Minguo calendar

Last updated
Gregorian calendar
8 April 2019
Minguo calendar
Minguo calendar
Traditional Chinese 民國紀年(中華民國曆)
Simplified Chinese 民国纪年(中华民国历)
Literal meaningRepublic[an] year numbering system (Republic of China calendar)
A calendar that commemorates the first year of the Republic of China as well as the election of Sun Yat-sen as the provisional President. ROC calendar.jpg
A calendar that commemorates the first year of the Republic of China as well as the election of Sun Yat-sen as the provisional President.

The Republic of China calendar (or the Minguo calendar) is the official calendar of the Republic of China. It is used to number the years for official purposes only in the Taiwan area after 1949. It was used in the Chinese mainland from 1912 until the establishment of the People's Republic of China in 1949.

Free area of the Republic of China legal and political description referring to the territories under the actual control by the Government of the Republic of China (ROC), consisting of the island groups of Taiwan, Penghu, Kinmen, Matsu and some minor islands

The Free area of the Republic of China is a term used by the government of the Republic of China (ROC) to refer to the territories under its actual control. The area under the definition consists of the island groups of Taiwan, Penghu, Kinmen, Matsu and some minor islands. This term is used in the "Additional Articles of the Constitution of the Republic of China". As the island of Taiwan is the main component of the whole area, it is therefore also referred to as the "Taiwan Area of the Republic of China" or simply the "Taiwan Area". The term "Tai-Peng-Kin-Ma" is also essentially equivalent except that it only refers to the four main islands of the region - Taiwan, Penghu, Kinmen and Matsu, to the exclusion of the South China Sea area possessions.

Mainland China geopolitical area under the jurisdiction of the Peoples Republic of China excluding Special Administrative Regions

Mainland China, also known as the Chinese mainland, is the geopolitical as well as geographical area under the direct jurisdiction of the People's Republic of China (PRC). It includes Hainan island and strictly speaking, politically, does not include the special administrative regions of Hong Kong and Macau, even though both are partially on the geographic mainland.


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 :Minguo; literally: 'Civilian Nation/ Republic') system of numbering years in which the first year was 1912, the year of the establishment of the Republic of China. Months and days are numbered according to the Gregorian calendar.

A Chinese era name is the regnal year, reign period, or regnal title used when traditionally numbering years in an emperor's reign and naming certain Chinese rulers. Some emperors have several era names, one after another, where each beginning of a new era resets the numbering of the year back to year one or yuán (元). The numbering of the year increases on the first day of the Chinese calendar each year. The era name originated as a motto or slogan chosen by an emperor.

Traditional Chinese characters Traditional Chinese characters

Traditional Chinese characters are Chinese characters in any character set that does not contain newly created characters or character substitutions performed after 1946. They are most commonly the characters in the standardized character sets of Taiwan, of Hong Kong and Macau, and in the Kangxi Dictionary. The modern shapes of traditional Chinese characters first appeared with the emergence of the clerical script during the Han Dynasty, and have been more or less stable since the 5th century.

Simplified Chinese characters standardized Chinese characters developed in mainland China

Simplified Chinese characters are standardized Chinese characters prescribed in the Table of General Standard Chinese Characters for use in mainland China. Along with traditional Chinese characters, they are one of the two standard character sets of the contemporary Chinese written language. The government of the People's Republic of China in mainland China has promoted them for use in printing since the 1950s and 1960s to encourage literacy. They are officially used in the People's Republic of China and Singapore.

Calendar details

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. [1]

The Gregorian calendar is the calendar used in most of the world. It is named after Pope Gregory XIII, who introduced it in October 1582. The calendar spaces leap years to make the average year 365.2425 days long, approximating the 365.2422-day tropical year that is determined by the Earth's revolution around the Sun. The rule for leap years is:

Every year that is exactly divisible by four is a leap year, except for years that are exactly divisible by 100, but these centurial years are leap years if they are exactly divisible by 400. For example, the years 1700, 1800, and 1900 are not leap years, but the year 2000 is.

