TN 31 (08-05)
Problems frequently arise in establishing dates and ages for Chinese claimants because:
The Lunisolar calendar is involved;
Dates are given by the Chinese calendar;
Ages given by Chinese reckoning can differ from the western reckoning by as much as
2 years; or
Attempts by the claimant or others to convert dates have been incorrect; or
The applicant was unaware of the conversion problems or did not consider it worth
correcting the information.
The Chinese lunar month and day of an event do not correspond to the Gregorian month
and day. For example, the 4th moon, 5th day of 1917 is actually May 25, 1917 not April 5, 1917.
The Chinese consider that they are 1 year old at birth and become a year older at
each succeeding Chinese New Year (any time from January 20 through February 20). Thus,
a child born 1 day before the Chinese New Year can be 2 years old by Chinese count
when he is only 2 days old by Western count.
When the application is filed, ask the claimant for the lunar month and day on which
he was born since most Chinese claimants know this information. See GN 00307.416 for information on the various calendars used by the Chinese.