What Are Some of the Animals on the Chinese Calendar?


Quick Answer

Animals on the Chinese calendar include the rat, ox, tiger, horse and dragon. Known as Sheng Xiao, the Chinese Zodiac follows a 12-year cycle based on the Chinese lunar calendar and also includes the snake, dog, pig, monkey and sheep.

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Full Answer

Similar to western astrology signs, the Chinese zodiac presumes that the year of a person's birth impacts her character. According to popular lore, the gods chose which animals would serve as symbols of each year, and the people elected the first 12 that appeared. Designated during the Han Dynasty from 202 B.C. to A.D. 220, the selection and order of each animal reflects the animal's personality and living patterns.

Each sign also has its optimum time of activity during the day based on the representative animal's habits. A person born in the year of the snake, for instance, is thought to be most successful during the hours of 9 to 11 a.m. because that is when snakes leave their burrows. From 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., the horse remains full of energy, unlike other animals that are resting for an afternoon break while the sun is high above them.

Each animal has others that it is most compatible with and some that are inherently in opposition. Pigs, according to the Chinese zodiac, relate well with tigers, rabbits and sheep, whereas dragons relate well with snakes, rats and tigers.

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