On the Chinese New Year, which falls between late January and mid-February each year, a new Chinese Astrological sign takes center stage. Each sign is represented by a different animal, whose influence has both positive and negative qualities. In total, there are twelve signs of the Eastern Zodiac, which rotate in a round-robin fashion. Each of the twelve animals fulfills a different role in life, a different psychological profile. Together the twelve balance each other in the cycle of life.
Legend tells that the twelve Asian Zodiac Signs were assigned by Buddha. As the story goes, all of the animals of the world were invited to celebrate the New Year at a grand party. It being an especially cold winter, many of the animals decided to stay inside on this blustery night. Only twelve animals decided to brave the cold and attend the great celebration.
The first to arrive at the wonderful gala was the aggressive rat, followed closely by the determined ox. Then came the rebellious tiger, the sensitive rabbit and the vibrant dragon. Soon the wise snake, arrived with the lively horse and the creative goat, just behind him. The clever monkey and confident rooster arrived next, followed by the loyal dog and finally the gentle pig.
The Buddha was please to see the twelve and to show his gratitude for their attendance, He decided that each of the animals would be given a year over which to preside. The years would be given to the animals in the order in which they had arrived and so the Chinese Zodiac came into being.
It is believed that people born during an animal’s reigning year, will possess the same qualities and personality traits, both good and bad, as that year’s animal totem.
To learn more about Chinese Astrology read Shelly Wu’s new book,
"Chinese Astrology – Exploring the Eastern Zodiac"