The 12 animal signs…
…of the Chinese zodiac calendar in some ways mirror that of the 12 Signs of the Western Astrology…
The Chinese Zodiac or Astrology is known as Sheng Xiao (生肖 – shēngxiào) in Chinese and is based on the twelve-year cycle, with each year in that cycle assigned to an animal.
The 12 animal signs are based on a twelve year cycle, with each year in the cycle related to that animal sign.
Each one has their own animal sign according to his year of the birth (calculated according to the Chinese lunar calendar).
These 12 animal signs start with the rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, sheep, monkey, rooster, dog and pig.
Learn more > about the Chinese zodiac and Rooster People
Similar to the ten heavenly stems and twelve earthly branches the 12 animals signs in the Chinese zodiac was also created for counting years as the system that is now universally accepted based on the 12 Gregorian calendar months.
The selection and order of the animals that influence people’s lives very much was originated in the Han Dynasty (202BC – 220AD) and based upon each animal’s character and living habits.
The old-time division was mostly related to number 12: one ji equals 12 years, one year has 12 months, one day has 12 time periods called shi chen. Ancient people observe that there are 12 full moons within one year.
So, its origin is associated with astrology. Each animal sign is usually related with an earthly branch, so the animal years were called Zi Rat, Chou Ox, Yin Tiger, Mao Rabbit, Chen Dragon, Si Snake, Wu Horse, Wei Sheep, Shen Monkey, You Rooster, Xu Dog and Hai Pig.
Chinese legend has it that one day the gods ordered that animals be designated as signs of each year and the twelve that arrived first will selected…> learn more about Chinese Zodiac Stories