Chinese calendar Lunisolar calendar from China

The traditional China calendar, or Former Calendar, Traditional Calendar or Lunar Calendar, is a lunisolar calendar which reckons years, months and days according to astronomical phenomena. It is defined by GB/T 33661-2017, "Calculation and promulgation of the Chinese calendar", issued by the Standardisation Administration of China on 12 May 2017.

Warlord person who has both military and civil control and power

A warlord is a leader able to exercise military, economic, and political control over a subnational territory within a sovereign state due to their ability to mobilize loyal armed forces. These armed forces, usually considered militias, are loyal to the warlord rather than to the state regime. Warlords have existed throughout much of history, albeit in a variety of different capacities within the political, economic, and social structure of states or ungoverned territories.

Despite the adoption of the Gregorian calendar, the numbering of the years was still an issue. The 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. [1] 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 de-legitimize the Qing Dynasty.)

Adoption of the Gregorian calendar

The adoption of the Gregorian Calendar was an event in the modern history of most nations and societies, marking a change from their traditional dating system to the modern dating system that is widely used around the world today. Some countries adopted the new calendar from 1582, some did not do so before the early twentieth century, and others did so at various dates between; however a number continue to use a different civil calendar. For many the new style calendar is only used for civil purposes and the old style calendar remains used in religious contexts. Today, the Gregorian calendar is the world's most widely used civil calendar. During – and for some time after – the change between systems, it has been common to use the terms Old Style and New Style when giving dates, to indicate which calendar was used to reckon them.

Yellow Emperor one of the Three Sovereigns and Five Emperors

The Yellow Emperor, also known as the Yellow Thearch, the Yellow God or the Yellow Lord, or simply by his Chinese name Huangdi, is a deity (shen) in Chinese religion, one of the legendary Chinese sovereigns and culture heroes included among the mytho-historical Three Sovereigns and Five Emperors and cosmological Five Forms of the Highest Deity. First calculated by Jesuit missionaries on the basis of Chinese chronicles and later accepted by the twentieth-century promoters of a universal calendar starting with the Yellow Emperor, Huangdi's traditional reign dates are 2697–2597 or 2698–2598 BCE.

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. [1] The original intention of the Minguo 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 the 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.)

Sun Yat-sen Chinese physician, politician and revolutionary

Sun Yat-sen was a Chinese politician, medical doctor and philosopher who served as the provisional first president of the Republic of China; and the first leader of the Kuomintang. He is referred to as the "Father of the Nation" in the Republic of China due to his role in the overthrow of the Qing dynasty during the Xinhai Revolution. Sun remains a unique figure among 20th-century Chinese characters for being widely revered in both mainland China and Taiwan.

Kangxi Emperor fourth emperor of the Qing Dynasty

The Kangxi Emperor, personal name Xuanye, was the fourth emperor of the Qing dynasty, and the second Qing emperor to rule over China proper, from 1661 to 1722.

Qianlong Emperor emperor of the Qing Dynasty

The Qianlong Emperor was the sixth emperor of the Manchu-led Qing dynasty, and the fourth Qing emperor to rule over China proper. Born Hongli, the fourth son of the Yongzheng Emperor, he reigned officially from 11 October 1735 to 8 February 1796. On 8 February, he abdicated in favour of his son, the Jiaqing Emperor—a filial act in order not to reign longer than his grandfather, the illustrious Kangxi Emperor. Despite his retirement, however, he retained ultimate power as the Emperor Emeritus until his death in 1799; he thus was one of the longest-reigning de facto rulers in the history of the world, and dying at the age of 87, one of the longest-lived. As a capable and cultured ruler inheriting a thriving empire, during his long reign the Qing Empire reached its most splendid and prosperous era, boasting a large population and economy. As a military leader, he led military campaigns expanding the dynastic territory to the largest extent by conquering and sometimes destroying Central Asian kingdoms. This turned around in his late years: the Qing empire began to decline with corruption and wastefulness in his court and a stagnating civil society.

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 Gregorian 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 Minguo calendar, Taiwanese continue to use the lunar 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

The use of the ROC era system extends beyond official documents. 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

To convert any Gregorian calendar year between 1912 and the current year to Minguo calendar, 1912 needs to be subtracted from the year in question, then 1 added.

