The Chinese divide time differently from the way Western cultures divide time. Most of us are accustomed to 100-year centuries, but the Chinese divide time into blocks of 60 years. We divide our centuries into ten decades. The Chinese divide their sixty-year spans into “dozencades” or twelve-year periods.

In the West, we divide our year up twelve times by its suns. Each 30 day month has its own astrological name. Every year our cycle begins anew. In the East, each year within the twelve-year dozencade has its own animal name. At the end of each twelve-year period the Chinese cycle begins anew.