There are many stories and fables to explain the beginning of the zodiac. Since the Han Dynasty , the 12 Earthly Branches have been used to record the time of day. However, for the sake of entertainment and convenience, they have been replaced by the 12 animals. The 24 hours are divided into 12 periods, and a mnemonic refers to the behavior of the animals:.
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Earthly Branches may refer to a double-hour period. An ancient folk story [ which? To get there, the animals would have to cross a river.
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Another folk story tells that the Rat deceived the Ox into letting it jump on its back, in order for the Ox to hear the Rat sing,  before jumping off at the finish line and finishing first. In Chinese mythology , a story tells that the cat was tricked by the Rat so it could not go to the banquet. This is why the cat is ultimately not part of the Chinese zodiac.
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In Buddhism , legend has it [ according to whom? To reward the animals who came to him, he named a year after each of them. The years were given to them in the order they had arrived. The twelve animals of the Chinese zodiac were developed in the early stages of Chinese civilization ; it is difficult to investigate its real origins.
Most historians agree that the cat is not included, as they had not yet been introduced to China from India , with the arrival of Buddhism. Due to confusion with synonyms during translation, some of the animals depicted by the English words did not exist in ancient China. The Chinese zodiac signs are also used by cultures other than Chinese. The Chinese lunar coins , depicting the zodiac animals, inspired the Canadian Silver Maple Leaf coins , as well as varieties from Australia , Korea , and Mongolia. The Chinese zodiac is also used in some other Asian countries that have been under the cultural influence of China.
However, some of the animals in the zodiac may differ by country. The Japanese zodiac includes the Sheep hitsuji instead of the Goat which would be yagi , and the Wild boar inoshishi , i instead of the Pig buta. The Vietnamese zodiac varies from the Chinese zodiac with the second animal being the Water Buffalo instead of the Ox , and the fourth animal being the Cat instead of the Rabbit.
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Unlike China, Cambodians start their new year in April rather than in the beginning of the year. The Cham zodiac uses the same animals and order as the Chinese zodiac, but replaces the Monkey with the turtle known locally as kra. Similarly the Malay zodiac is identical to the Chinese but replaces the Rabbit with the mousedeer pelanduk and the Pig with the tortoise kura.
A chart indicating good and bad bloodletting days and when to guard against demons. Detail: The chart contains a sme ba 9 figures symbolizing the elements in geomancy in the center with the Chinese pa-kua 8 trigrams surrounded by 12 animals of months and years. Soyombo and several Buddhist , tengrist and Chinese zodiac symbols in a wall mosaic. Twelve Chinese zodiac jade figurines. Capital Museum , Beijing , China.
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This article is missing information about the origin and history of the folktale. Please expand the article to include this information. Further details may exist on the talk page. June Further information: Burmese zodiac.
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China portal. Ultravisum, Male Female. It's a mystery that which country created the zodiac first. According to the historical literature, the 12 animals in China used today including the animal selection and their orders were originated in the Han Dynasty BC — AD. The order of the animals is most explained with a folk-tale about how the animals were summoned to heaven by the Jade Emperor who ruled the heavens of China.
There are many different versions of stories and folklores related to Chinese zodiac. The most popular one is about the race between the animals.
Legend said the Jade Emperor held a race and asked all the animals to participate. The first 12 could be given a place in the calendar. The pig got the last one because of stopping to eat. Based on the time of sun rise, the traditional Chinese people divided a day which has 24 hours into 12 segments.
These segments with each having two hours are called Shichen. Each two-hour period one Shichen is given the name of one of the 12 Earthly Branches. By observing life characters of animals in different time periods, the Chinese people linked each Shichen with one of the twelve Chinese zodiac animals. Other animals are lying down for a rest, while Horses are still standing.
Chinese Zodiac plays an important role in Chinese folk culture. Each animal has symbolic meanings. The 12 animals are divided into six pairs. According to the research, all agreed that the reason why Chinese zodiac animals fixed to 12 ones is greatly related to the traditional Chinese astronomy and calendar. The ancient people observed the phases of the moon and found that there is times full moon in a year.
So, they divided twelve months in a year and 12 two-hour periods in a day as they regard 12 as the number given under the will of Heaven. Therefore, the twelve Earthly Branches and the twelve zodiac animals appeared afterwards. If you analyze these animals carefully, you can find that they can be divided into three categories: The first group is Chinese six domestic animals: horse, ox, goat, pig, dog and chicken.
They are raised and trained for economic and other purposes playing important roles in Chinese agriculture. When the Chinese spring festival comes, people always wish their domestic animals thrive in the coming year. So, due to their importance, these six animals must be chosen in the 12 animals. They are tiger, rabbit, monkey, rat and snake. Among them, tiger and snake are feared, rat is detested, and rabbit and monkey are loved by the people.
The last group includes one animal - dragon, the traditional mascot of Chinese people. It is the only fictitious animal in 12 ones. How to choose your baby's gender? What are your lucky and unlucky years? Chinese Calendar Chinese Farmer's Almanac Tung Shing or Tung Shu provides you with daily lucky occasions, auspicious time, holidays, solar terms and lunar dates. January February March April May June July August September October November December Auspicious Days Western Date. Chinese Palmistry Get to know your personalities, fortune and future by analyzing palm lines, fingers, fingernail of your hands.
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