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  Chinese Zodiac  

The 12 Animal Signs

Rat ( 1912 - 1924 - 1936 - 1948 - 1960 - 1972 - 1984 )

You are imaginative, charming, and truly generous to the person you love. However, you have a tendency to be quick-tempered and overly critical. You are also inclined to be somewhat of an opportunist. Born under this sign, you should be happy in sales or as a writer, critic, or publicist. Some Rats: Charlotte Bronte, Truman Capote, Catherine I, Mata Hari, Wolfgang Mozart, William Shakespeare, George Washington.

Ox ( 1913 - 1925 - 1937 - 1949 - 1961 - 1973 - 1985 )

A born leader, you inspire confidence from all around you. You are conservative, methodical, and good with your hands. Guard against being chauvinistic and always demanding your own way. The Ox would be successful as a skilled surgeon, general, or hairdresser. Some Oxen: NapoleonBonaparte, Walt Disney, Clark Gable, Richard Nixon, Rosa arks, Sylvia Porter, Vincent Van Gogh.

Tiger ( 1914 - 1926 - 1938 - 1950 - 1962 - 1974 - 1986

You are sensitive, emotional, and capable of great love. However, you have a tendency to get carried away and be stubborn about what you think is right; often seen as a "Hothead" or rebel. Your sign shows you would be excellent as a boss, explorer, race car driver, or matador. Some Tigers: Judy Blume, Emily Bronte, Emily Dickinson, Isadora Duncan, Dwight D. Eisenhower, Mary Harris (Mother) Jones, Barbara McClintock, Marilyn Monroe, Marco Polo, Beatrix Potter.

Rabbit ( 1915 - 1927 - 1939 - 1951 - 1963 - 1975 - 1987 )

Dragon ( 1916 - 1928 - 1940 - 1952 - 1964 - 1976 - 1988 )

Full of vitality and enthusiasm, the Dragon is a popular individual even with the reputation of being foolhardy and a "big mouth" at times. You are intelligent, gifted, and a perfectionist but these qualities make you unduly demanding on others. You would be well-suited to be an artist, priest, or politician. Some Dragons: Louisa May Alcott, SusanB. Anthony, Joan of Arc, Pearl Buck, Sigmund Freud, Theodore Seuss Geisel, John Lennon, Florence Nightingale, Pat Schroeder, Mae West.

Snake ( 1917 - 1929 - 1941 - 1953 - 1965 - 1977 - 1989 )

Rich in wisdom and charm, you are romantic and deep thinking and your intuition guides you strongly. Avoid procrastination and your stingy attitude towards money. Keep your sense of humor about life. The Snake would be most content as a teacher, philosopher, writer, psychiatrist, and fortune teller. Some Snakes: Clara Barton, Liz Claiborne, Charles Darwin, Mary Baker Eddy, Elizabeth I, Fannie Farmer, Anne Frank, Mahatma Gandhi, Ellen Goodman, Carole King, Martin Luther King, Abraham Lincoln, Edgar Allen Poe.

Horse ( 1918 - 1930 - 1942 - 1954 - 1966 - 1978 - 1990 )

Your capacity for hard work is amazing. You are your own person-very independent. While, intelligent and friendly, you have a strong guard againstbeing egotistical. Your sign suggests success as an adventurer, scientist, poet, or politician. Some Horses: Louisa May Alcott, Chopin, Davy Crockett,Ella Fitzgerald, Aretha Franklin, Sandra Day O'Connor, Rembrandt, Teddy Roosevelt.

Goat ( 1919 - 1931 - 1943 - 1955 - 1967 - 1979 - 1991 )

Except for the knack of always getting off on the wrong foot with people, the Goat can be charming company. You are elegant and artistic but the first to complain about things. Put aside your pessimism and wory and try to be less dependent on material comforts. You would be best as an actor, gardener, or beachcomber. Some Goats: Rachel Carson, Michelangelo, Mark Twain, Rudolph Valentino, Barbara Walters, Orville Wright.

Monkey ( 1920 - 1932 - 1944 - 1956 - 1968 - 1980 - 1992 )

You are a very intelligent and a very lever wit. Because of your extraordinary nature and magnetic personality, you are always well-liked. The Monkey,however, must guard against begin an opportunist and distrustful of other people. Your sign promises success in any field you try. Some Monkeys:Julius Caesar, Bette Davis, Annie Oakley, Eleanor Roosevelt, Betsy Ross, Diana Ross, Elizabeth Taylor, Harry S. Truman, Leonardo da Vinci, Alice Walker.

