The Chinese have named years after animals for thousands of years. In fact, the Chinese Zodiac system is extremely complex, based on an ancient agricultural calendar.

In addition to 12 animals, there are the Elements (Water, Wood, Fire, Earth and Metal), hours (12 two hour periods), directions, stones, months, and seasons.

The 12 Animals

The origins of the 12 animals which are honored with a year each is rich in legends and myths. A commonly held belief is that the Buddha decided to invite all the animals of the earth to visit him on New Years Day. However, despite preparing for the biggest party since the disembakation of Noah’s Ark, only 12 animals arrived. They were; the Rat, the Ox, the Tiger, the Hare, the Dragon, the Snake, the Horse, the Sheep, the Monkey, the Rooster, the Dog and the Pig.

The Buddha decided to honor his guests by awarding each a year of its own. The system is influenced by Yin (female) and Yang (male) cosmic force which is said to be an interpretation of universal harmony and balance.

Rat: 1900 1912 1924 1936 1948 1960 1972 1984 1996 2008

Ox: 1901 1913 1925 1937 1949 1961 1973 1985 1997 2009

Tiger: 1902 1914 1926 1938 1950 1962 1974 1986 1998 2010

Hare: 1903 1915 1927 1939 1951 1963 1975 1987 1999 2011

Dragon: 1904 1916 1928 1940 1952 1964 1976 1988 2000 2012

Snake: 1905 1917 1929 1941 1953 1965 1977 1989 2001 2013

Horse: 1906 1918 1930 1942 1954 1966 1978 1990 2002 2014

Sheep: 1907 1919 1931 1943 1955 1967 1979 1991 2003 2015

Monkey: 1908 1920 1932 1944 1956 1968 1980 1992 2004 2016

Rooster: 1909 1921 1933 1945 1957 1969 1981 1993 2005 2017

Dog: 1910 1922 1934 1946 1958 1970 1982 1994 2006 2018

Pig: 1911 1923 1935 1947 1959 1971 1983 1995 2007 2019

1. The Rat
1900 1912 1924 1936 1948 1960 1972 1984 1996 2008

Lucky Numbers – 1, 3, 5, 9, 15, 19, 35

Rats are charming creatures, contrary to their reputation in the animal kingdom. Amusing and intelligent, they love socializing and attract a wide circle of friends. However, these relationships can be short-lived, since Rats adore gossip.Although they can be quick to anger, Rat people are able to conceal their negative feelings beneath a calm, cool exterior.Rats are acquisitive, salting away their money in an effort to feel secure. They are ambitious and persistent, often being successful in business enterprises. However, in this context, Rat people need constant communication and support. They thrive on a frenzy of activity in a variety of fields, in both work and recreational areas.

2. The Ox
1901 1913 1925 1937 1949 1961 1973 1985 1997 2009

Lucky numbers – 1, 3, 5, 12, 15, 33, 35, 51, 53

Ox people are placid and stable, utterly reliable and tenacious. They are true survivors, doggedly plodding through life’s obstacles and pitfalls to achieve their chosen aims.Ox people are careful about who they take into their confidence, but once you have earned their trust, you will enjoy their sympathy, sound advice and willingness to give constructive help when the situation arises. Although tolerant and easy-going, it is dangerous to push the Ox person too far; he or she makes a formidable and long-lived enemy.No strangers to domesticity, Ox people make excellent parents, and caring loyal partners. You may find them looking after the elderly,

3. The Tiger
1902 1914 1926 1938 1950 1962 1974 1986 1998 2010

Lucky numbers – 4, 5, 7, 9, 13, 34, 44, 45, 54

Tiger people are powerful and courageous in line with their animal counterparts. Together with their capacity for original, creative thoughts, Tigers are natural leaders. However, while occupying their elevated positions in society, Tiger people can be selfish and stubborn, exercising an unwillingness to take heed of, or trust others beneath them. They have a rebellious streak and tend to resent their elders or anyone in a position of authority above them.Tigers can be wild creatures, lacking in stability and prone to restlessness. Quick to become bored, they thrive on variety and constant challenge. Tigers are not easily tamed; they value their freedom and independence too much.

