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The Chinese zodiac
Chinese zodiac
is a classification scheme that assigns an animal and its reputed attributes to each year in a repeating 12-year cycle. The 12-year cycle is an approximation to the 11.86-year orbital period of Jupiter, the largest planet of the Solar System.[1] It and its variations remain popular in many Asian countries including China, Japan, South Korea, Vietnam, Taiwan, Mongolia, Cambodia, Laos, Nepal, Bhutan, and Thailand.

Contents

1 Name 2 Signs 3 Chinese calendar

3.1 Years 3.2 Months and solar terms 3.3 Day

4 Compatibility 5 Four Pillars 6 Four Animal Trines

6.1 First Trine 6.2 Second Trine 6.3 Third Trine 6.4 Fourth Trine

7 Zodiac
Zodiac
origin stories

7.1 The Great Race

8 Problems with English translation 9 Chinese zodiac
Chinese zodiac
in other countries

9.1 Asia 9.2 Bulgars, Huns
Huns
and Turkic people

9.2.1 Torè calendar

10 Gallery 11 See also 12 References 13 Sources 14 External links

Name[edit] The Chinese zodiac
Chinese zodiac
is called 生肖 or Shēngxiào
Shēngxiào
in Mandarin. Identifying this scheme using the generic term "zodiac" reflects several superficial similarities to the Western zodiac: both have time cycles divided into 12 parts, each labels at least the majority of those parts with names of animals, and each is widely associated with a culture of ascribing a person's personality or events in his or her life to the supposed influence of the person's particular relationship to the cycle. Nevertheless, there are major differences which render the term inaccurate: the animals of the Chinese zodiac
Chinese zodiac
are not associated with constellations spanned by the ecliptic plane. The Chinese 12-part cycle corresponds to years, rather than months. The Chinese zodiac
Chinese zodiac
is represented by 12 animals, whereas some of the signs in the Western zodiac are not animals, despite the implication of the Greek etymology of the zodiac. Signs[edit]

A stone carving of the Chinese zodiac.

The zodiac traditionally begins with the sign of the Rat. The following are the twelve zodiac signs (each with its associated Earthly Branch) in order and their characteristics.[2] Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal, and Water as nature five elements.

Rat – 鼠 (子) (Yang, 1st Trine, Fixed Element Water) Ox – 牛 (丑) (Yin, 2nd Trine, Fixed Element Earth) Tiger – 虎 (寅) (Yang, 3rd Trine, Fixed Element Wood) Rabbit – 兔 (卯) (Yin, 4th Trine, Fixed Element Wood) Dragon – 龍 (辰) (Yang, 1st Trine, Fixed Element Earth) Snake – 蛇 (巳) (Yin, 2nd Trine, Fixed Element Fire) Horse – 馬 (午) (Yang, 3rd Trine, Fixed Element Fire) Goat – 羊 (未) (Yin, 4th Trine, Fixed Element Earth) Monkey – 猴 (申) (Yang, 1st Trine, Fixed Element Metal) Rooster – 雞 (酉) (Yin, 2nd Trine, Fixed Element Metal) Dog – 狗 (戌) (Yang, 3rd Trine, Fixed Element Earth) Pig – 豬 (亥) (Yin, 4th Trine, Fixed Element Water)

In Chinese astrology
Chinese astrology
the animal signs assigned by year represent what others perceive you as being or how you present yourself. It is a common misconception that the animals assigned by year are the only signs and many Western descriptions of Chinese astrology
Chinese astrology
draw solely on this system. In fact, there are also animal signs assigned by month (called inner animals), by day (called true animals) and hours (called secret animals). The Earth is all 12 signs, 5 seasons. While a person might appear to be a Dragon because they were born in the year of the Dragon, they might also be a Snake internally, an Ox truly, and a Goat secretively. A conflict between a person's zodiac sign and how they live is known as Tai Sui
Tai Sui
or kai sui. Chinese calendar[edit] Main article: Chinese calendar Years[edit] Main article: Sexagenary cycle Within the Four Pillars, the year is the pillar representing information about the person's family background and society or relationship with their grandparents. The person's age can also be easily deduced from the sign of the person, the current sign of the year and the person's perceived age (teens, mid 20's, 40's and so on). For example, a person who is a Tiger is either 12, 24, 36 or 48 years old in 2010, the year of the Tiger. In 2011, the year of the Rabbit, that person is one year older. The following table shows the 60-year cycle matched up to the Gregorian calendar
Gregorian calendar
for the years 1924–2043 (see sexagenary cycle article for years 1804–2043). The sexagenary cycle begins at lichun about February 4 according to some astrological sources.[3]

