English reign name, or era name system of dating that was adopted by the Chinese in 114/113 BC (retroactive to 140 BC). The nien-hao system was introduced by Emperor Wu-ti (reigned 14087 BC) of the Western Han, and every emperor thereafter gave his reign a nien-hao at the beginning of his accession (sometimes a new nien-hao was assigned on the basis of signs of a particularly auspicious or ominous nature or on special occasions). The nien-hao system persisted until and informally for some years after the establishment of the republic in 1911, which was considered year one of a new period in the nien-hao manner. In 1949, upon the founding of the People's Republic of China, the Gregorian calendar was adopted.
Meaning of NIEN-HAO in English
Britannica English vocabulary. Английский словарь Британика. 2012