The year 2014 in the Gregorian calendar was the year of the yang wood horse in the Chinese calendar. This marked it as a year of tumult and high energy, according to experts in Chinese astrology.
The Chinese calendar is cyclic, with each year being assigned a title based on a stem-and-branch model of the cosmos. Every year has an element (associated with a celestial stem) and a sign of the zodiac (associated with a terrestrial branch). Every element also has both a yin and a yang component. The five elements are wood, metal, earth, water and fire, while the 12 zodiac signs are the rat, pig, rooster, sheep, horse, dragon, tiger, monkey, dog, snake, rabbit and ox. It takes 60 years for the Chinese calendar cycle to go through all the combinations of stems and branches. 2014 was the second horse year of the 21st century and the 31st year of its contemporary Chinese calendar cycle.