins when the Sun reaches the celestial longitude of 0° and ends when it reaches the longitude of 15°. It more often refers in particular to the day when the Sun is exactly at the celestial longitude of 0°. In the Gregorian calendar, it usually begins around 20 March and ends around 4 April (5 April East Asia time).

Pentads[edit]

Date and Time (UTC)
year begin end
辛巳 2001-03-20 13:30 2001-04-04 17:24
壬午 2002-03-20 19:16 2002-04-04 23:18
癸未 2003-03-21 00:59 2003-04-05 04:52
甲申 2004-03-20 06:48 2004-04-04 10:43
乙酉 2005-03-20 12:33 2005-04-04 16:34
丙戌 2006-03-20 18:25 2006-04-04 22:15
丁亥 2007-03-21 00:07 2007-04-05 04:04
戊子 2008-03-20 05:48 2008-04-04 09:45
己丑 2009-03-20 11:43 2009-04-04 15:33
庚寅 2010-03-20 17:32 2010-04-04 21:30
辛卯 2011-03-20 23:20 2011-04-05 03:11
壬辰 2012-03-20 05:14 2012-04-04 09:05
癸巳 2013-03-20 11:01 2013-04-04 15:02
甲午 2014-03-20 16:57 2014-04-04 20:46

Source: JPL Horizons On-Line Ephemeris System

Each solar term can be divided into 3 pentads (候). They are: first pentad (初候), second pentad (次候) and last pentad (末候). Pentads in Chunfen include:

China
  • First pentad: 玄鳥至, 'The dark birds arrive'. 'Dark bird' in this case refers to swallows, which are also making their northward migration.
  • Second pentad: 雷乃發聲, 'Thunder sounds', referring to the onset of spring thunderstorms.
  • Last pentad: 始電, 'Lightning begins'. This refers to thunderstorms as well, but also to the gradual lengthening of daytime, and the prevalence of sunlight.
Japan
  • First pentad: 雀始巣
  • Second pentad: 桜始開
  • Last pentad: 雷乃発声


Preceded by
Jingzhe (驚蟄)
Solar term (節氣) Succeeded by
Qingming (清明)