What folk stories are behind the order of the Chinese zodiac?

Chinese zodiac story

Beside the tricks that rat played in the story youu2019ve mentioned, there are other legends about its priority in those animals:,(From Tales and Legends about 12 Animal Signs),1.

The Number of Zodiac Animalsu2019 ToesMany famous scholars in history had their own interpretations about this interesting topic.

There was a scholar in the Song Dynasty (960-1279)called Hong Xun explained his thought based on Yin Yang Theory.

Among the twelve animals - rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, sheep, monkey, rooster, dog and pig -rat, tiger, dragon, monkey and dog have five toes.

Five is an odd number which is thought to be in yang side (or positive).

Horse has one toe, also an odd number.

Others animals have toes of even numbers which are thought to be yin, negative.

Snake has no toe but its tongue has two tips in even number.

Ying and yang animal signs were interlaced.

There were scholars of the Ming Dynasty (1368 - 1644) followed and developed this idea.


Why Did Rat Come in the First Place?In Chinese mythology about the origin of world, the universe was in dark without form like an egg before the earth and heaven was separated.

It was the rat that bit a crack and let the air in.

He was the hero to start the world.

That was to say the importance of him.

Another saying goes along with the toes story mentioned above.

His forepaws have four toes and hindpaws have five toes, with both odd and even numbers.

For such a special creature among the twelve animals, rat won the first place.

,Legends seem to be strained interpretations because the original intention had been lost over such a long history.

Chinese zodiac was related to the Yin Yang, Five Elements theories and other traditional life concepts.

Thus it promoted the development of Chinese zodiacal culture.

It is reliable to believe the zodiac animals started for worship of animals in old times and twelve most important animals in ancient peopleu2019s life in was selected to vividly represent the Twelve Earthly Branches (the duodecimal cycle in Chinese calendar).

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Chinese zodiac Year

Chinese Zodiac really isnu2019t Zodiac per se.

English speakers call it that for convenience, since it happens to use 12 signs (the 12 Animals), reminiscent of the 12 constellations in gypsy Astrology.

In reality, besides the 12 u201canimalsu201d (technically, theyu2019re called u201c12 stemsu201d), you must not leave out the u201c10 branchesu201d.

Together they form part of the Chinese Calendar system and the all-important 60-year cycle.

Chinese have always known that everything under the sun occurs in cycles, and the period is 60 years.


54 years in the Gregorian Calendar.

) Empirically, major natural as well as socio-historical events have been observed to repeat themselves every 60 years.

(Not as exact replicas, just bearing astonishing similarity.

),And Chinese arenu2019t unique in recognizing cycles exist.

Generally, orientals understand cycles, and westerners subscribe to straight line thinking, extrapolating every trend ad infinitum.

Cycles are like ebb/flow, day/night, sunrise/sunset.

They cannot be stopped or even altered.

Chinese zodiac calculator

People have high chances meeting others with similar ages.

,In such cases, one can use his own year of birth and the corresponding zodiac as a reference point and then apply the difference in ages to get the zodiac of another person.

The difference is usually quite small.

Thus itu2019s pretty easy to figure it out in a blink of an eye.

,For elder people, one can use his father or motheru2019s year of birth and the corresponding zodiac as a reference point.

,For kids, memories of recent zodiacs should serve quite well.

Chinese zodiac 2022

2022 is Year of the Tigerud83dudc2f- house cats are 96% genetically similar to tigers.

,The time-lapse below shows the development of a 2-day-old kitten to a 10-month-old cat.