The Chinese Zodiac Sign (or shengxiao) is a repeating cycle of twelve years, each one is represented by a symbol animal with its own significance: Rat ( quick-witted ), Ox ( Diligent ), Tiger( leadership ), Rabbit( responsible ), Dragon( confident ), Snake( wise ), Horse( energetic ), Goat( gentle ), Monkey( smart ), Rooster( courageous ), Dog( prudent ), and Pig( compassionate ). It has a deep-rooted influence among Chinese and in some other Asian countries and has roots in Buddhism as well.
People in their zodiac year are believed to offend Tai Sui( 犯太岁 ), the God of Age and to be in bad luck for the whole year: in order to fend it off, the person needs to wear red, jade accessories. One legend says that the origins of these animals are the selection of the guards of the Jade Emperor based on the arrival and these stories dictate the characteristics of the twelve animals. Chinese Zodiac signs have existed for more than 2000 years and are now integrated into everyday life. In the upcoming year, there is the year of the Rat from 25th January 2020 to 11th February 2021 according to the Lunar Calendar. In Chinese element theory, each zodiac sign is associated with one of the five elements: Wood, Fire, Earth, Gold (Metal), and Water. Contrary to the repeating cycle of twelve years of the sign, the combination of the zodiac sign and the element comes once in a 60-year cycle in order to highlight the different characteristics of the person. The Rat is the Chinese zodiac sign known for being inquisitive, insightful, and resourceful. It is believed that the Chinese zodiac sign affects notably the personality of people like the western astrology signs. Those who are born as rats are known to be innovative, intelligent: they know how to make things their advantage.

Written by Cinzia Huang


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