What is a Day Breaker?

The Day Breaker is the most inauspicious time period of the day. As a rule, we avoid carrying out any auspicious activities such as engagement, marriage, opening business, signing agreement, house warming etc during this time period.

There is a reason why I use the term time period instead of hour. Unlike a Western hour which is made up of 60 minutes, a Chinese hour is 120 minutes long. For example the “Zi” or Rat time is from 11 PM to 1 AM. The “Chou” or Ox time is from 1 AM to 3 AM and so on. Please read my article titled, “Chinese Hours” for more on the subject.

So how do you figure out the Day Breaker for each day?

The answer lies with the Earthly Branch of the day. In Chinese time keeping, every day is represented by a Heavenly Stem and Earthly Branch combination. The usual way to find out this combination is be referencing the Ten Thousand Year Calendar. This reference book used to be available in Chinese only but is now available in English.

A faster way is to use my on-line Chinese Calendar Converter. Select the Gregorian date, hit the submit button and the tool will provide you with the equivalent Chinese Lunar and Solar day as well as some other information. Look for the Chinese Solar day on the third line. It should read X Y day. X is the Heavenly Stem of the day while Y is the Earthly Branch of the day. Take note of Y. It should be one of the 12 Earthly Branches namely Zi, Chou, Yin, Mao, Chen, Si, Wu, Wei, Shen, You, Xu or Hai. There is a correlation between the Earthly Branches and Chinese animal signs. For example Zi is Rat while Chou is Ox etc. Please refer to the table for the rest. So if the Branch of the day is Zi, that day is also known as a Rat day.

Earthly Branch Corresponding Animal Sign

Earthly BranchCorresponding Animal Sign

There is a clash relationship between the animal signs. For example Rat clash with Horse and vice versa. Please refer to the table below for the rest of the clash relationship.


Now let’s go back to Day Breaker. Every Chinese Hour (Two Western hour equivalent) is represented by an Earthly Branch or Animal sign. For example the hours between 11 PM and 1 AM is known as the Zi or Rat time, the hours between 1 AM and 3 AM id Chou or Ox time and so on.

Earthly Branch Animal Sign Hours

Earthly BranchAnimal SignHours
ZiRat11 pm to 1 am
ChouOx1 am to 3 am
YinTiger3 am to 5 am
MaoRabbit5 am to 7 am
ChenDragon7 am to 9 am
SiSnake9 am to 11 am
WuHorse11 am to 1 pm
WeiGoat1 pm to 3 pm
ShenMonkey3 pm to 5 pm
YouRooster5 pm to 7 pm
XuDog7 pm to 9 pm
HaiPig9 pm to 11 pm

The Day breaker is the Chinese Hour or time period that clash with the Earthly Branch of the day. For example if the Branch of the day is Chou or Ox, then the Day Breaker of the day is the Wei or Goat hour (between 1 PM and 3 PM).

I will elaborate on this using a couple of real life examples.

Let’s take the 11 Nov 2011. Using the Ten Thousand Year calendar reference or my on-line tool, you find out that it is a Wu (or Horse) day. The Horse clashes with the Rat. Therefore the Day Breaker hour is Rat or Zi (from 11 PM to 1 AM).

Let’s take the 12 Dec 2011. Using the Ten Thousand Year calendar reference or my on-line tool, you find out that it is a Wei (or Goat) day. The Goat clashes with the Ox. Therefore the Day Breaker hour is Ox or Chou (from 1 AM to 3 AM).

That is a Day Breaker for you.

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