  Year Associated Element Heavenly Stem Earthly Branch Associated Animal Year

1924–1983 1984–2043

1 Feb 05 1924–Jan 23 1925 Yang Wood 甲 子 Rat Feb 02 1984–Feb 19 1985

2 Jan 24 1925–Feb 12 1926 Yin Wood 乙 丑 Ox Feb 20 1985–Feb 08 1986

3 Feb 13 1926–Feb 01 1927 Yang Fire 丙 寅 Tiger Feb 09 1986–Jan 28 1987

4 Feb 02 1927–Jan 22 1928 Yin Fire 丁 卯 Rabbit Jan 29 1987–Feb 16 1988

5 Jan 23 1928–Feb 09 1929 Yang Earth 戊 辰 Dragon Feb 17 1988–Feb 05 1989

6 Feb 10 1929–Jan 29 1930 Yin Earth 己 巳 Snake Feb 06 1989–Jan 26 1990

7 Jan 30 1930–Feb 16 1931 Yang Metal 庚 午 Horse Jan 27 1990–Feb 14 1991

8 Feb 17 1931–Feb 05 1932 Yin Metal 辛 未 Goat Feb 15 1991–Feb 03 1992

9 Feb 06 1932–Jan 25 1933 Yang Water 壬 申 Monkey Feb 04 1992–Jan 22 1993

10 Jan 26 1933–Feb 13 1934 Yin Water 癸 酉 Rooster Jan 23 1993– Feb 09 1994

11 Feb 14 1934–Feb 03 1935 Yang Wood 甲 戌 Dog Feb 10 1994–Jan 30 1995

12 Feb 04 1935–Jan 23 1936 Yin Wood 乙 亥 Pig Jan 31 1995–Feb 18 1996

13 Jan 24 1936–Feb 10 1937 Yang Fire 丙 子 Rat Feb 19 1996–Feb 06 1997

14 Feb 11 1937–Jan 30 1938 Yin Fire 丁 丑 Ox Feb 07 1997–Jan 27 1998

15 Jan 31 1938–Feb 18 1939 Yang Earth 戊 寅 Tiger Jan 28 1998–Feb 15 1999

16 Feb 19 1939–Feb 07 1940 Yin Earth 己 卯 Rabbit Feb 16 1999–Feb 04 2000

17 Feb 08 1940–Jan 26 1941 Yang Metal 庚 辰 Dragon Feb 05 2000–Jan 23 2001

18 Jan 27 1941–Feb 14 1942 Yin Metal 辛 巳 Snake Jan 24 2001–Feb 11 2002

19 Feb 15 1942–Feb 04 1943 Yang Water 壬 午 Horse Feb 12 2002–Jan 31 2003

20 Feb 05 1943–Jan 24 1944 Yin Water 癸 未 Goat Feb 01 2003–Jan 21 2004

21 Jan 25 1944–Feb 12 1945 Yang Wood 甲 申 Monkey Jan 22 2004–Feb 08 2005

22 Feb 13 1945–Feb 01 1946 Yin Wood 乙 酉 Rooster Feb 09 2005–Jan 28 2006

23 Feb 02 1946–Jan 21 1947 Yang Fire 丙 戌 Dog Jan 29 2006–Feb 17 2007

24 Jan 22 1947–Feb 09 1948 Yin Fire 丁 亥 Pig Feb 18 2007–Feb 06 2008

25 Feb 10 1948–Jan 28 1949 Yang Earth 戊 子 Rat Feb 07 2008–Jan 25 2009

26 Jan 29 1949–Feb 16 1950 Yin Earth 己 丑 Ox Jan 26 2009–Feb 13 2010

27 Feb 17 1950–Feb 05 1951 Yang Metal 庚 寅 Tiger Feb 14 2010–Feb 02 2011

28 Feb 06 1951–Jan 26 1952 Yin Metal 辛 卯 Rabbit Feb 03 2011–Jan 22 2012

29 Jan 27 1952–Feb 13 1953 Yang Water 壬 辰 Dragon Jan 23 2012–Feb 09 2013

30 Feb 14 1953–Feb 02 1954 Yin Water 癸 巳 Snake Feb 10 2013–Jan 30 2014

31 Feb 03 1954–Jan 23 1955 Yang Wood 甲 午 Horse Jan 31 2014–Feb 18 2015

32 Jan 24 1955–Feb 11 1956 Yin Wood 乙 未 Goat Feb 19 2015–Feb 07 2016

33 Feb 12 1956–Jan 30 1957 Yang Fire 丙 申 Monkey Feb 08 2016–Jan 27 2017

34 Jan 31 1957–Feb 17 1958 Yin Fire 丁 酉 Rooster Jan 28 2017–Feb 15 2018

35 Feb 18 1958–Feb 07 1959 Yang Earth 戊 戌 Dog Feb 16 2018–Feb 04 2019

36 Feb 08 1959–Jan 27 1960 Yin Earth 己 亥 Pig Feb 05 2019–Jan 24 2020

37 Jan 28 1960–Feb 14 1961 Yang Metal 庚 子 Rat Jan 25 2020–Feb. 11 2021

38 Feb 15 1961–Feb 04 1962 Yin Metal 辛 丑 Ox Feb 12 2021–Jan 31 2022

39 Feb 05 1962–Jan 24 1963 Yang Water 壬 寅 Tiger Feb 01 2022–Jan 21 2023

