Chinese Zodiac
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Chinese Zodiac

2015 is the Year of the Sheep according to Chinese zodiac. The Year of the Sheep starts from Feb. 19, 2015 (the Lunar New Year / Spring Festival of China) and lasts to Feb. 7, 2016.

The Chinese Zodiac, known as Sheng Xiao, is based on a twelve-year cycle, each year in that cycle related to an animal sign. These signs are the rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, sheep, monkey, rooster, dog and pig. It is calculated according to Chinese lunar calendar. You can use the calculator to search for your Chinese zodiac animal sign. Select your Gregorian date of birth, and you'll reveal your date of birth according to the lunar calendar, together with your zodiac sign.

 12 Zodiac Signs
There has been a relationship between human and the 12 zodiacal animals. It is believed that the years represented by the animals affect the characters of people in the same way like the western astrology signs. Click the following signs to know the personalities of persons under different signs. Facts like years, strengths, weaknesses, best matches and fortune of 2015 of each sign are introduced.

Some signs are perfect matches while some are less compatible or even born opponents. Use the tool to test the compatibility for you and your partner!
  • Best Matches for 12 Signs:
    Rat: Ox, Rabbit and Dragon
    Ox: Rat, Monkey and Rooster
    Tiger: Dragon, Horse and Pig
    Rabbit: Sheep, Monkey, Dog and Pig
    Dragon: Rat, Tiger and Snake
    Snake: Dragon and Rooster
    Horse: Tiger, Sheep and Rabbit
    Sheep: Rabbit, Horse and Pig
    Monkey: Ox and Rabbit
    Rooster: Ox and Snake
    Dog: Rabbit
    Pig: Tiger, Rabbit and Sheep
 Origin of Chinese Zodiac
Similar to the ten heavenly stems and twelve earthly branches, animals in Chinese zodiac were also created for counting years as the system that is now universally accepted based on the Gregorian calendar. The selection and order of the animals that influence people's lives very much was originated in the Han Dynasty (202BC – 220AD) and based upon each animal's character and living habits. The old-time division was mostly related to number 12: one ji equals 12 years, one year has 12 months, one day has 12 time periods called shi chen. Ancient people observe that there are 12 full moons within one year. So, its origin is associated with astrology. Each animal sign is usually related with an earthly branch, so the animal years were called Zi Rat, Chou Ox, Yin Tiger, Mao Rabbit, Chen Dragon, Si Snake, Wu Horse, Wei Sheep, Shen Monkey, You Rooster, Xu Dog and Hai Pig.
Legend has it that one day the gods ordered that animals be designated as signs of each year and the twelve that arrived first were selected...
 Ben Ming Nian (Zodiac Year of Birth)
The animal year when a person was born is called his / her Ben Ming Nian (Zodiac Year of Birth). The distinctive zodiacal way of calculating years based on the lunar calendar decides that every once in every twelve-year cycle people will meet their birth signs.  

According to Chinese Solar Terms, the Beginning of Spring is the first solar term regarded as the start of a New Year. So, years should be divided by this day. Now, Chinese New Year's Day (Spring Festival) is commonly adopted as the division of two animal years.

It is said that in one's year of birth, he / she will offend 'Taisui', a mysterious power or celestial body that could control people's fortune. That is, he / she will meet either exultation or misery during that year. The best way to avoid miserable events is to wear red clothes, a waistband, or decorations such as a red bracelet and necklace as a talisman that must be purchased by others. If the person himself / herself buys them, the function of the talisman is greatly reduced.

This may be due to Chinese people's special affection for red since the Han Dynasty. In the Han people's wedding ceremony, the bride was picked up by her bridegroom's red sedan, the new couple wore red clothes, and their rooms were decorated with red candles, red carpets and red lanterns. When an army won a battle, victory would be reported with a red flag; and when a candidate passed the imperial examination, he would wear red flowered clothes. Thus redness has become the token of festivities, success, bravery, rightness, and exorcism.

From another point of view, there are just more and greater changes in the birth year than in other years, which are not always ominous. A change to one's  fate to ensure the predomination of good fortune requires both efforts and a firm belief.
 12 Zodiac Signs and Time
Hours / Time Period Description
Rat Zi Shi: 11 p.m. to 1 a.m. This is the time rats actively seek food.
Ox Chou Shi: 1 to 3 a.m. This is the time that oxen ruminate.
Tiger Yin Shi: 3 to 5 a.m. Tigers hunt prey and display fiercest nature.
Rabbit Mao Shi: 5 to 7 a.m. The Jade Rabbit on the moon is busy pounding medicinal herb with a pestle.
Dragon Chen Shi: 7 to 9 a.m. Dragons are hover in the sky at that time to give people rainfall.
Snake Si Shi: 9 to 11 a.m. Snakes start to leave their burrows.
Horse Wu Shi: 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. With the sun high above, other animals are lying down for a noon break while the unconstrained horse is still vigorous.
Sheep Wei Shi: 1 to 3 p.m. It is said that if sheep ate grass at this time, they would grow stronger.
Monkey Shen Shi: 3 to 5 p.m. Monkeys become lively.
Rooster You Shi: 5 to 7 p.m. Roosters return to their roost as it is dark.
Dog Xu Shi: 7 to 9 p.m. Dogs begin to carry out their duty to guard entrances.
Pig Hai Shi: 9 to 11 p.m. All is quiet and pigs are sleeping soundly.

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 Further Reading: 12 Signs of Western Astrology