Chinese Astrology

Only available on StudyMode
  • Topic: Chinese calendar, Chinese astrology, Chinese zodiac
  • Pages : 3 (675 words )
  • Download(s) : 56
  • Published : December 11, 2012
Open Document
Text Preview
The well-trodden (no pun intended) story of the Chinese zodiac is cute, but a bit trite. The tale usually begins with the Jade Emperor, or Buddha, depending on the teller, who summoned all the animals of the universe for a race, or a banquet, depending on the teller. The 12 animals of the zodiac all headed to the palace. The order that they came in determined the order of the zodiac. The order is as follows:

Rat: (1984, 1996, 2008, add 12 years for each subsequent year) Ox: (1985, 1997, 2009)
Tiger: (1986, 1998, 2010)
Rabbit: (1987, 1999, 2011)
Dragon: (1976, 1988, 2000)
Snake: (1977, 1989, 2001)
Horse: (1978, 1990, 2002)
Ram: (1979, 1991, 2003)
Monkey: (1980, 1992, 2004)
Chicken: (1981, 1993, 2005)
Dog: (1982, 1994, 2006)
Pig: (1983, 1995, 2007)

During the journey, however, the animals got involved in everything from high jinx to heroism. For example the rat, who won the race, only did so through guile and trickery: it jumped onto the back of the ox and won by a nose. The snake, apparently also a little sneaky, hid on the hoof of a horse in order to cross a river. When they got to the other side, it scared the horse and beat it in the contest. The dragon however, proved to be honorable and altruistic. By all accounts the dragon would have won the race as it could fly, but it had stopped to help villagers caught in a flooding river cross safely, or it stopped to assist the rabbit in crossing the river, or it stopped to help create rain for a drought-ridden farmland, depending on the teller.

Actual History of the Zodiac

The actual history behind the Chinese zodiac is a much less fantastical and much harder to find. It’s known from pottery artifacts that the animals of the zodiac were popular in the Tang Dynasty (618-907 A.D.), but they were also seen much earlier from artifacts from the Warring States Period (475-221 B.C.), a period of disunity in ancient Chinese history, as differing factions fought for control.

It’s been written that the...
tracking img