The Chinese Zodiac
|Rat | Ox | Rabbit | Dragon | Tiger | Snake | Horse | Sheep | Monkey | Rooster | Pig | Dog
The Western zodiac is based on the 12 Gregorian signs of zodiacs based on the Solar year, while the Chinese astrology is established on the lunar calendar with a 60 year cycle. They are completely different and do not match on any given point. .The origins of the Chinese Zodiac can be traced to the reign of the Emperor Huang Ti which is dated around 2500 B.C. It starts with the beginning of the lunar year that is stated around end of January to middle of February. Each Lunar calendar has 5 cycles while each cycle consists of 12 years.
All 12 years are represented by an animal and the cycle is repeated after every 12 years. The Chinese zodiac is intertwined with Buddhist mythology and as the legend goes, Lord Buddha had asked all animals to appear before him before he left for his heavenly abode. Only 12 animals showed up to pay their respects and bid him goodbye. Buddha named each year after each animal as an honor and with it is the belief that the personality of individuals is based on the year they are born under that year’s animal sign. They believe that the animal of the year influences the person’s personality and behaviors patterns.
According to another legend, Lord Buddha had arranged for a race and invited all animals. The prize was a position on the Chinese Zodiac calendar and the first 12 animals would be added to the calendar. The Rat was the first animals and then the ox, tiger, rabbit and the rest later. They were mentioned in the same order in the Chinese Zodiac.
The Chinese Zodiac have 12 animals that include the Rat, Ox, Rabbit, Dragon, Tiger, Snake, Horse, Sheep, Monkey, Rooster, Pig and Dog. These animals are not only an essential part of the Zodiac calendar but also an inherent part of the Chinese mythology and legends. Of the 12 animals, each one has a separate personality and characteristic while the main animal in every individual’s life has a contributing factor in the person’s success, life traits and happiness quotient.
Chinese Zodiac animals have been in vogue since ancient times and archeologist excavated a Tang dynasty tomb where statues with faces of the 12 zodiac animals on human bodies were found crafted out of pottery. This stresses on the importance of these entities in the life and after death symbolism of the Zodiac animals. As per the written records of the North Zhou Dynasty, it was a tradition to judge a person and his year of birth through the Zodiac signs.
The basic feature of the astrology and zodiac signs in Chinese calendar are based on the findings or study of the orbit of Jupiter and then dividing orbit into 12 sections which replicates into the Chinese year of 12 sections represented by 12 animals.
The mysteries of the Chinese astrology and zodiacs have always interested the people world over and continue to do so even today. Read about the Zodiac animals and their significance to know more about your Chinese Zodiac.
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