Rooster ( 1921 - 1933 - 1945 - 1957 - 1969 - 1981 - 1993 )

The Rooster is a hard worker; shrewd and definite in decision making, often speaking his mind. Because of this, you tend to seem boastful to others.

You are a dreamer, flashy dresser, and extravagant to an extreme. Born under this sign you should be happy as a restaurant owner, publicist, soldier, or world traveler. Some Roosters: Virginia Apgar, Catherine the Great, Amelia Earhart, Rudyard Kipling, Groucho Marx, Peter Ustinov.

Dog ( 1910 - 1922 - 1934 - 1946 - 1958 - 1970 - 1982 )

The Dog will never let you down. Born under this sign you are honest, and faithful to those you love. You are plagued by constant worry, a sharp tongue, and a tendency to be a fault finder, however. You would make an excellent businessman, activist, teacher, or secret agent. Some Dogs: Cher, Winston Churchill, Bill Clinton, Dorothea Dix, Benjamin Franklin, George Gershwin, Jane Goodall, Herbert Hoover, Shirley McLaine, Golda Meir, Lucy Maud Montgomery, Socrates.

Boar ( 1911 - 1923 - 1935 - 1947 - 1959 - 1971 - 1983 )

You are a splendid companion, an intellectual with a very strong need to set difficult goals and carry them out. You are sincere, tolerant, and honest but by expecting the same from others, you are incredibly naive. Your quest for material goods could be your downfall. The Boar would be best in the arts as an entertainer, or possibly a lawyer. Some Boars: Lucille Ball, Ernest Hemingway, Mahalia Jackson, Albert Schweitzer, Elizabeth Cady Stanton.

 

Chinese Lunar Calendar

Background and Concept The Chines animal signs are a 12-year cycle used for dating the years. They represent a cyclical concept of time, rather than the Western linear concept of time. The Chinese Lunar Calendar is based on the cycles of the moon, and is constructed in a different fashion than the Western solar calendar. In the Chinese calendar, the beginning of the year falls somewhere between late January and early February. The Chinese have adopted the Western calendar since 1911, but the lunar calendar is still used for festive occasions such as the Chinese New Year. Many Chinese calendars will print both the solar dates and the Chinese lunar dates.

The Twelve Animal Signs

Background Information
In the United States, the years are dated from the birth of Jesus Christ, for example, 1977 means 1,977 years after the birth of Christ. This represents a linear perception of time, with time proceeding in a straight line from the past to the present and the future. In traditional China, dating methods were cyclical, cyclical meaning something that is repeated time after time according to a pattern. A popular folk method which reflected this cyclical method of recording years are the Twelve Animal Signs. Every year is assigned an animal name or "sign" according to a repeating cycle: Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Sheep, Monkey, Rooster, Dog, and Boar. Therefore, every twelve years the same animal name or "sign" would reappear.

A cultural sidelight of the animal signs in Chinese folklore is that horoscopes have developed around the animal signs, much like monthly horoscopes in the West have been developed for the different moon signs, Pisces, Aries, etc. For example, a Chinese horoscope may predict that a person born in the Year of the Horse would be, "cheerful, popular, and loves to compliment others". These horoscopes are amusing, but not regarded seriously by the Chinese people.

The animal signs also serve a useful social function for finding out people's ages. Instead of asking directly how old a person is, people often ask what is his or her animal sign. This would place that person's age within a cycle of 12 years, and with a bit of common sense, we can deduce the exact age. More often, though, people ask for animal signs not to compute a person's exact numerical age, but to simply know who is older among friends and acquaintances.

Legend
According to Chinese legend, the twelve animals quarreled one day as to who was to head the cycle of years. The gods were asked to decide and they held a contest: whoever was to reach the opposite bank of the river would be first, and the rest of the animals would receive their years according to their finish.

All the twelve animals gathered at the river bank and jumped in. Unknown to the ox, the rat had jumped upon his back. As the ox was about to jump ashore, the rat jumped off the ox's back, and won the race. The pig, who was very lazy, ended up last. That is why the rat is the first year of the animal cycle, the ox second, and the pig last.

Zodiac Chart: The rotating cycle of twelve animal signs was a folk method for naming the years in traditional China. The animal signs for one another in an established order, and are repeated every twelve years. 1976 was the Year of the Dragon, and 1977 was the year of the Snake.

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