The 10 Heavenly Stems (天干) and 12 Earthly Branches (地支)

The Traditional Chinese Lunar Calendar is associated with the 10 Heavenly Stems and 12 Earthly Branches.


The Heavenly Stems (天干)

The First Component of a Year’s Name are the Heavenly Stems which represents the Five Elements (Metal, Wood, Water, Fire and Earth):

Heavenly Stem Stem name in Chinese in pinyin
1st heavenly stem jia jiǎ
2nd heavenly stem yi
3rd heavenly stem bing bǐng
4th heavenly stem ding dīng
5th heavenly stem wu
6th heavenly stem ji
7th heavenly stem geng gēng
8th heavenly stem xin xīn
9th heavenly stem ren rén
10th heavenly stem gui guǐ


The Earthly Braches (地支)

The Second Compoent of the year’s name are the Earthly Branches which is associated with the 12 Chinese Zodiac animals

Earthly Branch Branch name in Chinese in pinyin Zodiac Animals
1st earthly branch zi Rat
2nd earthly branch chou chǒu Ox
3rd earthly branch yin yín Tiger
4th earthly branch mao mǎo Rabbit
5th earthly branch chen chén Dragon
6th earthly branch si Snake
7th earthly branch wu Horse
8th earthly branch wei wèi Goat
9th earthly branch shen shēn Monkey
10th earthly branch you yǒu Rooster
11th earthly branch xu Dog
12th earthly branch hai hài Boar



Find Out More About the Traditional Chinese Lunar Calendar here

Back To Traditional Chinese Cultures

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