40 Jan 25 1963–Feb 12 1964 Yin Water 癸 卯 Rabbit Jan 22 2023–Feb 09 2024

41 Feb 13 1964–Feb 01 1965 Yang Wood 甲 辰 Dragon Feb 10 2024–Jan 28 2025

42 Feb 02 1965–Jan 20 1966 Yin Wood 乙 巳 Snake Jan 29 2025–Feb 16 2026

43 Jan 21 1966–Feb 08 1967 Yang Fire 丙 午 Horse Feb 17 2026–Feb 05 2027

44 Feb 09 1967–Jan 29 1968 Yin Fire 丁 未 Goat Feb 06 2027–Jan 25 2028

45 Jan 30 1968–Feb 16 1969 Yang Earth 戊 申 Monkey Jan 26 2028–Feb 12 2029

46 Feb 17 1969–Feb 05 1970 Yin Earth 己 酉 Rooster Feb 13 2029–Feb 02 2030

47 Feb 06 1970–Jan 26 1971 Yang Metal 庚 戌 Dog Feb 03 2030–Jan 22 2031

48 Jan 27 1971–Feb 14 1972 Yin Metal 辛 亥 Pig Jan 23 2031–Feb 10 2032

49 Feb 15 1972–Feb 02 1973 Yang Water 壬 子 Rat Feb 11 2032–Jan 30 2033

50 Feb 03 1973–Jan 22 1974 Yin Water 癸 丑 Ox Jan 31 2033–Feb 18 2034

51 Jan 23 1974–Feb 10 1975 Yang Wood 甲 寅 Tiger Feb 19 2034–Feb 07 2035

52 Feb 11 1975–Jan 30 1976 Yin Wood 乙 卯 Rabbit Feb 08 2035–Jan 27 2036

53 Jan 31 1976–Feb 17 1977 Yang Fire 丙 辰 Dragon Jan 28 2036–Feb 14 2037

54 Feb 18 1977–Feb 06 1978 Yin Fire 丁 巳 Snake Feb 15 2037–Feb 03 2038

55 Feb 07 1978–Jan 27 1979 Yang Earth 戊 午 Horse Feb 04 2038–Jan 23 2039

56 Jan 28 1979–Feb 15 1980 Yin Earth 己 未 Goat Jan 24 2039–Feb 11 2040

57 Feb 16 1980–Feb 04 1981 Yang Metal 庚 申 Monkey Feb 12 2040–Jan 31 2041

58 Feb 05 1981–Jan 24 1982 Yin Metal 辛 酉 Rooster Feb 01 2041–Jan 21 2042

59 Jan 25 1982–Feb 12 1983 Yang Water 壬 戌 Dog Jan 22 2042–Feb 09 2043

60 Feb 13 1983–Feb 01 1984 Yin Water 癸 亥 Pig Feb 10 2043–Jan 29 2044

Months and solar terms[edit] Main article: Solar term Within the Four Pillars, the month is the pillar representing information about the person's parents or childhood. Many Chinese astrologers consider the month pillar to be the most important one in determining the circumstances of one's adult life. The 12 animals are also linked to traditional Chinese agricultural calendar, which runs alongside the better known Lunar calendar. Instead of months, this calendar is divided into 24 two week segments known as Solar Terms. Each animal is linked to two of these solar terms for a period similar to the Western month. Unlike the 60 year Lunar calendar, which can vary by as much as a month in relation to the Gregorian calendar, the agricultural calendar varies by only one day, beginning on the Gregorian calendar
Gregorian calendar
on February 3 or 4 every year. Again unlike the cycle of the lunar years, which begins with the Rat, the agricultural calendar begins with the Tiger as it is the first animal of spring. Around summer days are longer than winter days, because it occurs differences of perihelion and aphelion. As each sign is linked to a month of the solar year, it is thereby also linked to a season. Each of the elements is also linked to a season (see above), and the element that shares a season with a sign is known as that sign's fixed element. In other words, that element is believed to impart some of its characteristics to the sign concerned. The fixed element of each sign applies also to the year and hour signs, and not just the monthly sign. It is important to note that the fixed element is separate from the cycle of elements which interact with the signs in the 60-year cycle.

