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Buddha Wisdom

Everything about 12 chinese zodiac animal

Everything about 12 chinese zodiac animal

what is 12 zodiac animal for?

In ancient times, to help common people remember the year of their birth, the simplest method of using animals to mark the years was employed. This later became known as the "Zodiac Year." ("Shengxiao": "Sheng" means birth; "Xiao" means similar or resembling.)

💡 Did you know

The twelve zodiac animals are also called the twelve year beasts. According to the Chinese calendar, twelve beasts take turns in a cycle, which is why our Chinese New Year features the animals: Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Goat, Monkey, Rooster, Dog, and Pig. The twelve zodiac signs originated in the 6th century BCE. Initially, they were used in conjunction with the twelve Earthly Branches, but eventually, they evolved into the names for the years.

Stroy about 12 zodiac animal

In fact, a folk tale has been passed down through generations:

  • It is said that back then, Buddha summoned all the animals to attend a grand assembly. The first twelve animals to arrive would become the twelve year names. On the day of the grand assembly, the Rat arrived first, so it ranked highest among the zodiac animals, followed by the Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Goat, Monkey, Rooster, and Dog. The Pig arrived last, thus it is ranked last among the twelve zodiac animals.

😍Regarding the origin of the twelve zodiac signs, historical records indicate that during the era of Emperor Shun, China began using the "Ganzhi" calendar system, which combines ten Heavenly Stems and twelve Earthly Branches.

The origin of the 12 zodiac animals.

The most popular story about the origin of the Chinese zodiac is the tale of the Great Race, organized by the Jade Emperor, the ruler of heaven.


  • The Rat : The Jade Emperor decided to hold a race and invited all the animals. The order in which they finished would determine their place in the zodiac. The Rat and the Cat, who were friends, decided to ride on the back of the Ox. As they approached the finish line, the Rat pushed the Cat into the river and jumped ahead, securing the first place.
  • The Ox : The Ox, being strong and diligent, swam across the river easily, but since the Rat had jumped off its back just before the finish line, the Ox came in second.
  • The Tiger : The Tiger, a powerful swimmer, struggled against the strong currents but managed to finish third.


  • The Rabbit : The Rabbit, known for its speed and agility, hopped across the river by jumping on stones and floating logs, coming in fourth.
  • The Dragon : The Dragon, who could fly, should have come in first, but it stopped to help some villagers by bringing rain to their drought-stricken fields and then helped the Rabbit by blowing it to shore, finishing fifth.
  • The Snake : The Snake, unnoticed by others, wrapped itself around the Horse’s hoof. Just as the Horse was about to cross the finish line, the Snake uncoiled and startled the Horse, taking the sixth place.



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  • The Horse : The Horse, surprised by the Snake, finished seventh.
  • The Goat (Sheep) : The Goat, Monkey, and Rooster worked together to build a raft and sailed across the river. The Jade Emperor was impressed by their teamwork and assigned them the eighth, ninth, and tenth places respectively.

  • The Monkey : The Monkey's cleverness and agility helped it to follow the Goat and Rooster, securing the ninth place.

  • The Rooster : The Rooster was the initiator of the raft-building idea and thus took the tenth place.

  • The Dog : The Dog, who loved playing in the water, got distracted by the fun and finished eleventh.

  • The Pig : The Pig, who was slow because it stopped to eat and sleep during the race, finished last and took the twelfth place.
chinese zodiac

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