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 Spring Festival. Many Chinese calendars will print both the solar dates and the Chinese lunar dates.
In the United States, the years are dated from the birth of Jesus Christ, for example, 2012 means 2012 years after the birth of Christ. That represents a linear perception of time, with time proceeding in a straight line from the past to the present and the future. While in traditional China, dating methods were cyclical, every twelve years repeat, that is Twelve Animal Signs. each year is assigned an animal name or “sign” in an established order: 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. 2012 was the Year of the Dragon, and 2013 was the year of the Snake. And the next twelve years, 2024 is the Dragon Year again, 2025 the Snake Year too.
The animal signs also serve a useful social function for finding out people’s ages, instead of asking directly. People often ask what is his or her animal sign, that would place that person’s age within a cycle of 12 years, we can deduce the exact age.
PS: THE LEGEND
We talk about above that an established order for the twelve animal signs. Maybe you are very confused why the rat is head and the pig is the end. This according to a Chinese legend.
One day, the twelve animals quarreled to who was to head the cycle of years. Jade Emperor decided to hold 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. The water ox help rat cross the river. When they arrived at the shore, the little rat jumped off the ox and ran happily towards the finish line. The ox ran and arrived second. Next was the tiger, and the little rabbit quickly followed. The dragon came from within the clouds. As the horse arrived at the finish line, a snake suddenly appeared from the grass, making the horse and the sheep jump in horror. The monkey, the chicken, and the dog quickly ran to the finish line. The competition was about to end.
PS: ZODIAC CHART
People born in the Year of the Rat are noted for their charm and attraction for the opposite sex. They work hard, thrifty with money, easily angered and love to gossip. Their ambitions are big, and they are usually very successful. They are most compatible with people born in the years of the Dragon, Monkey, and Ox.
People born in the Year of the Ox are patient, speak little, and inspire confidence in others. They tend, bigoted, anger easily, generally easy-going, remarkably stubborn, and they hate to fail or be opposed. They are most compatible with Snake, Rooster, and Rat people.
Tiger people are sensitive, given to deep thinking, capable of great sympathy. They can be extremely short-tempered, sometimes cannot make up their minds. They are suspicious of others, but they are courageous and powerful. Tigers are most compatible with Horses, Dragons, and Dogs
People born in the Year of the Rabbit are articulate, talented, and ambitious. They are virtuous, reserved, admired, trusted, and are often financially lucky. They are fond of gossip but are tactful and generally kind. Rabbit people seldom lose their temper. They are clever at business and being conscientious, never back out of a contract. They would make good gamblers for they have the uncanny gift of choosing the right thing. However, they seldom gamble, as they are conservative and wise. They are most compatible with those born in the years of the Sheep, Pig, and Dog.
People born in the Year of the Dragon are healthy, energetic, excitable, short-tempered, and stubborn. They are also honest, sensitive, brave, and they inspire confidence and trust. Dragon people are the most eccentric of any in the eastern zodiac. They neither borrow money nor make flowery speeches, but they tend to be soft-hearted which sometimes gives others an advantage over them. They are compatible with Rats, Snakes, Monkeys, and Roosters.
People born in the Year of the Snake are deep. They say little, possess great wisdom, never have to worry about money, often quite vain, selfish, a bit stingy, overdo. They are determined in whatever they do and hate to fail. Although calm on the surface, they are intense and passionate. They are most compatible with the Ox and Rooster.
People born in the Year of the Horse are popular. They are cheerful, skillful with money, perceptive, wise, talented, good with their hands, impatient and hot-blooded about everything except their daily work. They like entertainment and large crowds. They are very independent and rarely listen to advice. They are most compatible with Tigers, Dogs, and Sheep.
People born in the Year of Sheep are elegant and highly accomplished in the arts. They are often shy, pessimistic, puzzled about life, wise, gentle, and compassionate. They are compatible with Rabbits, Pigs, andHorses.
People born in the Year of the Monkey are the erratic geniuses of the cycle. Clever, skillful, and flexible, they are remarkably inventive and original and can solve the most difficult problems with ease. They are strong willed but their anger cools quickly. They are most compatible with the Dragon and Rat.
People born in the Year of the Rooster are deep thinkers, capable, and talented. They like to be busy, are devoted beyond their capabilities. They are often a bit eccentric, frequent lonely, timid. They can be selfish and too outspoken, but are always interesting and can be extremely brave. They are most compatible with Ox, Snake, and Dragon.
People born in the Year of the Dog possess the best traits of human nature. They have a deep sense of loyalty, somewhat selfish, terribly stubborn, and eccentric, care little for wealth, cold emotionally, can find fault with many things and are noted for their sharp tongues. Dog people make good leaders. They are compatible with those born in the Years of the Horse, Tiger, and Rabbit.
People born in the Year of the Pig are chivalrous and gallant. Whatever they do, they do with all their strength. For Boar Year people, there is no left or right and there is no retreat. They have tremendous fortitude & great honesty, don’t make many friends, don’t talk much, have a great thirst for knowledge, quick tempered and kind to their loved ones. They are most compatible with Rabbits and Sheep.