The twelve animals symbolize the Chinese zodiac signs (or sheng xiao, which translates to "birth + resemblance"); they are the Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Goat (or Sheep), Monkey, Rooster, Dog, and Pig, in that order. The term "zodiac" comes from the Greek word for circle or spiral, because of how the animals' orbits appear on Earth.
The time it takes for the earth to rotate around the sun is not the same for all places on Earth. Because of this difference in distance from the sun, each region experiences a different number of hours of daylight and darkness every day. In addition, the angle at which Earth orbits the sun is not constant; instead, it changes over time due to its interaction with other planets within the Solar System. This leads to differences in climate across the planet. Scientists use these observations about Earth's past and present behavior to make predictions about what will happen in the future.
People have used animal symbols to identify their zodiac sign for many centuries. The concept originated with China's ancient system of astronomy called the I-Ching, which used the patterns of rat bones to predict solar eclipses. The idea then made its way into Europe where it was adapted to match the European view of the world as a place full of differences rather than similarities.
Everyone in Japan recognizes the twelve Chinese Zodiac animals: the Rat, the Ox, the Tiger, the Rabbit, the Dragon, the Snake, the Horse, the Sheep, the Monkey, the Rooster, the Dog, and the Boar (or Pig). In addition, among the Japanese people there is a popular belief that each year will bring someone who is born in the same year as you, but with a different animal sign. This person is known as your "yōkai" (appearing spirit).
In order to honor these creatures and pay respect to their power, some people choose to wear clothes or decorate rooms using images of each animal according to its Chinese zodiac sign.
For example, people who belong to the Rat (Japanese: arata) clan wear red clothing and use red ink to write with. The Ox (Japanese: nioi) clan wears yellow clothing and writes with black ink. The Tiger (Japanese: tigara) clan wears green clothing and uses green ink. And so on.
These traditions began during the Heian period (794-1185), when monks started writing poems about the twelve animals. Later, when people began writing fiction stories, they would include references to each animal to help readers identify with characters in the story.
Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Goat, Monkey, Rooster, Dog, and Pig are the 12 Chinese zodiac signs. Each sign is named after an animal, and each animal is distinct in its own way. The rat is known for its cunning and skill at getting what it wants; the ox is strong and reliable; the tiger is powerful and aggressive; the rabbit is quick on its feet; the dragon is noble and proud; the snake is mysterious and attractive; the horse is loyal and courageous; the goat is mischievous but friendly; the monkey is agile and intelligent; the rooster is active and ambitious; the dog is faithful and honest; and the pig is dirty but happy.
The order in which they are listed above is based on how they are supposed to be in a traditional Chinese zodiac system. However, since modern systems vary from the original version, these lists can change any time without notice.
The Chinese zodiac, known as Sheng Xiao or Shu Xiang, has 12 animal signs, which are listed in the following order: Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Sheep, Monkey, Rooster, Dog, and Pig... What exactly is the Chinese Zodiac?
|Zodiac Animal||Chinese Name||Recent Years|
|Dog||狗 (gǒu)||1934, 1946, 1958, 1970, 1982, 1994, 2006, 2018, 2030, 2042|
Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Goat, Monkey, Rooster, Dog, and Boar are the Japanese 12 zodiac animals, in order. Japan's zodiac signs are directly taken from those of China. The only variation is that in Japan, the last animal is a boar, but in China, it is a pig. However, this difference is not particularly significant.
Unlike most Asian countries, Japan did not develop a system of zodiac signs. Instead, they rely on the Chinese system of astronomy instead. So, what are Japanese Zodiac Animals? They are Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Goat, Monkey, Rooster, Dog, and Boar.
In Japan, there are many traditions related to the zodiac signs. For example, people believe that if you can meet all your old school friends then it means you will get married soon. Also, there is one tradition where someone sends gifts to their friends during the new moon. These gifts are called "nengajō". Rats are the only zodiac sign that does not receive nengajō. Instead, they are sent rice cakes during the new moon.
Rats used to be despised in Japan because they eat garbage which contains lots of chemicals. So, rats were seen as filthy creatures who needed to be cleaned off humans' clothes and shoes. This is why they don't receive any nengajō.
These are the eight animals represented by the signs:
These are the eight animals represented by the signs:
The twelve animals of the Chinese zodiac evolved throughout the early phases of Chinese culture, making it impossible to determine their true roots. Most historians think that the cat is not included because Buddhism had not yet been imported to China from India. Instead, they believe that the animal was added by local farmers as a means of identifying years, much like our own lunar calendar.
In the late Zhou dynasty (1046-256 B.C.), the astrological signs were introduced to supplement the annual cycle of the solar year. The signs served as guides for determining when to plant and when to harvest crops, when to build houses and roads, when to fight wars and so on.
The idea of using animals to represent the stars may have originated with the ancient Babylonians, who assigned meanings to each constellation. However, the Chinese seem to have taken this concept one step further by also assigning personality traits to each sign. For example, the Tiger is energetic and courageous, while the Rabbit is nervous and shy.
Today, people use the zodiac animals as a guide for choosing their spouses, children, employers and friends. It is even reported that some companies adopt different zodiac signs as their organizational structures to achieve harmony between employees.
Some believe that the order in which the animals appear in a zodiac cycle is important in determining its success.