4. The Hare
1903 1915 1927 1939 1951 1963 1975 1987 1999 2011

Lucky numbers – 4, 5, 7, 9, 13, 34, 44, 45, 54

Hares are sensitive and intuitive creatures that love the company of others, seeking the warmth and security of a one-to-one relationship. They make responsive companions, tactful, respectful and sympathetic. Hares will do anything to keep the peace; they will back off at the first sign of trouble.Naturally reserved, Hares may withdraw into the safety of their own private world. They are highly cautious and seek the tranquility and security of a real home above all things. Often lucky financially, Hares have an uncanny sense for picking a winner and make good gamblers, disciplined as they are by their innate caution.

5. The Dragon
1904 1916 1928 1940 1952 1964 1976 1988 2000 2012

Lucky numbers – 3, 4, 5, 6, 15, 21, 34, 35, 36, 45

Dragons are larger than life, befitting their mythological status in Chinese astrology. They will attract attention in any situation, even though it may not always be of a positive nature! Flamboyant, glamorous and strong-willed, the Dragon draws people to him or her like a magnet.Full of energy, drive and ambition, Dragons are highly visible in society as politicians, film stars, pop stars and entrepreneurs – always in the forefront of their chosen fields. However, prepare yourself for the Dragon’s lack of consideration for others. He or she can be unfaithful or unreliable but you will doubtless be persuaded to give them a second or more chance, such is their attraction.

6. The Snake
1905 1917 1929 1941 1953 1965 1977 1989 2001 2013

Lucky numbers – 1, 2, 4, 6, 13, 24, 42, 46

Snakes are often physically attactive but in addition they have a flair for creating just the right look for any occasion by judiciously applying a few individual and creative touches. They have a special gift for recognizing potential where few other people would, and helping to fulfill it to great effect. This trait helps Snakes to succeed in business.Snakes have a subtle way of leading people into thinking that they are supremely knowledgeable in whatever field suits their purpose at the time. However, they would not stoop to telling downright lies.Often romantice, snakes are attentive to the changing moods and appearance of their nearest and dearest, although they will quickly become morose if this attention is not reciprocated.

7. The Horse
1906 1918 1930 1942 1954 1966 1978 1990 2002 2014

Lucky numbers – 1, 3, 4, 8, 13, 14, 41, 43

Horses are popular, friendly creatures, but can have a fiery, rebellious latent tendency. They are physically energetic, strong and enduring and will invariably work hard at any job. However, they may be over-enthusiastic and single-minded about a pet project and behave somewhat impetuously and pig-headed. Horses are gregarious people and enjoy entertainment on a large scale. They enjoy spending money, for instance, on expensive clothes but they also put their boundless energy into travel. Horse people are prone to falling hopelessly in love aand become blind to the world outside.

8. The Sheep
1907 1919 1931 1943 1955 1967 1979 1991 2003 2015

Lucky numbers – 3, 4, 5, 12, 34, 45, 54

Sheep are gentle, selfless creatures – you will find many of them in the caring professions. They are often artistic but tend to follow an established tradition rather than create an original style. Consquently, they make skilled craftspeople. In fact, in all walks of life, Sheep people, like the animal they are named after, are followers rather than leaders. They often lack a sense of direction and therefore can become lost and confused in life if they do not receive strong but kindly guidance. Left to their own devices, Sheep can be irresponsible and impractical.Sheep people can be great peacemakers, able to defuse an explosive situation with their considerable tact and diplomacy. They value security above all else.

9. The Monkey
1908 1920 1932 1944 1956 1968 1980 1992 2004 2016

Lucky numbers – 3, 4, 5, 7, 16, 23, 34, 45, 54

Monkeys are multi-talented people, being quick of wit and highly adaptable. However, in view of their light-hearted natures and great sense of humor, their worth can be under-estimated by other people who refuse to take them seriously. If valued and encouraged, Monkeys can be extremely successful in business with their adeptness at making deals.Although delightful company, Monkeys can be unreliable and less than honest, even double-dealing in personal relationships. Therefore, the Monkey may find his or her associations short-lived and unfulfilled. In fact, Monkeys tend to have many different relationships in their lives before establishing a deep and lasting liaison.Monkeys are often gifted story-tellers, being drawn to the world of fantasy.

