The Chinese Zodiac, known as Sheng Xiao, is based on a twelve-year cycle, each year in that cycle related to an animal sign. These signs in order are the rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, sheep, monkey, rooster, dog and pig. It is calculated according to Chinese lunar calendar.
There has been a relationship between human and the 12 zodiacal animals. It is believed that the years represented by the animals affect the characters of people in the same way like the western astrology signs. Click the following signs to know the personalities of persons under different signs. Facts like years, strengths, weaknesses, best matches and fortune of 2020 of each sign are introduced.
Similar to the ten heavenly stems and twelve earthly branches, animals in Chinese zodiac were also created for counting years as the system that is now universally accepted based on the Gregorian calendar. 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.
The animal year when a person was born is called his / her Ben Ming Nian (Zodiac Year of Birth). The distinctive zodiacal way of calculating years based on the lunar calendar decides that every once in every twelve-year cycle people will meet their birth signs.
Although it sounds a bit superstitious, Chinese people take their year of birth seriously. According to the soothsaying, people in their own Ben Ming Nian may offend “Taisui”, also called the God of Age, so they would suffer a lot of misfortunes, such as sickness, economic loss, physical injuries and obstacles in career. However, there are effective ways to diminish the unlucky impacts. The most popular solution is wearing red underwear, socks or waist belts given by elders, for red is believed to bring them good luck. Some jewelry accessories may also help, such as pendants and bracelets with auspicious images.
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