Personal Clash Day

The process of date selection starts with eliminating inauspicious dates.

Two of the most inauspicious dates are the year breaker and month breaker. The year breaker is the day where the earthly branch of the day clashes with the earthly branch of the year. The month breaker on the other hand is the day where the earthly branch of the day clashes with the earthly branch of the month.

As a rule the year and month breaker are not used but in exceptional circumstances certain year and month breakers are allowed.


In addition to the year and month breaker, the personal clash day is considered to be a highly inauspicious day and is not used. So what is a personal clash day? It is the day that clashes with the earthly branch of the year of your birth.

In the Chinese calendar system, our year of birth is denoted by a set of heavenly stems and branch. To find out the stem and branch combination of your year of birth, you can simply refer to the Ten Thousand Year Calendar.

Let’s illustrate this win an example. Let’s suppose that you are born on the 1st June 1957. Using the tool above we find out that the stem branch combination is Ding You.

The earthly branch is ‘You’. In the clash and combination of the branches, ‘You’ clash with ‘Mao’. Therefore a ‘Mao’ day is a personal clash day for anyone born in the year of ‘You’. It should not be used for any significant activity such as renovation or moving.

How do you know if a day is a ‘Mao’ day? Again you can use the Ten Thousand Year Calendar. You do not have 10,000 years of data but the 100 or so years given are more than sufficient. Most Chinese calendars also show the stem branch combination. Nowadays it is possible to purchase a diary in English showing the stem and branch of the day (and year and month).

You can even do it with Microsoft Outlook. Click Tools menu followed by Options. Select Calendar Options under the Preference Tab. Enable Alternate Calendar under the Advanced Option and select Chinese Simplified or Traditional and Zodiac. That is it! Other versions of Outlook may have a slightly different setting sequence so you may need to figure it out yourself.

So far so good but there is still a problem. The stem and branch is shown in Chinese character. If you find a way to display the Hanyu Pinyin equivalent, please let me know. Meanwhile you can learn how to recognize and write the characters of each of the 22 characters of the stems and branches here.

What if you need to find a date for moving for a family of three? For example father is born on a ‘You’ year, mother is a ‘Shen’ year and son in a ‘Hai’ year. If possible you should eliminate all clash days which includes ‘Mao’ (clash with ‘You’), ‘Yin’ (clash with ‘Shen’ and ‘Si’ days (clash with ‘Hai’).

However if it is not possible, then you should at least eliminate the personal clash day of the head of the household. It used to the husband or father by default but these days it is advisable to ask. It could be the wife or mother!

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