Based on a twelve-year cycle, the Chinese zodiac (生肖 shēngxiào) is associated with 12 animal signs. The 12 animal signs are: Mouse, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Sheep, Monkey, Rooster, Dog, Pig.
Similar to western horoscopes, many people believe the Chinese animal signs influence personal characters and decisions.
2018 is the Year of the Dog (狗 gǒu) starting from February 16, 2018 (Chinese Spring Festival) and lasting to February 04, 2019. Chinese New Year in 2019 will mark the start of the Year of Pig (猪 zhū).
Ranked as the eleventh animal in the Chinese zodiac, Dog is the symbol of loyalty and honesty. People born in the Year of the Dog are considered honest, friendly, faithful, bright, straightforward, venerable and have a strong sense of responsibility.
Occupying the last position in the 12 Chinese Zodiac animals, Pig (猪 zhū) is a mild and lucky animal representing carefree fun, good fortune and wealth. Personality traits of the people born under the sign of the Pig are happy, easygoing, honest, trusting, educated, sincere and brave.
How was the order of Chinese Zodiac decided? In Chinese legend, the Jade Emperor (Emperor of the Heaven) ordered a race to decide the zodiac places. The race was intense and full of excitement. The last obstacle was a wide river. The Ox kindly offered the Mouse a ride on its back, but the Mouse cheekily stole the first prize in the end by jumping across the finishing line from Ox’s back. The Cat did not make the race at all as the Mouse did not tell the Cat about the race. Since then, Cat and Mouse are no longer friends and Cat has been chasing Mouse ever since.
Chase our stories of Chinese legends and myths here at the Confucius Institute for Scotland website…
(Chinese Zodiac image by Rosemania – www.flickr.com/photos/rosemania/4530709288, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=10571168)