Season Lunar month Fixed element Solar longitude Solar term Gregorian date Approx. Western zodiac

Spring 1st – 寅 (yin) Tiger Wood 314° 立春 lìchūn Feb 4 – Feb 19 Aquarius

329° 雨水 yǔshuǐ Feb 20 – Mar 5 Pisces

2nd – 卯 (mao) Rabbit Wood 344° 啓蟄 qǐzhé (驚蟄 jīngzhé) Mar 6 – Mar 20

359° 春分 chūnfēn Mar 21 – Apr 4 Aries

3rd – 辰 (chen) Dragon Wood 14° 清明 qīngmíng Apr 5 – Apr 20

29° 穀雨 gǔyǔ Apr 21 – May 4 Taurus

Summer 4th – 巳 (si) Snake Fire 44° 立夏 lìxià May 5 – May 21

59° 小滿 xiǎomǎn May 22 – Jun 5 Gemini

5th – 午 (wu) Horse Fire 74° 芒種 mángzhòng Jun 6 – Jun 21

89° 夏至 xiàzhì Jun 22 – Jul 6 Cancer

6th – 未 (wei) Goat Fire 104° 小暑 xiǎoshǔ Jul 7 – Jul 22

119° 大暑 dàshǔ Jul 23 – Aug 6 Leo

Autumn 7th – 申 (shen) Monkey Metal 134° 立秋 lìqiū Aug 7 – Aug 22

149° 處暑 chùshǔ Aug 23 – Sep 7 Virgo

8th – 酉 (you) Rooster Metal 164° 白露 báilù Sep 8 – Sep 23

181° 秋分 qiūfēn Sep 24 – Oct 7 Libra

9th – 戌 (xu) Dog Metal 194° 寒露 hánlù Oct 8 – Oct 23

211° 霜降 shuāngjiàng Oct 24 – Nov 6 Scorpio

Winter 10th – 亥 (hai) Pig Water 224° 立冬 lìdōng Nov 7 – Nov 22

244° 小雪 xiǎoxuě Nov 23 – Dec 6 Sagittarius

11th – 子 (zi) Rat Water 251° 大雪 dàxuě Dec 7 – Dec 21

271° 冬至 dōngzhì Dec 22 – Jan 5 Capricorn

12th – 丑 (chou) Ox Water 284° 小寒 xiǎohán Jan 6 – Jan 20

299° 大寒 dàhán Jan 21 – Feb 3 Aquarius

Day[edit] 4 pillars calculator can determine the zodiac animal of the day.[4] Chinese animal signs rule over days of the week, too. The term for them is “True Animals”. If your astrologer wishes to prepare a chart, it is essential he or she knows the animals of your day of birth. Given there are only seven days of the week and 12 animals, there is some repetition or doubling up. The animals for each day are as follows:

Monday: Goat Tuesday: Dragon, Pig Wednesday: Horse, Rooster Thursday: Rat Friday: Rabbit, Snake, Dog Saturday: Ox, Tiger Sunday: Monkey

Compatibility[edit] As the Chinese zodiac
Chinese zodiac
is derived according to the ancient Five Elements Theory, every Chinese Sign is composed of five elements[citation needed] with relations, among those elements, of interpolation, interaction, over-action, and counter-action—believed to be the common law of motions and changes of creatures in the universe. Different people born under each animal sign supposedly have different personalities,[citation needed] and practitioners of Chinese astrology consult such traditional details and compatibilities to offer putative guidance in life or for love and marriage.[5] Chinese Zodiac
Zodiac
Compatibility Grid[6]

