Chinese Erratum In Radio Derb (But Happy New Year Anyway)
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Sorry, I buggered up my calendrical calculations when signing off last night's Radio Derb.

In the traditional Chinese sexagenary cycle, the year we have just embarked upon is xīn chŏu, not dīng chŏu.

Full explanation of the sixty-year cycle here.

Short explanation: There are ten stems (call 'em A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H, I, and J) and twelve branches (call 'em 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, and 12). The twelve branches are the ones tagged with animals: rat, ox, tiger, hare, dragon, snake, horse, sheep monkey, rooster, dog, boar.

A cycle starts with A-1. Then B-2, C-3, D-4, … to J-10.

You have two branches left (11 and 12), but you've run out of stems, so you start again: A-11, B-12, C-1, D-2, … to J-8.

Now you have four branches left (9, 10, 11, and 12), but you've run out of stems again. So: A-9, B-10, C-11, D-12, E-1, F-2, … to J-6.

On this pattern, it's sixty years from A-1 to J-12. In the current cycle, A-1 is 1984 (yes, really); J-12 will be 2043. We have just entered H-2, Chinese xīn chŏu.

My humble apologies to the spirits of the ancestors. 

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