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Chinese Astrological Symbols

Chinese astrology has its origins in the legend that Buddha called together all the animals in creation, but only twelve of them turned up. Buddha gave each of the twelve a year, in the order of their arrival, and so the twelve-year cycle of Chinese astrology began. Just as Western astrology presupposes that your character is influenced primarily by the astrological sign that the sun was in at the moment of your birth, so Chinese astrology decrees that your character is influenced by the animal sign governing the Chinese year in which you were born.

The Chinese symbols for each of the twelve animals or signs are as follows:

Rat
Rat
Buffalo
Buffalo
Tiger
Tiger
Cat
Cat
Dragon
Dragon
Snake
Snake
Horse
Horse
Goat
Goat
Monkey
Monkey
Rooster
Rooster
Dog
Dog
Pig
Pig

Our Chinese Astrology section discusses the characteristics of each of the signs, and you can find out more about the Chinese language and characters in our introduction to Chinese Symbols.