Personal Understanding of the Chinese Calendar

A Practitioner in the Southern

PureInsight | June 4, 2002

Before obtaining Dafa, I was fond of the Taoist “Yin Yang Five Elements” and greatly admired the Chinese Gan-Zhi Calendar. The Chinese forefathers were so intelligent and practical. By observing the motion of the heavenly bodies (the Sun, the Moon, and stars), they were able to come up with a 60-year-cycle calendar system, to be usable forever. Because it refers to the Moon, ordinary people called it a “Lunar Calendar”. Anyway, the Chinese Calendar is “logical” or relative rather than “physical” or absolute; a Golden Dragon year is a Golden Dragon year and on the 15th of any month, the Moon will be full without any exception. It was so natural and scientific as to last thousands of years. The only thing I was wondering about is, since the Calendar is said to have been passed down from “Huang Di” (the Yellow Emperor), then what year should this year be in “Huang Di Ji Yuan” (the Yellow Emperor Epoch)?

After practicing cultivation in the Great Fa, I have given up this insignificant technique and trivial ability. I realize that everyday persons are controlled by the “Yin Yang Five Elements”, while genuine practitioners should eventually “transcend the Three Realms and the Five Elements”. Farmers work with the land per the 24 Jie Qi (calendar festivals) for planting in Spring, growing in Summer, harvesting in Autumn, and storing in Winter. But it is a distorted notion to call it the “Farmer’s Calendar” because that name reverses the root and end or the cause and effect. As to the general practice of Chinese folks “checking with the Yellow Calendar” (for scheduling events with a lucky or right time), they should not be blamed too much. Human society is a certain layer, although at a low level, manifestation of the Fa; being lost in the earthy world, people are still searching for some way to “obey Heaven and follow the norm”. So, doesn’t “the Yellow Calendar” mean the Calendar established by the Yellow Emperor? To rectify the Fa and to faithfully trace the origin, it seems proper to name the Chinese calendar “the Yellow Calendar” (in Chinese “Huang Li”). Zhuan Falun says: “We will strengthen all these matters…preserving the good part and removing the bad part.” Also in that book, we read, “Ancient Chinese science focused directly on the human body, life, and the universe. It studied these subjects directly; it took a different approach.” Heaven and men merging together goes back a long way in history. I did not know why so until the Teacher pointed out frankly in his recent Fa lecture about the demi-divine 5000 years of Chinese culture”. Therefore, my personal understanding of the Chinese calendar is as follows: Gan Zhi consists of 10 Heavenly Gan’s and 12 Earth Zhi’s, 10 Heavenly trunks of the gods and 12 earthy roots/branches of humans. The least multiple between 10 and 12 is 60. So 60 years make a cycle in the Calendar, rotating forever and ever as a manifestation of Falun’s rotating constantly in the human world.

Teacher says in his Touring North America to Lecture on the Fa that “No matter which country you’re in, you were first Chinese on this earth, because your first incarnation was there”. Then, by this token, shouldn’t we practitioners all use the “Huang Di Ji Yuan” and “the Yellow Calendar” to indicate the current Year/Month/Day? According to the study of Sinologists, the Chinese Calendar was official on the Yellow Emperor’s 61st year (2637 BC) on the throne. Therefore, Year One of the Yellow Emperor Epoch should be 2697 BC. Then this year 2002 is “Huang Di Ji Yuan” Year 4699, “Ren-Wu” (Year of Great Water Horse). In math, 4699 divided by 12 has a remainder of 7 and No. 7 is Horse.

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The 10 Heavenly Gan’s are related to the “Yin Yang Five Elements” as follows:
G1 – Yang (Male) Wood (“Jia” in Chinese)
G2 – Yin (Female) Wood (“Yi” in Chinese)
G3 – Yang (Male) Fire (“Bing” in Chinese)
G4 – Yin (Female) Fire (“Ding” in Chinese)
G5 – Yang (Male) Earth (“Wu” in Chinese)
G6 – Yin (Female) Earth (“Ji” in Chinese)
G7 – Yang (Male) Metal (“Geng” in Chinese)
G8 – Yin (Female) Metal (“Xin” in Chinese)
G9 – Yang (Male) Water (“Ren” in Chinese)
G10 – Yin (Female) Water (“Gui” in Chinese)

The 12 Earthy Zhi’s may be symbolized by the 12 animals, respectively:
Z1 – Mouse (“Zi” in Chinese)
Z2 – Cow (“Chou” in Chinese)
Z3 – Tiger (“Yin” in Chinese)
Z4 – Rabbit (“Mao” in Chinese)
Z5 – Dragon (“Chen” in Chinese)
Z6 – Snake (“Su” in Chinese)
Z7 – Horse (“Wu” in Chinese)
Z8 – Sheep (“Wei” in Chinese)
Z9 – Monkey (“Shen” in Chinese)
Z10 – Chicken (“You” in Chinese)
Z11 – Dog (“Shi” in Chinese)
Z12 – Pig (“Hai” in Chinese)

So the unique 60 combinations of Gan’s and Zhi’s result in the following Universal 60 Years Table in the Chinese Calendar:

Y 1: G 1Z 1 Y13: G 3Z 1
Y 2: G 2Z 2 Y14: G 4Z 2
Y 3: G 3Z 3 Y15: G 5Z 3
Y 4: G 4Z 4 Y16: G 6Z 4
Y 5: G 5Z 5 Y17: G 7Z 5
Y 6: G 6Z 6 Y18: G 8Z 6
Y 7: G 7Z 7 Y19: G 9Z 7
Y 8: G 8Z 8 Y20: G10Z 8
Y 9: G 9Z 9 Y21: G 1Z 9
Y10:G10Z10 Y22: G 2Z10
Y11: G 1Z11 Y23: G 3Z11
Y12: G 2Z12 Y24: G 4Z12
Y25: G 5Z 1 Y37: G 7Z 1
Y26: G 6Z 2 Y38: G 8Z 2
Y27: G 7Z 3 Y39: G 9Z 3
Y28: G 8Z 4 Y40:G10Z 4
Y29: G 9Z 5 Y41: G 1Z 5
Y30:G10Z 6 Y42: G 2Z 6
Y31: G 1Z 7 Y43: G 3Z 7
Y32: G 2Z 8 Y44: G 4Z 8
Y33: G 3Z 9 Y45: G 5Z 9
Y34: G 4Z10 Y46: G 6Z10
Y35: G 5Z11 Y47: G 7Z11
Y36: G 6Z12 Y48: G 8Z12
Y49: G 9Z 1
Y50:G10Z 2
Y51: G 1Z 3
Y52: G 2Z 4
Y53: G 3Z 5
Y54: G 4Z 6
Y55: G 5Z 7
Y56: G 6Z 8
Y57: G 7Z 9
Y58: G 8Z10
Y59: G 9Z11

For example, “Huang Emperor Epoch Year 61” takes the same logical symbol “G 1 Z 1” as if that for “Year 1”. This current year 2002 AD is “Huang Emperor Epoch Year 4699”. Divided by 60, 4699 has a remainder of 19. That means Year 4699 carries the same logical symbol as that of Year 19, “G 9Z 7”, a “Ren Wu”, Yang (Male) Water Horse, Year.

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