Hmong calendar

The Hmong calendar (Pahawh: 𖬌𖬣𖬵 𖬊𖬞𖬰 𖬀𖬰𖬧𖬵 𖬂𖬯 𖬘𖬲𖬥𖬰; RPA: Hmoob daim teej cim zwj) is a lunar calendar used by the Hmong people since, according to Hmong legends and folklore, ancient times. Its origins are unknown. However, it is believed to be created during ancient Hmong civilization in today’s country Mongolia. According to Hmong legends and folklore, it is said that ancient Hmong ancestral kings had created them to determine the best time when rituals, ceremonial events or activities can be performed in order to receive blessings or fortunes from the almighty god.


The Hmong lunar calendar has a system of a set revolving cycles of days (Pahawh: 𖬆𖬰𖬩; RPA: Hnub), weeks (Pahawh: 𖬑𖬟𖬵; RPA: plua), months (Pahawh: 𖬃𖬥; RPA: Hli) and years (Pahawh: 𖬍𖬧𖬰; RPA: xyoo), along with moon cycles and Hmong zodiac


Months of the Year

Gregorian Months Hmong Months (formal in Pahawh) Hmong (formal using RPA) Informal (using RPA)
January 𖬀𖬰𖬤 𖬀𖬶𖬯 Yeej ceeb [Lub] Ib hli
February 𖬆𖬰 𖬀𖬶𖬮 Kub xeeb [Lub] Ob hli
March 𖬖𖬰𖬤 𖬔𖬲 Yaj kiav [Lub] Peb hli
April 𖬀 𖬒𖬯 Keem com [Lub] Plaub hli
May 𖬆𖬰 𖬆𖬶𖬬 Kub nuj [Lub] Tsib hli
June 𖬒𖬶𖬧𖬵 𖬔𖬶𖬞 Tov liaj [Lub] Rau hli
July 𖬐𖬰𖬟 𖬀𖬶𖬮 Huaj xeeb [Lub] Xya hli
August 𖬀𖬶𖬯 𖬑𖬯 Ceeb cua [Lub] Yim hli
September 𖬔𖬝𖬰 𖬆𖬰 𖬀𖬰𖬞 Tsiab kub leej [Lub] Cuaj hli
October 𖬀𖬪𖬵 𖬋𖬰𖬪𖬰 Peem tshais [Lub] Kaum hli
November 𖬌𖬲𖬞 𖬀𖬲 𖬀𖬦𖬰 Looj keev txheem [Lub] Kaum ib hli
December 𖬑𖬶𖬨𖬵 𖬎𖬯 Npuag cawb [Lub] Kaum ob hli

Days of the week

Gregorian Days Hmong Days Hmong RPA Informal (in RPA)
Sunday 𖬘𖬲𖬥𖬰 𖬆𖬰𖬩 Zwj hnub Hnub ib
Monday 𖬘𖬲𖬥𖬰 𖬃𖬥 Zwj hli Hnub ob
Tuesday 𖬘𖬲𖬥𖬰 𖬑𖬶𖬦𖬵 Zwj quag Hnub peb
Wednesday 𖬘𖬲𖬥𖬰 𖬀𖬶𖬜𖬵 Zwj feeb Hnub plaub
Thursday 𖬘𖬲𖬥𖬰 𖬀𖬶𖬧𖬵 Zwj teeb Hnub tsib
Friday 𖬘𖬲𖬥𖬰 𖬐𖬶 Zwj kuab Hnub rau
Saturday 𖬘𖬲𖬥𖬰 𖬗𖬶𖬯 Zwj cag Hnub xya


English Pahawh Hmong Hmong RPA
Spring 𖬊𖬶𖬯 𖬌𖬲𖬫𖬰 𖬌𖬧𖬰 𖬌𖬲𖬫𖬰 𖬍𖬲𖬩𖬵 𖬗𖬥 Caij nplooj xyoob nplooj ntoos hlav
Summer 𖬊𖬶𖬯 𖬆𖬶𖬩𖬵 𖬒𖬶𖬤𖬵 Caij ntuj sov
Autumn/Fall 𖬊𖬶𖬯 𖬌𖬲𖬫𖬰 𖬌𖬧𖬰 𖬌𖬲𖬫𖬰 𖬍𖬲𖬩𖬵 𖬁𖬲𖬥𖬰 Caij nplooj xyoob nplooj ntoos zeeg
Winter 𖬊𖬶𖬯 𖬆𖬶𖬩𖬵 𖬓𖬰𖬬 Caij ntuj no