Sign Best Match Match No Match

Rat Rat, Dragon, Monkey Snake, Rooster, Ox, Pig, Rabbit, Goat, Dog, Tiger Horse

Ox Ox, Snake, Rooster Dragon, Monkey, Rat, Dog, Tiger, Horse, Pig, Rabbit Goat

Tiger Tiger, Dog, Horse Pig, Rabbit, Goat, Snake, Rooster, Ox, Dragon, Rat Monkey

Rabbit Rabbit, Pig, Goat Dog, Tiger, Horse, Dragon, Monkey, Rat, Snake, Ox Rooster

Dragon Dragon, Monkey, Rat Snake, Rooster, Ox, Pig, Rabbit, Goat, Tiger, Horse Dog

Snake Snake, Rooster, Ox Dragon, Monkey, Rat, Dog, Tiger, Horse, Rabbit, Goat Pig

Horse Horse, Dog, Tiger Pig, Rabbit, Goat, Snake, Rooster, Ox, Dragon, Monkey Rat

Goat Goat, Pig, Rabbit Dog, Tiger, Horse, Dragon, Monkey, Rat, Snake, Rooster Ox

Monkey Monkey, Dragon, Rat Snake, Rooster, Ox, Pig, Rabbit, Goat, Dog, Horse Tiger

Rooster Rooster, Snake, Ox Dragon, Monkey, Rat, Dog, Tiger, Horse, Pig, Goat Rabbit

Dog Dog, Tiger, Horse Pig, Rabbit, Goat, Snake, Rooster, Ox, Monkey, Rat Dragon

Pig Pig, Rabbit, Goat Dog, Tiger, Horse, Dragon, Monkey, Rat, Rooster, Ox Snake

Four Pillars[edit] Main article: Four Pillars of Destiny The Four Pillars method can be traced back to the Han dynasty
Han dynasty
(201 BC – 220 AD), and is still much used in Feng shui
Feng shui
astrology and general analysis today. The Four Pillars or Columns chart is called such as the Chinese writing causes it to fall into columns. Each pillar or column contains a stem and a branch—and each column relates to the year, month, day and hour of birth. The first column refers to the year animal and element, the second to the month animal and element, the third to the day animal and element, and the last to the hour animal and element. Within the 'Four Pillars', the Year column purports to provide information about one's ancestor or early age, and the Month column about one's parents or growing age. The Day column purports to offer information about oneself (upper character) and one's spouse (lower character) or adult age, and the Hour column about children or late age.[7] Four Animal Trines[edit]

See: Astrological aspect#Trine

First Trine[edit] The first trine consists of the Rat, Dragon and Monkey. These three signs are said to be intense and powerful individuals capable of great good, who make great leaders but are rather unpredictable. The three are said to be intelligent, magnanimous, charismatic, charming, authoritative, confident, eloquent and artistic, but can be manipulative, jealous, selfish, aggressive, vindictive or deceitful. Second Trine[edit] The second trine consists of the Ox, Snake and Rooster. These three signs are said to possess endurance and application, with slow accumulation of energy, meticulous at planning but tending to hold fixed opinions. The three are said to be intelligent, hard-working, modest, industrious, loyal, philosophical, patient, goodhearted and morally upright, but can also be self-righteous, egotistical, vain, judgmental, narrow-minded or petty. Third Trine[edit] The third trine consists of the Tiger, Horse and Dog. These three signs are said to seek true love, to pursue humanitarian causes, to be idealistic and independent but tending to be impulsive. The three are said to be productive, enthusiastic, independent, engaging, dynamic, honorable, loyal and protective, but can also be rash, rebellious, quarrelsome, anxious, disagreeable or stubborn. Fourth Trine[edit] The fourth trine consists of the Rabbit, Goat and Pig. These three signs are said to have a calm nature and somewhat reasonable approach; they seek aesthetic beauty and are artistic, well-mannered and compassionate, yet detached and resigned to their condition. The three are said to be caring, self-sacrificing, obliging, sensible, creative, empathetic, tactful and prudent, but can also be naive, pedantic, insecure, selfish, indecisive or pessimistic. Zodiac
Zodiac
origin stories[edit] There are many stories and fables to explain the beginning of the zodiac. Since the Han Dynasty, the 12 Earthly Branches
Earthly Branches
have been used to record the time of day. However, for the sake of entertainment and convenience, they have been replaced by the 12 animals. The 24 hours are divided into 12 periods, and a mnemonic refers to the behaviour of the animals:[8][9] Earthly Branches
Earthly Branches
may refer to a double-hour period. In the latter case it is the center of the period; for instance, 马 (Horse) means noon or a period from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m..

