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Thursday, February 3, 2011

Chinese 12 Zodiacs ( 华人十二生肖)

The 12 Chinese animals

There are 12 animals in total and each of them is given a year as one of the zodiacs animals.

These 12 in the namely order of the race result are as follows :

  1. Rat
  2. Ox ( Water Buffalo in Vietnam)
  3. Tiger (Leopard in Kazakhstan)
  4. Rabbit ( Cat in Vietnam)
  5. Dragon ( Naga in Thailand , Snail in Kazakhstan)
  6. Snake
  7. Horse
  8. Goat
  9. Monkey
  10. Rooster
  11. Dog
  12. Pig ( Wild Boar in Japan)

Origins of the 12 Zodiacs / Horoscopes

Origins of the 12 Zodiac / Horoscope had a few versions. Some spoke of a great race held by the Jade Emperor, while others spoke of the departure of Buddha from this earth and the animal which came in to bid him goodbye. However a few would also spoke of a banquet held by God.

There are at least 3 versions of this Great Race if not more.

Zodiac Meeting ! A race to reach the gates of Heavens

A very long time ago,, with the intentions of assigning an animal each to a year for the humans to remember the Zodiac cycle, The Jade Emperor held upon a meeting for all of the animals and told them that only 12 of them will be chosen as Zodiac Animals.

Legends spoke that Dog, Cat and Rat, all 3 of them were once very good friends but however no longer anymore after this great race.

The Cat had reminded the Rat to wake him early so that they could go together. But the Cat was a sleepyhead and overslept. The Rat didn’t bother to wake up the Cat and very quietly and secretly left for the meeting alone.

The Cat had tried to conceal about this Meeting by the Jade Emperor from the Dog and the Dog came to learn about this zodiac meeting late and arrived for the meeting late where it could have arrived earlier. The Dog was so closed to have missed the chance of attending the meeting and being denied from being one of the Zodiac animals.

Henceforth, Cat hated the Rat and they both were enemies while the Dog hated the Cat and they both are enemies.

The order of the zodiac animals were based on the order that they arrived for the meeting.

In this race to arrive for the meeting, the Rat jumped onto the back from animal to animal of whichever was the fastest. Finally seeing that the Ox was leading first, the Rat jumped onto it’s back.

Somewhere just before the Ox reached the finishing point, the Rat jumped down in front of the Ox and was hence the positioned as the first zodiac animals.

There was a hungry tiger uninformed of the meeting but when it saw the Ox in front of him hurrying for the meeting, it ran after this Ox. The Ox fearing that he will become his meal, ran as fast as his legs could carry him. Hence the Ox was being chased and the Tiger was chasing to have himself a meal and become third in position after the Ox.

There were 2 dragon brothers and 1 of them disobeyed the Dragon King orders and was transformed into a snake as a form of punishment by the Dragon king. His elder brother remain as a dragon. They both arrived together for the meeting after they were done with some Rain and flood control issues which they were earlier busy occupied with.

The Chicken and the Dog were quarreling when they at the gates of the heavens for this meeting and they woke up the pig.

The pig was actually the first to arrive at the gates of the heaven but however the gates was not yet open and the race has not started yet. Hence, it took a nap. By the time the woke up, in enter into the gate just in time before the gates were about to close and became as the last animal of the zodiac.

Chinese Zodiac around the World

This 12 Chinese Zodiac animals is exactly the same in many countries across Asia ! These Asian Countries would be East Asia, North Asia, South East Asia, and West Asia. To name a few they would be Japan , Korea, Vietnam, Thailand , & Kazakhstan. Even for Russia, Turkey, & Bulgaria, the Chinese Zodiacs is also used by them too!

However, some of the 12 Chinese Zodiac Animals has been modified or localized by the countries themselves into other animals like in the case of Vietnam as an example, Rabbit is Cat.

Besides in Asia which the Chinese Zodiac signs typically usually appear on the cards and stamps during the New Year of Korea and Japan, The United State Postal Service is also another example of one which honor this Chinese heritage as they would issue a postage stamp with a year of the special Chinese Zodiac animal.

