Chinese Shengxiao

Last Update: 2008-10-5 16:40:00; By drwi

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Sheng xiao refers to the symbolic 12 animals associated with the signs of the Chinese zodiac, which corresponds to a 12-year cycle. These animals are: the Rat, the Ox, the Tiger, the Rabbit, the Dragon, the Snake, the Horse, the Goat, the Monkey, the Rooster, the Dog, and the Pig, precisely in that order. The animals, or signs, of the Chinese zodiac are commonly used to denote the year of birth of a person: one is said to be born in 'the Year of the Rat', in 'the Year of the Dragon', in 'the Year of the Pig', etc.

The Sheng xiao, or Chinese zodiac, stems from ancient Chinese times and is basically a method to keep track of time, measured firstly in years. But because the Chinese zodiac is not only associated with the year, but also with the month, the day, and even the hour, it has achieved a mystical status that has captured the imagination of Chinese people thoughout history, and continues to influence the lives of Chinese people in all walks of life to this very day. For example, births are sometimes either postponed, where possible, or hastened - even by means of caesarian delivery - in order that the child may be born under a more propitious zodiac sign.

Here are some examples of the notions associated with a few of the more popular Chinese zodiac signs:

The sign of the Rat: People born in the Year of the Rat are keen and optimistic.

The sign of the Ox: People born in the Year of the Ox are diligent and conscientious.

The sign of the Tiger: People born in the Year of the Tiger are adventurous.

The sign of the Rabbit: People born in the Year of the Rabbit are gentle and kind-hearted.

The sign of the Dragon: People born in the Year of the Dragon are dignified.


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