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Chinese Zodiac

Posted by bluehorizon June 4, 2007 in the Group General Discussion.

The traditional Chinese lunar calendar has been used in China for over three millennia. It counts the years in sixty-year cycles, utilizing combinations of two series of numbers known as the ten Heavenly Stems and twelve Earthly Branches.

The Chinese zodiac consists of a twelve-year cycle, with each year corresponding to one of the twelve Earthly Branches and represented by a different animal. The year in which a person is born is equated with one of these twelve "Animal Years." The Chinese terms for the twelve Animal Years of the Chinese zodiac, shengxiao and shuxiang, may be translated as "birth-year categories," indicating that people's characters are determined to some extent by the year of their birth. The Chinese zodiac has always been very important to the Chinese people, particularly the personal characteristics associated with each of the Animal Years. Numerous legends and customs concerning the Animal Years have arisen over the ages, informing the Chinese imagination and exploration of the human condition. The Chinese zodiac is an ancient and important component of China's folk culture, vividly reflecting the rich psychology of the Chinese people.

The star signs of the Western zodiac are based on the month, rather than the year, of one's birth, and are named after constellations, rather than animals. It is believed that people's star signs may affect their character, behavior, and destiny, much like the Animal Years of the Chinese zodiac. Of course, the Chinese zodiac is calculated according to the traditional Chinese lunar calendar, unlike the Western zodiac, which uses the solar calendar.The year of a person's birth corresponds to one of the twelve Animals Years of the Chinese zodiac. When Chinese people talk about birthdays, they generally ask each other what their Animal Year is, rather than when they were born.

There is an old Chinese story concerning the origins of the Animal Years. It is said that the Yellow Emperor, the legendary ancestor of the Chinese people, decided to hold a competition to select twelve animals to serve as his bodyguards. When this news was announced, it caused a great stir throughout the animal kingdom. Rat was supposed to sign up for Cat, but forgot. As a result, Cat was unable to compete, and Cat and Rat have been enemies ever since. Elephant, although the largest of the animals, lost when Rat distracted him by running up his trunk. In the end, the twelve victors of the competition became the twelve animals of the Chinese zodiac. Of course, this story is merely apocryphal. Most likely, the ancient practice of naming the years after animals originated with the prehistoric worship of animal totems. Later, the Chinese zodiac was developed as a way to keep track of when people were born, with years and animals associated in a fixed order for clarity and ease of recording.

How was the order of the Animal Years determined? According to one legend, Ox, as the largest of the twelve selected animals, should have been in first place. However, Rat, the cleverest of the animals, cut to the front of the line by hopping onto Ox's back. How the order actually was determined will never be known.

The order of the twelve Animal Years of the Chinese zodiac is as follows: Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Sheep, Monkey, Rooster, Dog, Pig.

Sayings About Pig (2007 is the Year of the Pig)

Pig, although the last of the twelve Animal Years of the Chinese zodiac, is often a symbol of good luck. This is because in the past, people considered the pig, with its fat head and big ears, to exemplify abundance. Plump and rotund, the pig has a simple and honest appearance. The Chinese folk saying "A fat pig at the door" equates the pig with the arrival of good luck and happiness. Interestingly, the Chinese character "家" jia (home) is made up of the components "宀" (roof) and "豕 " (pig), indicating that in ancient times, a house was not considered a home without a pig in it. A pig is slaughtered as soon as it is fattened up. This gave rise to the saying "People fear getting famous, pigs fear getting fat," indicating that fame and success can bring more trouble than they're worth.

China's most famous pig is Zhu Bajie, a supernatural character in the classical novel Journey to the West. Zhu Bajie, along with the monkey spirit Sun Wukong and their other companions, is a member of the company that escorts the monk Tang Seng on his journey to India to retrieve the Buddhist scriptures. Although he appears to be gluttonous, lazy, and lecherous, in reality Zhu Bajie is extremely kindhearted and honest, and is greatly loved by the Chinese people.

 Characteristics of Pig

People born in the Year of the Pig are optimists by nature. They have good luck with money, and can make a living relatively effortlessly. People born in the Year of the Pig are honest and upright. They are extremely generous with their friends, and don't haggle over pennies. Women born in the Year of the Pig are ideal domestic partners, and are very good at managing their households. Pig corresponds to Pisces in the Western zodiac.

People born in the Year of the Pig are very kindhearted, but due to their overly trusting nature they can easily be deceived. They love ease and pleasure, and can be lazy and unmotivated.

Perpetual Calendar for the Year of the Pig

People whose birthdays fall during the following periods are born in the Year of the Pig:

February 16, 1923 - February 04, 1924
February 04, 1935 - January 23, 1936
January 22, 1947 - February 09, 1948
February 08, 1959 - January 27, 1960
January 27, 1971 - February 14, 1972
February 13, 1983 - February 01, 1984
January 31, 1995 - February 18, 1996
January 18, 2007 - February 06, 2008

The first date indicates Lunar New Year's Day. The second date indicates the last day of the lunar year.

I was a good, honest, optimism and love to eat delicious food of Pig.  hehe..

If you have any questions, please give me a voice.

 

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