Rat (Zishi): 23:00 to 00:59. This is the time when Rats are most active in seeking food. Rats also have a different number of digits on front and hind legs, thus earning Rat the symbol of "turn over" or "new start". Ox (Choushi): 01:00 to 02:59. This is the time when Oxen begin to chew the cud slowly and comfortably. Tiger (Yinshi): 03:00 to 04:59. This is the time when Tigers hunt their prey more and show their ferocity. Rabbit (Maoshi): 05:00 to 06:59. This is the time when the Jade Rabbit is busy pounding herbal medicine on the Moon according to the tale. Dragon (Chenshi): 07:00 to 08:59. This is the time when Dragons are hovering in the sky to give rain. Snake (Sishi): 09:00 to 10:59. This is the time when Snakes are leaving their caves. Horse (Wushi): 11:00 to 12:59. This is the time when the sun is high overhead and while other animals are lying down for a rest, Horses are still standing. Goat (Weishi): 13:00 to 14:59. This is the time when Goats eat grass and urinate frequently. Monkey (Shenshi): 15:00 to 16:59. This is the time when Monkeys are lively. Rooster (Youshi): 17:00 to 18:59. This is the time when Roosters begin to get back to their coops. Dog (Xushi): 19:00 to 20:59. This is the time when Dogs carry out their duty of guarding the houses. Pig (Haishi): 21:00 to 22:59. This is the time when Pigs are sleeping sweetly.

