Minguo calendar

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Not to be confused with Chinese calendar.
A calendar that commemorates the first year of the Republic as well as the election of Sun Yat-sen as the provisional President.

The Republic of China calendar (traditional Chinese: 民國紀元; simplified Chinese: 民国纪元; pinyin: Mínguó Jìyuán; Wade–Giles: Min2-kuo2 Chi4-yüan2) is the method of numbering years currently used in Taiwan and other territories under the control of the Republic of China. It was used in mainland China from 1912 until the founding of the People's Republic of China in 1949.

Following the Chinese imperial tradition of using the sovereign's era name and year of reign, official ROC documents use the Republic (traditional Chinese: 民國; simplified Chinese: 民国; pinyin: Mínguó; Wade–Giles: Min-kuo; literally: "The Country of the People") system of numbering years in which the first year was 1912, the year of the founding of the Republic of China. For example, 2014 is the "103rd year of the Republic". Months and days are numbered according to the Gregorian calendar.

To find out the ROC year equivalent to any Gregorian calendar (AD) year, subtract 1911 from the Gregorian year. For example: 2014 - 1911 = 103rd year of the Republic.

Calendar details[edit]

The Gregorian calendar was adopted by the nascent Republic of China effective 1 January 1912 for official business, but the general populace continued to use the traditional Chinese calendar. The status of the Gregorian calendar was unclear between 1916 and 1921 while China was controlled by several competing warlords each supported by foreign colonial powers. From about 1921 until 1928 warlords continued to fight over northern China, but the Kuomintang or Nationalist government controlled southern China and used the Gregorian calendar. After the Kuomintang reconstituted the Republic of China on 10 October 1928, the Gregorian calendar was officially adopted, effective 1 January 1929. The People's Republic of China has continued to use the Gregorian calendar since 1949.

Despite the adoption of the Gregorian calendar, the numbering of the years was still an issue. Chinese imperial tradition was to use the emperor's era name and year of reign. One alternative to this approach was to use the reign of the half-historical, half-legendary Yellow Emperor in the third millennium BC to number the years. In the early 20th century, some Chinese Republicans began to advocate such a system of continuously numbered years, so that year markings would be independent of the Emperor's regnal name. (This was part of their attempt to delegitimize the Qing Dynasty.)

When Sun Yat-sen became the provisional president of the Republic of China, he sent telegrams to leaders of all provinces and announced the 13th day of 11th Month of the 4609th year of the Yellow Emperor's reign (corresponding to 1 January 1912) to be the first year of the Republic of China. The original intention of the Mínguó calendar was to follow the imperial practice of naming the years according to the number of years the Emperor had reigned, which was a universally recognizable event in China. Following the establishment of the Republic, hence the lack of an Emperor, it was then decided to use the year of the establishment of the current regime. This reduced the issue of frequent change in the calendar, as no Emperor ruled more than 61 years in Chinese history—the longest being Kangxi Emperor who ruled from 1662–1722 (Kangxi 61). (Qianlong Emperor abdicated in 1795, i.e. Qianlong 60, but the reign name of Qianlong is still used unofficially until his death in 1799 i.e. Qianlong 64.)

As Chinese era names are traditionally two characters long, 民國 (Mínguó, "Republic") is employed as an abbreviation of 中華民國 (Zhōnghuá Mínguó, "Republic of China"). The first year, 1912, is called 民國元年 (Mínguó Yuánnián) and 2010, the "99th year of the Republic" is 民國九十九年, 民國99年, or simply 99.

Based on Chinese National Standard CNS 7648: Data Elements and Interchange Formats—Information Interchange—Representation of Dates and Times, (similar to ISO 8601), year numbering may use the AD system as well as the ROC era. For example, 3 May 2004 may be written 2004-05-03 or ROC 93-05-03.

The ROC era numbering happens to be the same as the numbering used by the Juche calendar of North Korea, because its founder, Kim Il-sung, was born in 1912. The years in Japan's Taishō period (30 July 1912 to 25 December 1926) also coincide with those of the ROC era.

In addition to the ROC's Mínguó calendar, Taiwanese continue to use the lunisolar Chinese calendar for certain functions such as the dates of many holidays, the calculation of people's ages, and religious functions.

Arguments for and against[edit]

See also: Y1C Problem

The use of the ROC era system extends beyond official documents. When used to mark expiration dates on products for export, they can be misunderstood as having an expiration date 11 years earlier than intended. [1] Misinterpretation is more likely in the cases when the prefix (ROC or 民國) is omitted.

There have been legislative proposals by pro-Taiwan Independence political parties, such as the Democratic Progressive Party to abolish the Republican calendar in favor of the Gregorian calendar.[2]

Relation to the Gregorian calendar[edit]

Generally, the ROC era is obtained by subtracting 1911 from the Gregorian calendar year.

ROC era 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
AD 1912 1913 1914 1915 1916 1917 1918 1919 1920 1921
ROC era 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20
AD 1922 1923 1924 1925 1926 1927 1928 1929 1930 1931
ROC era 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30
AD 1932 1933 1934 1935 1936 1937 1938 1939 1940 1941
ROC era 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40
AD 1942 1943 1944 1945 1946 1947 1948 1949 1950 1951
ROC era 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50
AD 1952 1953 1954 1955 1956 1957 1958 1959 1960 1961
ROC era 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60
AD 1962 1963 1964 1965 1966 1967 1968 1969 1970 1971
ROC era 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70
AD 1972 1973 1974 1975 1976 1977 1978 1979 1980 1981
ROC era 71 72 73 74 75 76 77 78 79 80
AD 1982 1983 1984 1985 1986 1987 1988 1989 1990 1991
ROC era 81 82 83 84 85 86 87 88 89 90
AD 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001
ROC era 91 92 93 94 95 96 97 98 99 100
AD 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011
ROC era 101 102 103 104 105 106 107 108 109 110
AD 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021
ROC era 111 112 113 114 115 116 117 118 119 120
AD 2022 2023 2024 2025 2026 2027 2028 2029 2030 2031
ROC era 121 122 123 124 125 126 127 128 129 130
AD 2032 2033 2034 2035 2036 2037 2038 2039 2040 2041
ROC era 131 132 133 134 135 136 137 138 139 140
AD 2042 2043 2044 2045 2046 2047 2048 2049 2050 2051
ROC era 141 142 143 144 145 146 147 148 149 150
AD 2052 2053 2054 2055 2056 2057 2058 2059 2060 2061
ROC era 151 152 153 154 155 156 157 158 159 160
AD 2062 2063 2064 2065 2066 2067 2068 2069 2070 2071
ROC era 161 162 163 164 165 166 167 168 169 170
AD 2072 2073 2074 2075 2076 2077 2078 2079 2080 2081

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://forumosa.com/taiwan/viewtopic.php?f=12&t=87414&p=1144893&e=1144893
  2. ^ Jimmy Chuang. "Taiwan may drop idiosyncratic Republican calendar". Taipei Times. 25 February 2006. page 1. Accessed 20 July 2009.