Last updated 2015-02-18 23:06:11 SGT
Happy Chinese New Year, everyone! The Chinese Metonic lunisolar month begins on the new moon, which, for this month, occurs at 0747h SGT on the 19th of February; that makes it 1847h EST on the 18th. Consequently (in America, anyway), 初一 falls on the 18th, which is today. For consistency with China, however (and also because most Americans don't know how the Chinese calendar works), the civil date of Chinese New Year is ordinarily computed as though astronomical observations were made in China.
Coincidentally, this year's civil new year begins on the same day as 雨水, which is instead determined by solar ecliptic longitude. Also, it is Ash Wednesday today. Spring festivals all round!