Moon cycle counting system

Moon cycles

  • The first cycle is the waning gibbous (Pahawh: 𖬃𖬥 𖬔𖬮; RPA: Hli xiab). This occurs within the first 14 days of the month, with a first half moon phase.
  • The second cycle is the full moon (Pahawh: 𖬃𖬥 𖬗𖬰𖬝; RPA: Hli ntsa). This occurs within the 15th day of the month, with a full moon phase.
  • The third cycle is the waxing gibbous (Pahawh: 𖬃𖬥 𖬃𖬰𖬬𖬰; RPA: Hli nqis). This occurs within the last 14 days of the month, with a second half moon phase. And after this, the cycle repeats, similar to that of east asian, southeast asian, and international moon cycles.
Moon Phase Diagram

Moon counting system

International moon cycles Hmong moon cycles Day(s) counted
Waxing moon Pahawh: 𖬃𖬥 𖬖𖬲𖬮; RPA: Hli xab Day 1-14
Full moon Pahawh: 𖬃𖬥 𖬗𖬰𖬝 / 𖬛𖬰𖬝; RPA: Hli ntsa / ntsaa Day 15
Waning moon Pahawh: 𖬃𖬥 𖬉𖬶𖬬𖬰; RPA: Hli nqeg Day 16-29
New moon Pahawh: 𖬃𖬥 𖬑𖬶𖬧𖬵 / 𖬛𖬶𖬧𖬵; RPA: Hli tuag / taag Day 30
First appearing of waxing moon repeats? 1st day
First quarter (half moon) repeats? 8th day
Full moon repeats? 15th day
Third quarter (half moon) repeats? 22nd day
New moon repeats? 30th day

Hmong zodiac

Chinese Zodiac

According to Hmong folklore, it is said that long time ago almighty god (Pahawh: 𖬏𖬲𖬤 𖬄𖬤𖬵; RPA: Yawg Saum) wanted to choose some animals to represent each Lunar Year, and if he only chooses domestic animals it wouldn't be fair toward wild animals - this incident was involved for both heaven and underworld. Therefore he chose half of domestic animals and the other half wild animals in a total of 12 zodiac animals (Pahawh: 𖭑𖭒 𖬇𖬲𖬧𖬵 𖬔𖬶𖬝𖬰 𖬗 𖬍𖬰𖬧𖬰; RPA: 12 tug tsiaj kav xyoo) to represent each Lunar New Year. The 12 aniamls are as follows:

  • Rat (Pahawh: 𖬗𖬲𖬬 / 𖬛𖬲𖬬; RPA: Nas/ Naas)
  • Cow (Pahawh: 𖬆𖬶𖬮𖬵; RPA: Nyuj)
  • Tiger (Pahawh: 𖬒𖬶𖬝𖬰 / 𖬆𖬲𖬝𖬰; RPA: Tsov / Tsuv)
  • Rabbit (Pahawh: 𖬐𖬲𖬞; RPA: Luav)
  • Dragon (Pahawh: 𖬖𖬰𖬥𖬰 / 𖬚𖬰𖬥𖬰; RPA: Zaj / Zaaj)
  • Snake (Pahawh: 𖬖𖬲𖬬 / 𖬚𖬲𖬬; RPA: Nab / Naab)
  • Horse (Pahawh: 𖬁𖬰𖬬; RPA: Nees)
  • Goat (Pahawh: 𖬃𖬰𖬪𖬰; RPA: Tshis)
  • Monkey (Pahawh: 𖬔𖬞 / 𖬖𖬲𖬞; RPA: Liab / Lab)
  • Rooster (Pahawh: 𖬊𖬰𖬦𖬵 / 𖬖𖬲𖬦𖬵; RPA: Qaib / Qab)
  • Dog (Pahawh: 𖬉𖬞𖬰 / 𖬉𖬭𖬰; RPA: Dev / Dlev)
  • Pig (Pahawh: 𖬑𖬨𖬵; RPA: Npua)

Important facts

  • In each month, every moon cycle has 30 days.
  • Each year has about 354 days average.
  • Every 3 years, one full extra month (30 days) is added making 13 moon cycles; leap year.
  • In a 19 years span, about 7 additional months are added as leap month.
  • Based on Hmong farming (Pahawh: 𖬌𖬣𖬵 𖬒𖬶𖬯 𖬌𖬦𖬵 𖬍𖬰𖬞; RPA: Hmoob cov qoob loo), the leap year is considered to have 2 of the 8th month (Pahawh: 𖬐𖬰𖬦 𖭒 𖬆𖬰𖬞 𖬂𖬤 𖬃𖬥; RPA: muaj 2 lub yim hli)


  • Calculating age, time, generation(s), year(s); etc.
  • Determining a legal birth name (with great meanings -- luck, fortune, blessing); and old age name; etc.
  • Analyzing the cause of illness (whether physical, spiritual, or both); the best time to hunt, attend outdoor activities, doing businesses, making profits, etc.; nightmares; etc.
  • Foretelling risky or dangerous event(s)/situation(s); how to alter a risky pathway; etc.

White Hmong / Hmoob Dawb

Green Hmong / Moob Leeg

This page was last updated at 2023-11-07 11:29 UTC. Update now. View original page.

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