Seasons, 5 Elements & Animals


In order to include the Season throughout the year either as part of a title or as part of your date each is shown below:

  • Spring (chūn)
  • Summer (xià)
  • Autumn (qiū)
  • Winter (dōng)
Chinese Calligraphy - 4 Seasons
Chinese Calligraphy – 4 Seasons: Spring, Summer, Autumn, Winter

Please note that you do not need to include the measure word (tiān) when including the season on your painting, just the season name. If you were writing Chinese generally you would include it.

5 Elements (wǔ xíng)

In order to include the element for the year, the 5 elements (wǔ xíng) are shown below:

  • Metal (jīn)
  • Wood (mù)
  • Water (shuǐ)
  • Fire (huǒ)
  • Earth (tǔ)
Calligraphy - 5 elements - Metal Wood Water Fire Earth
Calligraphy – 5 elements – Metal Wood Water Fire Earth

Zodiac Animals

AnimalCalligraphypinyinYearYearBlog post
RatChinese Calligraphy - Rat Mouse - shushǔ20202032Rats in the garden
OxChinese Calligraphy - Ox niuniú20212033Ox and boy…
TigerChinese Calligraphy - Tiger - hu20222034
HareChinese Calligraphy - Hare - tu20232035Spring Hares
DragonChinese Calligraphy - Dragon - Long traditionallóng20242036Chinese Dragon Origins
SnakeChinese Calligraphy - Snake - sheshé20252037
HorseChinese Calligraphy - Horse ma traditional20262038
GoatChinese Calligraphy - Goat Sheep ya2ngyáng20272039
MonkeyChinese Calligraphy - Monkey - Gouhóu20282040
RoosterChinese Calligraphy - Rooster Chicken - ji traditional20292041The Rooster turns…
DogChinese Calligraphy - Dog go3ugǒu20302042Waiting for his master
BoarChinese Calligraphy - Hog swine shi3shǐ20312043Radicals and pigs
Zodiac Animals from 2020 onward

There are always nuances with regard to Chinese Calligraphy so please do get in touch if there is something I have not covered or explained well. Please email:

Want a workshop with us?