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Tibetan Wuhou Calendar -- a Unique Ethnic Minority Calendar

Living on the highest plateau -- Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau -- in the world, the Tibetan people have created a unique culture, of which the Wuhou Calendar is an important part.

After hundreds of years of observations, the Tibetans realized that the rise and set of the sun, the moon, the stars, the growth of the plants, the snow, rain, frost, hail and the immigration of the animals all have a mysterious relationship with the movement of the celestial bodies and summed up some rules.

After years of observations of the stars through the eyes during night, the Tibetans developed a unique way of naming the 12 months in a year on the basis of the positions of the full moon.

In agricultural regions, the Tibetans learnt to predict the weather according to the conditions of the mountains, lakes and the cattle. The people living around the Yamdrok Yumtso (or Yamdrok-tso), one of the three holiest lakes in Tibet, still observe the icing and melting of the lake. Records showed that if the icing or melting of the lake took place one week ahead of schedule or behind schedule, the climate of the year would be abnormal.

With the passing of time, the Tibetan Wuhou Calendar, drawing merits from other calendars in ancient China and India, became more and more complete. In 1318, it was compiled into the almanac. In the 17th Century, the birth of Bai Liuli signaled that the Wuhou Calendar had become a systematic one.

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