sì snake; 6th earthly branch and zodiac element


Similar looking characters : jǐ (self)

Note

Picture of a snake
Number of strokes: 3

Radical

Index 49 used in: used in: bāo (to cover) ; gǎng (harbor) ; yì (different)

< Previous radical 48 gōng Next radical 50 jīn >

Sounds same

sì (four) sì (to run) sì (Buddhist temple)

Different tone

sī (silk) sī (private) sī (silk) sī (to think) sǐ (die)
Full character form of this simplified radical:

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stroke order for 巳
Stroke order for character 巳, kindly provided under Wikimedia creative commons license

Also

上巳节 Shàngsìjié Shangsi Festival

Chinese elements

While the Greeks had four elements (air, water, fire and earth) the Chinese had five (wood, metal, fire, earth and water) these should not be considered the same as chemical constituents, they are like phases of matter. So 'life' essence is wood, 'liquid' essence is water, 'gas' essence is fire. The Chinese built up a very complex system of interrelation between these elements trying to explain all phenomena as a blend of five basic properties. It came to dominate Chinese science and governed affairs at court. For example the correct time of year for executions was autumn because autumn is associated with death.
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