From the Stretch-A-Leg Blog

What Makes This Year a Wooden Horse in Ancient Chinese Timekeeping?

Year of the Horse

Most people know that the Chinese Year of the Horse kicked off February 1, but did you know that it is also the Wood Horse Year?

Not only do traditional Chinese calendars follow the 12-year Chinese zodiac but they also incorporate the ancient Five-Elements concept which cycle in five-year increments along with the 12-year zodiac.

Therefore, each year is a combination of one animal from the zodiac and one element from the five elements.

The Five Elements are: Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal and Water.  The five element concept is found throughout ancient Chinese thought from philosophy, traditional medicine, to feng shui, and even calendars!

So not only is this the Year of the Horse, it is the year of the wood element making this the Wood Horse year.

Wood Logs

What does Noon Time and the Horse have in Common?

Since the 15th century, Chinese timekeeping also divided the day into 12 two-hour increments which also each correspond with an animal from zodiac.

The "Hour of the Horse" or "Jia Shi" is from 11am to 1am. Horse is symbolized by the Chinese Character "午" which is also the same character to symbolize 12pm noon (which as you have just learned falls into the Hour of the Horse!).

A Year of Excitement, Surprises, and Adventure

The year 2014 or the Year of the Wood Horse is said to be filled with high-spirits, excitement, surprises, romance, and adventures.

If you want to have a fantastic adventure in Beijing with expert guides, make sure you contact us so we can start planning your trip and looking forward to hosting you!

Horse Painting

Happy Year of the Wood Horse from your friends at Stretch-a-leg Travel!



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