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Chinese Astrology is based on the lunar (Moon) calendar. Each Chinese sign lasts more or less for a year, beginning with the New Moon in the Sun Sign of Aquarius. This New Moon can fall at any time between early January and late February. Every twelfth year will be the year of the same animal - the Year of the Sheep begins on 18th February 2015 and the next Sheep year will not begin until 6th February 2027.

According to Chinese tradition, the signs were given their names by Buddha, five centuries before the birth of Christ. As Buddha lay dying he asked all the animals in the world to come to visit him and say farewell. Only twelve did so, and to thank them he offered each one their own year, so they would become immortal. The names of the Chinese Astrological Signs (in Chinese Zodiac order) are: Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Sheep, Monkey, Hen/Rooster, Dog and Pig.

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The Rat is the first animal in the Chinese zodiac. The Rat person is charming and ambitious. They are always busy and seldom able to relax fully. If not, they get bored easily or get bad tempered. They enjoy going to parties or having a quick round of chat. Rats like to reach their goals by fair play. They are shrewd and not easily fooled. Rats are lively, sociable and easy to get along. They are ambitious and like to see others put in an honest day's work. The Rat is a real family person and devoted to their loved ones and family. At home, they do not reveal any unattractive personality traits. Rats make good advisers to others but not to themselves and are generous to those they truly love, even if not loved back. Rats are also hardworking and thrifty and able to sense danger. Rats are honest and meticulous and intelligent. Rats are practical but lack courage. Can be extravagant and greedy. If the Rat is not careful, the greedy side of the Rat could lead to all kinds of trouble. Rats are secretive, self-indulging and self-seeking. They love to criticise and gossip. Rats should avoid being over-worked and being over-ambitious. Rats should avoid trusting another Rat or those born in the year of the Rabbit and Sheep.

The Ox is the second animal in the Chinese zodiac. Oxen are not happy with change and prefer conformity and convention. Oxen love the traditional value of hard work and a stable family life. The Ox person enjoys material things and they are more than prepared to work hard to acquire a lifestyle that suits them. Oxen are generally calm and placid and rarely lose their temper. In the rare event that they do lose their temper, it would be wise to keep clear as they are capable of fearsome rages and an Ox on a rampage is very dangerous. Oxen are reliable, sincere and generally cool and patient. They are are neat, modest and seek solitude. They have few friends who are however very faithful to them. Oxen love their food and drink and likes to stay in their luxurious home. Oxen are good listeners, systematic and likes convention and tradition. They are also highly principled, strong, determined, stable, dependable and reliable. Oxen are reliable, fair and think carefully before speaking their mind, loyal and seldom jealous. Are not great conversationalists but are full of substance and interesting. Not romantic but they can be passionate. Oxen are family oriented and faithful. Oxen are stubborn and difficult to change views and can be carried away with convention thus considered too rigid. They can be dogmatic and lack humour. Oxen are not generous with money and are naive about love, finding that those close to them fail to understand them. Yet they are patient and caring and make good friends. An Ox person tends to bear grudges for a long time.

The Tiger is the third animal in the Chinese zodiac and is highly regarded in China, with almost magical powers to keep thieves and ghosts at bay. A Tiger person is "born to command and not to obey". Tigers are charismatic and dynamic. They are courageous and respected even by those who oppose them. Tigers are "fighters" and stand up for what they think is right. Tigers are courageous, dynamic and independent. They are committed in doing things and completing them. Tigers are warm, sincere, honourable and humourous. A Tiger person is also tolerant, understanding and generous and is capable of great generosity - a good friend to have. They enjoy a good social life, are sentimental and enjoy family life. A Tiger person is capable of making impulsive decisions and this may prove disastrous. They are generally optimistic but should they sink into a depression, it is harder for them to recover. Tigers are rebellious and unpredictable, always tense and in a hurry. If you are around a Tiger person, do expect a roller coaster ride. Tigers are also ill tempered and egotistic. They enjoy taking risks but must learn not to rush things without due consideration. They like grand tasks but do not check details. They usually like to operate alone and do not like anyone to challenge them. Hates to obey others and dislikes interference.