10. The Rooster
1909 1921 1933 1945 1957 1969 1981 1993 2005 2017

Lucky numbers – 1, 5, 6, 12, 15, 16, 24, 51

Roosters are diligent, efficient and deeply committed, often working long and hard to achieve their chosen goals. However, they are prone to taking on more work than they can cope with and experience bitter disappointment when they fail. Roosters like to work on their own, in their own way, and strongly react agaainst any outside interference. They can be overbearing and bossy in their frustration with less-capable colleagues or partners.Roosters have a reputation for being forthright, but their honesty to the point of bluntness can lose them friends.Inclined to the eccentric, Roosters adore adventure and make intrpid explorers of the world at large.

11. The Dog
1910 1922 1934 1946 1958 1970 1982 1994 2006 2018

Lucky numbers – 1, 4, 5, 9, 10, 14, 19, 28, 30, 41, 45, 54

Dogs are blessed with many of the finer traits of human nature. They are faithful and reliable, just like their animal counterparts, hardworking and dutiful. They are always axious to give of their best. However, Dogs can be conservative, reluctant to embrace new ideas and to develop. They can also be slow to learn, thus trying the patience of other signs.Dogs need close contact with other people. They are sympathetic, supportive, forgiving and discreet in human relationships. However, if a Dog takes a dislike to you, he or she can be highly critical and sarcastic. Dogs are not known for their romantic natures.Dogs need a good deal of encouragement to fulfill their potential. Unfortunately, some suffer from a lack of belief in themselves.

12. The Pig
1911 1923 1935 1947 1959 1971 1983 1995 2007 2019

Lucky numbers – 1, 3, 4, 5, 8, 16, 18, 34, 41, 48

Pig people set a worthy example to the other signs. They are caring of others, particularly in their families which are of paramount importance in their lives. They have an unshakeable faith in human nature and are staggeringly tolerant of others.Pigs are highly industrious, taking great pains to carry out any task thoroughly and properly. They take great pride in their endeavors. Almost fanatically efficient and tidy, Pig people want to succeed only on the basis of their own merits and hard labor.The Pig may have few friends but they will be of the lifelong variety.

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Chinese Astrology is the divination of the future from the Chinese calendar, which is based on astronomy, and ancient Chinese philosophy. In particular, Chinese Astrology is based on the sexagenary cycle of 60 years that has been documented since the time of the Shang Dynasty at the latest. This basic cycle has been constructed from two cycles: the 10 heavenly stems (the five elements in their yin and yang forms) and the 12 earthly branches, or the 12-year cycle of animals referred to as the Chinese zodiac. The Chinese animal zodiac also operates on a cycle of months or ‘moons’ and of hours of the day. The Chinese zodiac refers to a pure calendrical cycle; there are no equivalent constellations like those of the occidental zodiac. In imperial Chinese times there were astrologers who watched the sky for heavenly omens that would predict the future of the state, but this was a quite different practice of divination from the popular present-day methods.

Background of Chinese Astrology:
The ancient Chinese astronomers called the 5 major planets by the names of the element they were associated with: Venus corresponds to Metal (gold); Jupiter to Wood; Mercury to Water; Mars to Fire; Saturn to Earth. According to Chinese Astrology, a person’s destiny can be determined by the position of the major planets, along with the positions of the Sun, Moon and comets and the person’s time of birth and Zodiac Sign. The Chinese Astrology system of the twelve year cycle of animal signs was built from observations of the orbit of Jupiter. Chinese astronomers divided the celestial circle into 12 sections to follow the orbit of Suìxing (Jupiter, the Year Star). Astronomers rounded the orbit of Suixing to 12 years (from 11.86). Suixing was associated with Sheti and sometimes called Sheti. A laborious system of computing one’s fate and destiny based on one’s birthday and birth hours is still used regularly in modern day Chinese astrology to divine one’s fortune. The 28 Chinese constellations are quite different from the 88 Western constellations. In addition to astrological readings of the heavenly bodies, the stars in the sky form the basis of many fairy tales. For example, the Summer Triangle is the trio of the cowherd (Altair), the weaving maiden fairy (Vega), and the “tai bai” fairy (Deneb). The two forbidden lovers were separated by the silvery river (the Milky Way). Each year on the seventh day of the seventh month in the Chinese calendar, the birds form a bridge across the Milky Way. The cowherd carries their two sons (the two stars on each side of Altair) across the bridge to reunite with their fairy mother. The tai bai fairy acts as the chaperone of these two immortal lovers.

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