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The Chinese animal zodiac, or shengxiao , is a repeating cycle of 12 years, with each year being represented by an animal and its reputed attributes.


Though people consider the rat not adorable, and it even makes its way into derogatory languages, it ranks first on the Chinese zodiac signs. It has characteristics of an animal with spirit, wit, alertness, delicacy, flexibility and vitality.


Oxen used to be capable farming tools in agricultural society, which attach to the symbol of diligence, persistence and honesty. People born in the Year of Ox are probably tardy in action, but industrious and cautious. Most of them are conservative and hold their faith firmly.


Tigers, considered to be bravest from chinese zodiac, cruel, forceful, stately and terrifying, are the symbol of power and lordliness. In ancient times, people usually compared emperors or grandees with the tiger. Court officials often said that 'accompanying the emperor is just like being at the side of a tiger'. There are also many legends about this animal.


For Chinese people, the rabbit is a tame creature representing hope for a long time. It is tender and lovely. The moon goddess Chang'e in Chinese legend had a rabbit as her pet


The Dragon enjoys a very high reputation in Chinese culture. Chinese people regard themselves as descendents of the dragon. In ancient China, this imaginary creature was thought to speed across the sky with divine power.


Snake carries the meanings of malevolence, cattiness and mystery, as well as acumen and divination. In some places, people believe that a snake found in their court can bring delight.


The Five Elements of Horse is Fire (Huo), which symbolizes enthusiasm and energy. The animal gives people an impression of independence and integrity. Its spirit is recognized to be the Chinese people's ethos - making unremitting efforts to improve themselves with passion and diligence.


Sheep (goat, or ram) is among the animals that people like most. It is gentle and calm. Since ancient times, people have learned to use its fleece to make writing brushes and fur to keep warm.


The monkey is a clever animal. It is usually compared to a smart person. During the Spring and Autumn Period (770 - 476 BC), the dignified Chinese official title of marquis was pronounced 'Hou'


Rooster is almost the epitome of fidelity and punctuality. For ancestors who had no alarm clocks, the crowing was significant, as it could awaken people to get up and start to work.


Dog is man's good friend who can understand the human's spirit and obey its master, whether he is wealthy or not. The Chinese regard it as an auspicious animal.


Pig is not thought to be a smart animal in China. It likes sleeping and eating and becomes fat. Thus it usually features laziness and clumsiness. On the positive side, it behaves itself, has no calculation to harm others, and can bring affluence to people. Consequently, it has been regarded as wealth.