The Chinese Zodiac is made up of 12 animals, and unlike Astrology where each month is a different Zodiac in the Chinese Zodiac it is each year is a different Zodiac. It is uncertain as to where the exact origins and the exact time that this Zodiac was created but it is believed to have been during the 5th Century B.C. This zodiac is used to determining ones birth year not birth month, it is calculated by a cycle of 60 years where every animal is a different year and after 12 years the process repeats itself.
There is a story that goes with the Chinese Zodiac, I believe it goes like this (and I say I believe because it has changed a bit from person to person who says the story): The Jade Emperor summoned all the animals of the universe for a race, the 12 animals who showed up would be the symbol of the zodiac. The order of which animal came in first to last would decide the order the zodiac would be in.
This race was not done with full honesty from all the animals though, some stayed true to themselves and even helped others while others got ahead by tricking others. It is said that the rat won only by riding on the back of the ox who placed 2nd, and the snake, knowing that horses are afraid of snakes, hid on the hoof of the horse to cross the river and then once across he scared the horse to come in just before him. Where the dragon, who came in 5th should have won the race as he could fly but he derailed from the race several times to help villagers who were caught in a flood nearby and even helped the rabbit, who ended up beating him in the race, get across the river.
Here is the order and years of the Chinese Zodiac:
- Rat: 1984, 1996, 2008, 2020
- Ox: 1985, 1997, 2009, 2021
- Tiger: 1986, 1998, 2010, 2022
- Rabbit: 1987, 1999, 2011, 2023
- Dragon: 1988, 2000, 2012, 2024
- Snake: 1989, 2001, 2013, 2025
- Horse: 1978, 1990, 2002, 2014
- Ram: 1979, 1991, 2003, 2015
- Monkey: 1980, 1992, 2004, 2016
- Chicken: 1981, 1993, 2005, 2017
- Dog: 1982, 1994, 2006, 2018
- Pig: 1983, 1995, 2007, 2019
So what year were you born?