Legend has it that the Chinese zodiac originated from an ancient tale of a race. The Jade Emperor invited all the animals to a great banquet; however, only twelve species of animals arrived on time.
As a reward for their punctuality, these twelve were declared honorary members of the zodiac and granted special protection by the gods. The first one to arrive was the Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Goat, Monkey, Rooster, Dog and lastly, Pig.
Since then the animals have been used to symbolize years in a twelve-year cycle. Apart from being an auspicious sign of luck and fortune throughout Chinese culture, each one is also given its own particular characteristics and personality traits.
The 12 Chinese Zodiac signs are popular because of their symbolism, rich cultural history, and timeless appeal. They represent the fundamentals of life: hope, ambition, success, courage, friendship, and love.
With each of the animals comes an associated personality trait which can give insight into one’s own inner being.
Year of the Rat (1960/1972/1984/1996/2008) are clever, quick-witted and resourceful.
Year of the Ox (1961/1973/1985/1997/2009) are hardworking, honest and determined.
Year of the Tiger (1962/1974/1986/1998/2010) are courageous, determined and confident.
Year of the Rabbit (1963/1975/1987/1999/2011) are gentle, kind and sensitive.
Year of the Dragon (1964/1976/1988/2000/2012) are energetic, brave and passionate.
Year of the Snake (1965/1977/1989/2001/2013) are mysterious, intuitive and wise.
Year of the Horse (1966/1978/1990/2002/2014) are cheerful, popular and independent.
Year of the Goat (1967/1979/1991/2003/2015) are sympathetic, gentle and mild-mannered.
Year of the Monkey (1968/1980/1992/2004/2016) are lively, flexible and quick-witted.
Year of the Rooster (1969/1981/1993/2005/2017) are honest, capable and hardworking.
Year of the Dog (1970/1982/1994/2006/2018) are loyal, honest and brave.
Year of the Pig (1971/1983/1995/2007/2019) are generous, patient and kind-hearted.
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