The Great Race[edit] An ancient folk story tells that Cat and Rat were both very bad at swimming. Although they were poor swimmers, they were both quite intelligent. To get to the meeting called by the Jade Emperor, they had to cross a river to reach the meeting place. The Jade Emperor
Jade Emperor
had also decreed that the years on the calendar would be named for each animal in the order they arrived to the meeting. Cat and Rat decided that the best and fastest way to cross the river was to hop on the back of Ox. Ox, being kindhearted and naive, agreed to carry them both across.[9] Midway across the river, the Rat pushed the Cat into the water. Approaching the other side, the Rat jumped off the Ox and rushed to the Jade Emperor. It was named as the first animal of the zodiac calendar. The Ox, came in second. The third one to come was the Tiger. Even though it was strong and powerful it explained to the Jade Emperor that the currents were pushing him downstream.[9] Suddenly, from a distance came a thumping sound, and the Rabbit arrived. It explained how it crossed the river: by jumping from one stone to another in a nimble fashion. Halfway through, it almost lost the race, but it was lucky enough to grab hold of a floating log that later washed him to shore. For that, it became the fourth animal in the zodiac cycle. In fifth place was the flying Dragon. The Jade Emperor was wondering why such a swift airborne creature such as the Dragon failed to come in first. The Dragon explained that it had to stop by a village and brought rain for all the people, and therefore it was held back. Then, on its way to the finish, it saw the helpless Rabbit clinging onto a log so it did a good deed and gave a puff of breath to the poor creature so that it could land on the shore. The Jade Emperor
Jade Emperor
was astonished of the Dragon's good nature, and it was named as the fifth animal. As soon as it had done so, a galloping sound was heard, and the Horse appeared. Hidden on its hoof was the Snake, whose sudden appearance gave it a fright, thus making it fall back and giving the Snake the sixth spot, while the Horse placed seventh. After a while, the Goat, Monkey and Rooster came to the heavenly gate. With combined efforts they managed to arrive to the other side. The Rooster found a raft and the Monkey and the Goat tugged and pulled trying to get all the weeds out of the way. The Jade Emperor
Jade Emperor
was pleased with their teamwork and decided to name the Goat as the eighth animal followed by the Monkey and then the Rooster. The eleventh animal placed in the zodiac cycle was the Dog. Although it should have been the best swimmer it wanted to stay in the water and play for a bit. Though his explanation for being late was because it needed a good bath after a long spell. For that, it almost did not make it to the finish line. Right when the Emperor was going to close the race, an "oink" sound was heard: it was the Pig. "Lazy little Pig" originated from this story. The Pig felt hungry in the middle of the race, so it stopped, ate something and then fell asleep. After it awoke, it finished the race in twelfth place and became the last animal to arrive. The cat eventually drowned, and did not make it in the zodiac. It is said that this is the reason cats always hunt Rats. Another folk story tells that the Rat deceived the Ox into letting it jump on its back, in order for the Ox to hear the Rat sing, before jumping off at the finish line and finishing first. In Chinese mythology, a story tells that the cat was tricked by the Rat so it could not go to the banquet. This is why the cat is not part of the Chinese zodiac. In Buddhism, legend has it that Gautama Buddha
Gautama Buddha
summoned all of the animals of the Earth to come before him before his departure from this Earth, but only 12 animals actually came to bid him farewell. To reward the animals who came to him, he named a year after each of them. The years were given to them in the order they had arrived. The twelve animals of the Chinese zodiac
Chinese zodiac
were developed in the early stages of Chinese civilization, over hundreds of years before it developed into the current version; it is difficult to investigate its real origins. Most historians agree that the cat is not included, as they had not yet been introduced to China
China
from India, with the arrival of Buddhism. Problems with English translation[edit] Due to confusion with synonyms during translation, some of the animals depicted by the English words did not exist in ancient China. For example, 羊 can mean Goat, ram or sheep. Similarly, 鼠 Rat can also be translated as mouse, as there are no distinctive words for the two genera in Chinese. Further, 豬 Pig is sometimes translated to boar after its Japanese name, and 牛 plainly means Ox and Cow, and not water buffalo, 水牛. 雞 Rooster may mean Chicken. However, Rooster is the most commonly used one among all the synonyms, same for 羊, 鼠, etc. Chinese zodiac
Chinese zodiac
in other countries[edit] The Chinese zodiac
Chinese zodiac
signs are also used by cultures other than Chinese. For one example, they usually appear on Korean New Year
Korean New Year
and Japanese New Year's cards and stamps. The United States Postal Service
United States Postal Service
and those of several other countries issue a "Year of the ____" postage stamp each year to honor this Chinese heritage. The Chinese lunar coins, depicting the zodiac animals, inspired the Canadian Silver Maple Leaf coins, as well as varieties from Australia, Korea, and Mongolia. The Chinese zodiac
Chinese zodiac
is an internationally popular theme, available from many of the world's government and private mints. The Chinese zodiac
Chinese zodiac
is also used in some other Asian countries that have been under the cultural influence of China. However, some of the animals in the zodiac may differ by country. Asia
Asia
[edit] Further information: Burmese zodiac The Korean zodiac is essentially identical to the Chinese zodiac, but the Sino-Korean word 양 (yang) normally refers specifically to a sheep in the Korean language
Korean language
(where a native Korean word 염소 yeomso is used to mean "Goat"), although the Chinese source of the loanword yang may refer to any goat-antelope. The Japanese zodiac includes the Sheep
Sheep
(hitsuji) instead of the Goat (which would be yagi), and the Wild boar
Wild boar
(inoshishi, i) instead of the Pig (buta).[10] The Japanese have, since 1873, celebrated the beginning of the new year on January 1 as per the Gregorian calendar. The Vietnamese zodiac is almost identical to the Chinese zodiac
Chinese zodiac
except the second animal is the Water Buffalo instead of the Ox, and the fourth animal is the Cat instead of the Rabbit. The Cham zodiac uses the same animals and order as the Chinese zodiac, but replaces the Monkey with the turtle (known locally as kra). Similarly the Malay zodiac is identical to the Chinese but replaces two of the animals with the turtle (kura-kura) and mousedeer (kancil). One of the replaced animals is always the Rabbit, the other being either the Pig or Monkey. The Thai zodiac includes a nāga in place of the Dragon[11] and begins, not at Chinese New Year, but either on the first day of fifth month in Thai lunar calendar, or during the Songkran festival (now celebrated every 13–15 April), depending on the purpose of the use.[12] Bulgars, Huns
Huns
and Turkic people [edit] The European Huns
Huns
used the Chinese zodiac.[citation needed] This common Chinese-Turkic Zodiac
Zodiac
was in use in Balkan Bulgaria
Bulgaria
well into the Bulgars' adoption of Slavic languages
Slavic languages
and Orthodox Christianity[citation needed]. Following is the Hunnish or Bulgarian Pagan zodiac calendar, distinctive from the Greek zodiac but much in conformity with the Chinese one: Torè calendar[edit] Names of years

Kuzgé – [Year of] Saravana - Rat Shiger (Syger) – Ox Kuman (Imén) Ügur – Tiger, Myachè Ügur – Tiger Taushan – Rabbit Samar – Dragon Birgün (Bergen, Birig, Baradj) – Dragon Dilan – Snake Tykha – Horse Téké – Goat Bichin, Michin – Monkey Tavuk – Rooster (also written tağuk—ğ is pronounced as v in Turk. verbs döğmek and öğmek) It – Dog Shushma – Pig (many[who?] mistake it as boar though) (Turk., Russ. "Kaban"—Translator's[who?] Note, also cognate of Turkish şişman, "fat")

