The Chinese New Years have a dedicated animal for each year. The Chinese Zodiac is based on these animals. It is known as Sheng Xiao in Chinese and is divided into a twelve year cycle. The animal signs which complete the Chinese Zodiac circle include rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, sheep, monkey, rooster, dog and pig in order. The calculation is see more greeting cards done as per the Chinese Lunar calendar. Each animal has its own trait and the individual born in that animal’s year will have different traits. This Chinese New Year is the year of Snake and will start from 10th February, 2013 and will continue till January 30th, 2014. Here are some aspects of the different Chinese zodiacs.

Origin of the zodiacs

Prior to the Christian calendar, the Chinese zodiac was created. Just like the twelve branches of earth and ten heavenly systems, the animals also came into being with the purpose of counting the years. The origin was in the Han Dynasty (206-220) and the selection of the animals was based upon their living habits and their character. The division of time which was done in the past was related to number 12. As per that division, 1 ji was equal to 12 years, 1 year made 12 months, 1 day had 12 time periods which were referred to as shi chen. Thus the origin basically came from astronomy. An earthly branch represents one animal sign. So the years of the animals came to be known as zi rat, chou ox, yin tiger, mao rabbit, chen dragon, si snack, wu horse, wei sheep, shen monkey, you rooster, xu dog and hai pig.
12 Zodiac Signs and their Time

The Chinese New Years have 12 zodiac signs. Here we are listing the signs along with their time given in one particular order.

Rat-Time- 11 p.m. to 1 a.m. It is named as zi shi which means the phase of zi. Rats seek for food during this time.

Ox- Time- 1 to 3 a.m. Referred to as chou shi (shi means time period). Oxen chew over their food during this time.

Tiger- Time- 3 to 5 a.m. and is known as yin shi. The tigers are at their maximum fierce nature and hunt for prey during this time.

Rabbit- Time-5 to 7 a.m. Named as mao shi. According to tales, this is the time when the jade rabbit was grinding medicinal herbs.

Dragon- Time-7 to 9 a.m. Referred to as chen shi. It’s a belief that for rainfall, dragons used to fly in the sky during that time.

Snake- Time-9 to 11 a.m. Named as si shi. Snakes come out of their holes at this time.

Horse-Time-11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Referred to as wu shi. While every other animal is resting, the horse is at its full energy at this time.

Sheep- Time- 1 to 3 p.m. Called as wei shi. There is a belief that during this period, if the sheep eats grass, then it will become stronger.

Monkey-Time-3 to 5 p.m. Known as shen shi. Monkeys become more active.

Rooster- Time- 5 to 7 p.m. Named as you shi. It is the time for roosters to take rest.

Dog-Time-7 to 9 p.m. Known as shu shi. This is the time when dogs start their guarding duty.

Pig- Time- 9 to 11 p.m. Referred to as hai shi. Everything is calm and it’s time for the pigs to sleep without any disturbance.

This is an overall view of the Chinese New Years and the Zodiacs.

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