Korean calendar

The traditional Korean calendar is a lunisolar calendar, like the traditional calendars of other East Asian countries. Dates are calculated from Korea's meridian, and observances and festivals are based in Korean culture.

The Gregorian calendar was officially adopted in 1896, but traditional holidays and age-reckoning for older generations are still based on the old calendar. [1] The biggest festival in Korea today is Seollal, the first day of the traditional Korean New Year. Other important festivals include Daeboreum also referred to as Boreumdaal (the first full moon), Dano (spring festival) and Chuseok (harvest moon festival), and Samjinnal (spring-opening festival). Other minor festivals include Yudu (summer festival), and Chilseok ( monsoon festival).


The Korean calendar is derived from the Chinese calendar. The traditional calendar designated its years via Korean era names from 270 to 963. Then Chinese era name with Korean era names were used few times until 1894. In 1894/1895, The lunar calendar was used with years numbered from the foundation of the Joseon Dynasty in 1392.

The Gregorian calendar was adopted on 1 January 1896, with Korean era name "Geonyang (건양 / 建陽, "adopting solar calendar")."

From 1945 until 1961 in South Korea, Gregorian calendar years were counted from the foundation of Gojoseon in 2333 BC (regarded as year one), the date of the legendary founding of Korea by Dangun, hence these Dangi (단기 / 檀紀) years were 4278 to 4294. This numbering was informally used with the Korean lunar calendar before 1945 but has only been occasionally used since 1961, and mostly in North Korea prior to 1997.

In North Korea, the Juche calendar has been used since 1997 to number its years, based on the birth of founder Kim Il-sung.