The Chinese zodiac, known as Sheng Xiao or Shu Xiang, features 12 animal signs in this order: Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Goat, Monkey, Rooster, Dog and Pig. Originated from ancient zoolatry and boasting a history of more than 2,000 years, it plays an essential role in Chinese culture. The 12 Chinese zodiac animals in a cycle are not only used to represent years in China, but also believed to influence people’s personalities, career, compatibility, marriage, and fortune.
Interestingly, the Chinese Zodiac came about when the Jade Emperor wanted to select 12 animals to be his guards. He proclaimed that the earlier one arrived, the better rank one would have. Therefore the order of zodiac signs that we know now was supposedly the order in which the animals arrived. Well, this is all ancient mythical history. Now that we know the origins of the Chinese Zodiac, let us move onto the juicy parts. He prefered the Ox to be the first for its honesty and deligence, but out of everyone’s expectation, the smart Rat covertly hided on the Ox back and occupied the first place at the essential moment. The Tiger was crowned as the King of the Forest while the Dragon was titled the Lord of the Sea, and they ranked behind the Ox. The Rabbit won a race with the Dragon and gained No. 4. The Snake, Horse, Goat, Monkey, and Rooster followed. The Dog was punished to be the last one for biting the Rabbit in a pet. Actually the Dog was the 11th, because there is one being late for the interview – the Pig finally took the last place.
Each Chinese Zodiac animal is believed to portray certain personality attributes and the Chinese believe these traits are reflected in the people born in that particular zodiac year.
Each animal has its basic charecter and astrology is predicted according to the same.
Chinese calendar year does not start on January 1st. The dates of Chinese Lunar New Year vary every year, but will fall on a day in January or February.