Chinese Notes
Chinese Notes

天干地支二十四节气
Heavenly Stems, Earthly Branches, and the 24 Solar Terms

天干 Heavenly Stems
Chinese Pinyin English
Jiǎ First
Second
Bǐng Third
Dīng Fourth
Fifth
Sixth
Gēng Seventh
Xīn Eigth
Rén Ninth
Guǐ Tenth

 

However, these ten symbols forming the heavenly stems should be used with the related earthly branches: the heavenly stems as the main trunk and the earth branches forming the branches. The ancient Chinese used a type of device like a zipper to combine the stems and branches. One one side the heavenly stems rotated and on the other the earthly brances rotated. Together they form a cycle with the least common multiple of 60.

地支 Earthly Branches
Chinese Pinyin English
First
Chǒu Second
Yín Third
Mǎo Fourth
Chén Fifth
Sixth
Seventh
Wèi Eigth
Shēn Ninth
Yǒu Tenth
Eleventh
Hài Twelfth

Notes

  1. There is no difference between simplified and traditional characters for the heavenly stems and earthly branches.

The solar terms refer to the twenty four time periods and seasons, which are an ancient Chinese invention used to guide agricultural affairs and complement that calendar system. The orthodox Chinese solar terms use Henan.

二十四节气 The Twenty-four Solar Terms
Simplified Traditional Pinyin English
立春   Lì Chūn Start of Spring, first
雨水   Yǔ Shuǐ Rain Water, second
惊蛰 驚蟄 Jīng Zhé Waking of the Insects, third
春分   Chūn Fēn Spring Equinox, fourth
清明   Qīng Míng Pure Brightness, fifth
谷雨 穀雨 Gǔ Yǔ Grain Rain, sixth
立夏   Lì Xià Beginning of Summer, seventh
小满 小滿 Xiǎo Mǎn Lesser Full Grain, eighth
芒种 芒種 Máng Zhòng Grain in Ear, ninth
夏至   Xià Zhì Summer Solstice, tenth
小暑   Xiǎo Shǔ Lesser Heat, eleventh
大暑   Dà Shǔ Great Heat, twelfth
立秋   Lì Qiū Start of Autumn, 13th
处暑 處暑 Chǔ Shǔ End of Heat, 14th
白露   Bái Lù White Dew, 15th
秋分   Qiū Fēn Autumn Equinox, 16th
寒露   Hán Lù Cold Dew, 17th
霜降   Shuāng Jiàng Frost Descends, 18th
立冬   Lì Dōng Start of Winter, 19th
小雪   Xiǎo Xuě Lesser Snow, 20th
大雪   Dà Xuě Great Snow, 21st
冬至   Dōng Zhì Winter Solstice, 22nd
小寒   Xiǎo Hán Lesser Cold, 23rd
大寒   Dà Hán Great Cold, 24th

References

  1. Wikipedia, 天干 at zh.wikipedia.org.