Chinese Lunar coins depicting zodiac animals had the Canadian Silver Maple Leaf Coins inspired ! Varieties from Australia and Mongolia are the same as well. The Chinese Zodiac as today become into an absolutely very internationally popular theme.

English Translation Problems

As English words did not exist in ancient China, Some of the words due to confusion with synonyms during the point of translation has had some of the animals depicted.
Such words are like :
which can mean Ram, Sheep or Goat,
which can mean Mouse and Rat
which can mean Pig or Boar
which can mean Water Buffalo , Ox or Cow
which can mean Chicken , Rooster or Hen

12 Animal Zodiacs Characteristics


Those born under the Chinese Zodiac sign of the Rat are quick-witted, clever, charming, sharp and funny. They have excellent taste, are a good friend and are generous and loyal to others considered part of its pack. Motivated by money, can be greedy, is ever curious, seeks knowledge and welcomes challenges. Compatible with Dragon or Monkey.


Another of the powerful Chinese Zodiac signs, the Ox is steadfast, solid, a goal-oriented leader, detail-oriented, hard-working, stubborn, serious and introverted but can feel lonely and insecure. Takes comfort in friends and family and is a reliable, protective and strong companion. Compatible with Snake or Rooster.


Those born under the Chinese Zodiac sign of the Tiger are authoritative, self-possessed, have strong leadership qualities, are charming, ambitious, courageous, warm-hearted, highly seductive, moody, intense, and they’re ready to pounce at any time. Compatible with Horse or Dog.


Those born under the Chinese Zodiac sign of the Rabbit enjoy being surrounded by family and friends. They’re popular, compassionate, sincere, and they like to avoid conflict and are sometimes seen as pushovers. Rabbits enjoy home and entertaining at home. Compatible with Goat or Pig.


A powerful sign, those born under the Chinese Zodiac sign of the Dragon are energetic and warm-hearted, charismatic, lucky at love and egotistic. They’re natural born leaders, good at giving orders and doing what’s necessary to remain on top. Compatible with Monkey and Rat.


Those born under the Chinese Zodiac sign of the Snake are seductive, gregarious, introverted, generous, charming, good with money, analytical, insecure, jealous, slightly dangerous, smart, they rely on gut feelings, are hard-working and intelligent. Compatible with Rooster or Ox.


Those born under the Chinese Zodiac sign of the Horse love to roam free. They’re energetic, self-reliant, money-wise, and they enjoy traveling, love and intimacy. They’re great at seducing, sharp-witted, impatient and sometimes seen as a drifter. Compatible with Dog or Tiger.


Those born under the Chinese Zodiac sign of the Goat enjoy being alone in their thoughts. They’re creative, thinkers, wanderers, unorganized, high-strung and insecure, and can be anxiety-ridden. They need lots of love, support and reassurance. Appearance is important too. Compatible with Pig or Rabbit.


Those born under the Chinese Zodiac sign of the Monkey thrive on having fun. They’re energetic, upbeat, and good at listening but lack self-control. They like being active and stimulated and enjoy pleasing self before pleasing others. They’re heart-breakers, not good at long-term relationships, morals are weak. Compatible with Rat or Dragon.


Those born under the Chinese Zodiac sign of the Rooster are practical, resourceful, observant, analytical, straightforward, trusting, honest, perfectionists, neat and conservative. Compatible with Ox or Snake.


Those born under the Chinese Zodiac sign of the Dog are loyal, faithful, honest, distrustful, often guilty of telling white lies, temperamental, prone to mood swings, dogmatic, and sensitive. Dogs excel in business but have trouble finding mates. Compatible with Tiger or Horse.


Those born under the Chinese Zodiac sign of the Pig are extremely nice, good-mannered and tasteful. They’re perfectionists who enjoy finer things but are not perceived as snobs. They enjoy helping others and are good companions until someone close crosses them, then look out! They’re intelligent, always seeking more knowledge, and exclusive. Compatible with Rabbit or Goat.


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