ROC era12345678910
ROC era11121314151617181920
ROC era21222324252627282930
ROC era31323334353637383940
ROC era41424344454647484950
ROC era51525354555657585960
ROC era61626364656667686970
ROC era71727374757677787980
ROC era81828384858687888990
ROC era919293949596979899100
ROC era101102103104105106107108

See also

Related Research Articles

An epoch, for the purposes of chronology and periodization, is an instant in time chosen as the origin of a particular calendar era. The "epoch" serves as a reference point from which time is measured.

Korean era names were used during the period of Silla, Goguryeo, Balhae, Taebong, Goryeo, Joseon, and the Korean Empire. Dangun-giwon, the era name originating from the foundation of Gojoseon is also widely used in Korea as an indication of long civilisation of Korea.

A regnal year is a year of the reign of a sovereign, from the Latin regnum meaning kingdom, rule.

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Imperial Noble Consort Chunhui Consort of Chinese Emperor

Imperial Noble Consort Chunhui, of the Han Chinese Plain White Banner Su clan, was a consort of the Qianlong Emperor. She was two years his junior.

Empress Xiaojingxian Empress of the Qing Dynasty

Empress Xiaojingxian, of the Manchu Plain Yellow Banner Ula Nara clan, personal name Duoqimuli, was a consort of the Yongzheng Emperor. She was three years his junior.

Noble Consort Xun Qing Dynasty imperial consort

Noble Consort Xun, of the Manchu Bordered Blue Banner Irgen Gioro clan, was a consort of the Qianlong Emperor. She was 47 years his junior.

Dowager Noble Consort Wan Consort of the Qianlong Emperor of the Qing dynasty

Noble Consort Wan, of the Han Chinese Chen clan, was a consort of the Qianlong Emperor. She was six years his junior.

Government of the Republic of China ROC government since 1948

The Government of the Republic of China, commonly known as the Government of Taiwan, is the democratic, constitutional government that exercises control over Taiwan and the other islands in the free area. The president is the head of state. The government consists of five Yuans (branches), the Executive Yuan, Legislative Yuan, Judicial Yuan, Control Yuan, and Examination Yuan.

Events in the year 1912 in China.

Republic of China (1912–1949) 1912–1949 country in Asia, when the Republic of China governed mainland China

The Republic of China (ROC) ruled the Chinese mainland between 1912 and 1949. It was established in January 1912 after the Xinhai Revolution, which overthrew the Qing dynasty, the last imperial dynasty of China. Its government moved to Taipei in December 1949 due to the Kuomintang's defeat in the Chinese Civil War. The Republic's first president, Sun Yat-sen, served only briefly before handing over the position to Yuan Shikai, leader of the Beiyang Army. Sun's party, then led by Song Jiaoren, won the parliamentary election held in December 1912. Song Jiaoren was assassinated shortly after and the Beiyang Army led by Yuan Shikai maintained full control of the Beiyang government. Between late 1915 and early 1916, Yuan Shikai proclaimed himself as Emperor of China before abdicating due to popular unrest. After Yuan's death in 1916, the authority of the Beiyang government was further weakened by a brief restoration of the Qing dynasty. Cliques in the Beiyang Army claimed their autonomy and clashed with each other during the ensuing Warlord Era.

Noble Consort Yu, of the Mongol Bordered Blue Banner Keliyete clan, was a consort of the Qianlong Emperor. She was three years his junior.

Republican Party (China) Chinese political party

The Republican Party was a short-lived political party in the Republican era of China from 1912 to 1913.

Secondary education in Taiwan

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Imperial Noble Consort Quehui, of the Manchu Bordered Yellow Banner Tunggiya clan, was a consort of the Kangxi Emperor. She was 14 years his junior.


  1. 1 2 3 Endymion Wilkinson (2000). Chinese History: A Manual. Harvard Univ Asia Center. pp. 184–185. ISBN   978-0-674-00249-4.
  2. Jimmy Chuang (25 February 2006). "Taiwan may drop idiosyncratic Republican calendar". Taipei Times . Retrieved 2017-09-05.