Sixty-year cycle

Article

July 6, 2022

Sixty-year cycle is the designation of a cycle consisting of 60 character combinations and is the traditional Chinese method of naming years. Each combination consists partly of one of the ten heavenly tribes and partly of one of the twelve earthly branches. Each year gets properties based on what properties the characters are considered to have. The heavenly tribes all have one of the five elements and each of the earthly branches belongs to one of the signs in the zodiac. By starting from the beginning of each of the two series and increasing both by one each year, you will get a cycle of 60 character combinations that together stand for one year. This is the reason why every year in the Chinese calendar associates with an element and a zodiac animal. The 60 combinations are:

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Chinese calendar