Beijing Time (GMT+8)
11:56 pm Nov 03
Chinese Zodiac, known as Shengxiao or Shuxiang, is an ancient way to date years in China. It has certain similarities with the Western astrology, but cycles every 12 years, with each year represented by a different animal. So when most of Chinese talk about their birthdays, they usually refer to what their animal sign is, rather than when they were born. Another difference is that the Chinese zodiac signs are determined by the lunar year in which a person born, unlike the Westerners, who uses the solar calendar.
According to Chinese astrology, the twelve animal signs are not just symbols that record the year, but have been endowed with a rich connotation closely associated with people’s personality. Chinese believe that people under different animal signs have a unique character and fortune. For example, those born in the Year of the Tiger are supposedly natural born leaders with courage, ambition and composure, while people under the zodiac sign of the Dog are loyal, faithful and honest. In ancient China, the practitioners of Chinese astrology often use Chinese Zodiac compatibility to offer guidance in romantic relationship and marriage. With a history of over thousands of years, it has constituted a brilliant part of Chinese culture.
The Chinese Zodiac follows a twelve-year cycle based on the Chinese lunar calendar. It traditionally begins with the year of the Rat, ends on the Year of the Pig, and then cycles continuously. There are altogether 12 animal years in the Chinese Zodiac, which are, in order, Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Sheep, Monkey, Rooster, Dog and Pig.
Chinese zodiac, also called Shengxiao, was invented using to count years in China as the kind of system that is now extensively accepted by the Chinese calculated by Chinese Lunar Calendar. It is pretty prevalent in Asia, Eastern Europe, and some countries in North Africa. Primary difference between Chinese zodiac and Western zodiac lies in that the former one correspond to years rather than months, and the later involves some zodiac which are not animals.