A 60-Year Cycle

What Is A 60-Year Cycle?

Also named the sexagenary cycle or  the stem-branch cycle, the Chinese 60-year calendar cycle is based on the combinations of a cycle of ten heavenly stems and twelve earthly branches. Each year is named by a pair of one stem and one branch. The Year of Jia Zi (Jia from the heavenly stems and Zi from the earthly branches) is the beginning of the sexagenary cycle. The next Jia Zi Year will come 60 years later. Jia Zi has had a figurative meaning a full lifespan in ancient times, similarly the ‘threescore years and ten’ in the Bible. People would be obviously blessed if they can meet the second Jia Zi in life. Therefore, a 60-year cycle is also called a Jia Zi.

Table of a 60-Year Cycle

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STEM/ BRANCH

GREGORIAN YEAR

ZODIAC SIGN

WU XING

1

Jia Zi

1924

rat

WOOD

2

Yi Chou

1925

ox

WOOD

3

Bing Yin

1926

tiger

FIRE

4

Ding Mao

1927

rabbit

FIRE

5

Wu Chen

1928

dragon

EARTH

6

Ji Si

1929

rattlesnake

EARTH

7

Geng Wu

1930

horse

METAL

8

Xin Wei

1931

lamb

METAL

9

Ren Shen

1932

monkey

WATER

10

Gui You

1933

rooster

WATER

11

Jia Xu

1934

dog

WOOD

12

Yi Hai

1935

piglet

WOOD

13

Bing Zi

1936

rat

FIRE

14

Ding Chou

1937

ox

FIRE

15

Wu Yin

1938

tiger

EARTH

16

Ji Mao

1939

rabbit

EARTH

17

Geng Chen

1940

dragon

METAL

18

Xin Si

1941

rattlesnake

METAL

19

Ren Wu

1942

horse

WATER

20

Gui Wei

1943

lamb

WATER

21

Jia Shen

1944

monkey

WOOD

22

Yi You

1945

rooster

WOOD

23

Bing Xu

1946

dog

FIRE

24

Ding Hai

1947

piglet

FIRE

25

Wu Zi

1948

rat

EARTH

26

Ji Chou

1949

ox

EARTH

27

Geng Yin

1950

tiger

METAL

28

Xin Mao

1951

rabbit

METAL

29

Ren Chen

1952

dragon

WATER

30

Gui Si

1953

rattlesnake

WATER

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STEM/ BRANCH

GREGORIAN YEAR

ZODIAC SIGN

WU XING

31

Jia Wu

1954

 horse

WOOD

32

Yi Wei

1955

 lamb

WOOD

33

Bing Shen

1956

 monkey

FIRE

34

Ding You

1957

 rooster

FIRE

35

Wu Xu

1958

 dog

EARTH

36

Ji Hai

1959

 piglet

EARTH

37

Geng Zi

1960

 rat

METAL

38

Xin Chou

1961

 ox

METAL

39

Ren Yin

1962

 tiger

WATER

40

Gui Mao

1963

 rabbit

WATER

41

Jia Chen

1964

 dragon

WOOD

42

Yi Si

1965

 rattlesnake

WOOD

43

Bing Wu

1966

 horse

FIRE

44

Ding Wei

1967

 lamb

FIRE

45

Wu Shen

1968

 monkey

EARTH

46

Ji You

1969

 rooster

EARTH

47

Geng Xu

1970

 dog

METAL

48

Xin Hai

1971

 piglet

METAL

49

Ren Zi

1972

 rat

WATER

50

Gui Chou

1973

 ox

WATER

51

Jia Yin

1974

 tiger

WOOD

52

Yi Mao

1975

 rabbit

WOOD

53

Bing Chen

1976

 dragon

FIRE

54

Ding Si

1977

 rattlesnake

FIRE

55

Wu Wu

1978

 horse

EARTH

56

Ji Wei

1979

 lamb

EARTH

57

Geng Shen

1980

 monkey

METAL

58

Xin You

1981

 rooster

METAL

59

Ren Xu

1982

 dog

WATER

60

Gui Hai

1983

 piglet

WATER

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STEM/ BRANCH

Gregorian Year

Zodiac Sign

Wu Xing

1

Jia Zi

1984

rat

WOOD

2

Yi Chou

1985

ox

WOOD

3

Bing Yin

1986

tiger

FIRE

4

Ding Mao

1987

rabbit

FIRE

5

Wu Chen

1988

dragon

EARTH

6

Ji Si

1989

rattlesnake

EARTH

7

Geng Wu

1990

horse

METAL

8

Xin Wei

1991

lamb

METAL

9

Ren Shen

1992

monkey

WATER

10

Gui You

1993

rooster

WATER

11

Jia Xu

1994

dog

WOOD

12

Yi Hai

1995

piglet

WOOD

13

Bing Zi

1996

rat

FIRE

14

Ding Chou

1997

ox

FIRE

15

Wu Yin

1998

tiger

EARTH

16

Ji Mao

1999

rabbit

EARTH

17

Geng Chen

2000

dragon

METAL

18

Xin Si

2001

rattlesnake

METAL

19

Ren Wu

2002

horse

WATER

20

Gui Wei

2003

lamb

WATER

21

Jia Shen

2004

monkey

WOOD

22

Yi You

2005

rooster

WOOD

23

Bing Xu

2006

dog

FIRE

24

Ding Hai

2007

piglet

FIRE

25

Wu Zi

2008

rat

EARTH

26

Ji Chou

2009

ox

EARTH

27

Geng Yin

2010

tiger

METAL

28

Xin Mao

2011

rabbit

METAL

29

Ren Chen

2012

dragon

WATER

30

Gui Si

2013

rattlesnake

WATER

31

Jia Wu

2014

horse

WOOD

32

Yi Wei

2015

lamb

WOOD

33

Bing Shen

2016

monkey

FIRE

34

Ding You

2017

rooster

FIRE

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* A new Jia Zi begins from 1984, and so on.
* The accurate division is the Beginning of Spring (first of the 24 Solar Terms), although some online calendars adopt Chinese New Year’s Day as the division.

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2 thoughts on “A 60-Year Cycle

    1. I love the whole history, I can not get enough of it. This too, I am writing in a book but the Fundamentals of Chakras is the one I am now editing to hopefully publish soon.

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