In Kazakhstan, an animal cycle similar to the Chinese is used, but the Dragon is substituted by a snail (Kazakh: улу), and Tiger appears as a leopard (Kazakh: барыс). In Mongolia, 12 year beasts are called "Арван хоёр жил" meaning "12 years"

Hulgana - Хулгана - Rat Ukher - Үхэр - Ox Bar - Бар - Tiger Tuulai - Туулай - Rabbit Luu - Луу - Dragon Mogoi - Могой - Snake Mori - Морь - Horse Honi - Хонь - Goat Bichin, Michin, Mechin - Бич/Мич, Бичин, Мичин, Мэчин - Monkey Tahiya - Тахиа - Rooster Nohoi - Нохой - Dog Gahai - Гахай - Pig

In Kyrgyz 12-year cycle is called "Мүчөл", words for Tiger, Dragon and Monkey are only used in 12-year cycle.

Chychkan - Чычкан - Mouse Uy - Уй - Cow Bars - Барс - Tiger Koyon - Коён - Rabbit Uluu - Улуу - Dragon Jylan - Жылан - Snake Jylky - Жылкы - Horse Koy - Кой - Sheep Mechin - Мечин - Monkey Took - Тоок - Chicken It - Ит - Dog Donuz - Доңуз - Wild boar

Gallery[edit]

A chart indicating good and bad bloodletting days and when to guard against demons. Detail: The chart contains a sme ba (9 figures symbolizing the elements in geomancy) in the center with the Chinese pa-kua (8 trigrams) surrounded by 12 animals of months and years.

Soyombo and several Buddhist, tengrist and Chinese zodiac
Chinese zodiac
symbols in a wall mosaic.

Twelve Chinese zodiac
Chinese zodiac
jade figurines. Capital Museum, Beijing, China.

See also[edit]

China
China
portal

Earthly Branches Astrology
Astrology
and science Chinese New Year

References[edit]

^ Dr Zai, J. Taoism and Science: Cosmology, Evolution, Morality, Health and more. Ultravisum, 2015. ^ Theodora Lau, The Handbook of Chinese Horoscopes, pp. 2–8, 30–5, 60–4, 88–94, 118–24, 148–53, 178–84, 208–13, 238–44, 270–78, 306–12, 338–44, Souvenir Press, New York, 2005 ^ ""Almanac" "lunar" zodiac beginning of spring as the boundary dislocation? — China
China
Network". 16 February 2009. Retrieved 5 January 2011.  ^ http://www.traditionalfengshui.co.za/fourpillarssoftware.htm ^ "Chinese Compatibility Matching". Jan 2016.  ^ "Chinese Zodiac
Zodiac
Animal Signs Compatibility". yourchineseastrology.com/.  ^ chinesefortunecalendar.com ^ The 12 Animals of the Chinese Zodiac
Zodiac
十二生肖, Drake University, retrieved October 11, 2013  ^ a b c Annotated Bibliography Plan: Chinese Astrology, University of Hawai'i, retrieved October 11, 2013  ^ "Japanese Zodiac
Zodiac
Signs and Symbols". japanesezodiac.org/. 5 January 2012. Retrieved 1 January 2015.  ^ ""งูใหญ่-พญานาค-มังกร" รู้จัก 3 สัญลักษณ์ปี "มะโรง"". ประชาชาติธุรกิจ. 5 January 2012. Retrieved 1 January 2015.  ^ "การเปลี่ยนวันใหม่ การนับวัน ทางโหราศาสตร์ไทย การเปลี่ยนปีนักษัตร โหราศาสตร์ ดูดวง ทำนายทายทัก". Archived from the original on 2011-01-03. 

Sources[edit]

Shelly H. Wu. (2005). Chinese Astrology. Publisher: The Career Press, Inc. ISBN 1-56414-796-7

External links[edit]

"The Year of the Rooster: On Seeing" "The Year of the Rooster, On Eating, Injecting, Imbibing & Speaking" "2016: The Golden Monkey, A Year to Remember" "The Dragon Raises its Head 龍抬頭" "From the Year of the Ape to the Year of the Monkey" (on use of Zodiac figures for political criticism) Media related to Chinese Zodiac
Zodiac
at Wikimedia Commons

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