When you ask about age of a Chinese baby, you will often be told that a child, evidently not more than six months, is two years old. This is the Eastern mode of speaking of time which is quite different from the western.
For example, if a child has been born twoards the end of the previous year, that it had lived in two years, and was therefore spoken of as two years old.
Similarly, the mouning for a parent is said to last for three years, the western reader is not to suppose that it continues to the end of that time, but simply that it extends into the third year. Virtually it terminates with the twenty-fifth month, and positively with the twenty-seventh.
So it is not so complicated and confusing as you think to calculate your Chinese age. You are 1-year-old when you are born, and add one more year after each Chinese New Year. If you born on Chinese New Year Eve before midnight, you are 2-year-old next morning!
Most of us can use this equation to calculate your Chinese age:
Y1 - Y2 +1 = CA
* CA = Chinese Age
* Y1 = Current year
* Y2 = the year you were born
(James Legge, The Sacred Books Of The East, VXXVII, Introduction, p.49)
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