The Rabbit is the fourth animal in the Chinese zodiac. A Rabbit person is peace-loving, usually kind, sweet and popular with a well-ordered life. Rabbits are not weak, they merely avoid a fight and have great diplomatic and negotiating skills. Their homes will have the very best furniture and are always beautiful. They derive pleasure from this and prefer to spend their time at home with their family rather than going out for entertainment. Rabbits are symbols of longevity and often live to a ripe old age. A Rabbit person is calm, gentle, discreet and reserved. They are gracious and good mannered. Rabbits have good memories, and are intelligent, farsighted and intuitive. They are methodical and make good counsellors. Rabbits also have good business acumen and are lucky in business. A Rabbit person is very sensitive, and can be little touchy and suspicious. They suffer from regular mood swings. Rabbits are also indecisive, and not always fair.

The Dragon is the symbol of ancient China and is the fifth animal in the Chinese zodiac. The Dragon is revered with equal status as the Chinese Emperor, as his throne is the Dragon and only he can wear the Dragon robe. The Dragon year is popular with every Chinese parent who hopes for a Dragon child. A Dragon person is interesting, charismatic and highly intelligent. A Dragon person is lively and full of vitality. They are determined and have lots of self-confidence. Dragons are strong fighters, follow their own judgement and can take control and deal effectively with any problems. They are also admired but have few close friends. In love relationships, they are filial rather than passionate. Dragons are dictatorial and can put up quite a fight. Not prepared to listen to other's advice, the can be very arrogant and direct, and lack of patience and tolerance can lead to poor judgement. Dragons seldom agree with their elders, and are blunt and direct. They are also eccentric and egotistic.

The Snake is the sixth animal in the Chinese zodiac. Generally it is regarded as the universal symbol of evil, but in the Chinese Horoscope, the Snake is not the evil snake we commonly associate it with. Snakes are intelligent, talented, determined and great organisers. They are philosophical and good thinkers. Snakes are shrewd and therefore very good in business. They enjoy the pleasures of life and love to accumulate money. Snakes are romantic and charming. Snakes are mysterious and keep their thoughts to themselves. They have good memories and can bear grudges for many years without ever expressing them until the time is right for revenge. Snakes are capable of lies although they do not do it often, if they do, they feel that they can get away with it. A Snake person needs lots of security. They have high moral principles, applied mostly to others, and they never let an opportunity slip them by. Snakes can be stubborn, hate listening to others and find failure totally unbearable.

horse HORSE
The Horse is the seventh animal in the Chinese zodiac. A Horse person is generally popular and is the life and soul of every party. In ancient China, the Horse symbolizes freedom and a distinguished career. Hardworking, adventurous, fast, cheerful, popular and confident. They are lively and sociable. A Horse person is elegant, independent and loves to travel. They make friends easily, and are helpful and loyal. They are not petty. Horses are clever but not exactly intelligent, but they are good at promoting grand ideas. They are constantly on the move and enjoy experimenting with new things or meeting new people. Horse people can be quick tempered but their heart is in the right place. Likes to take centre stage. They are also impatient, taking little advice from others. Horses are only concerned with their own freedom and do not consider other people's needs. They also have mood swings and therefore become inconsistent. Horses are prone to talking too much and cannot keep secrets. They tend to rush others but are unable to keep to their schedules. They can be impulsive and stubborn.

The Sheep is the eighth animal in the Chinese zodiac and is the symbol of social success and a good career in China. Generally, a Sheep person is elegant, charming and creative. However, they are the most moody amongst all of the Chinese Horoscope signs. Sheep are very romantic, gentle, caring and endearing but can be a bit bossy. A Sheep person is quiet, restful, patient, artistic, adaptable and gentle. They are easy going, make friends easily, gentle, compassionate and affectionate. Sheep dislike strict discipline. They are fond of children and are artistic, creative and fashionable. They also enjoy comfort and love of the home and this is where they really feel safe. A Sheep person is extremely sensitive and will take comments very personally. They are also dreamers and on occasion are pessimistic and worry for nothing. They can also be lazy and are indecisive. They are poor in business as they are disorganised but they do make good craftsmen, artists or writers. Can be moody at times, fear taking the initiative and can be gloomy. The Sheep likes to be loved and hates being pushed around.

The Monkey is the ninth animal in the Chinese zodiac. Monkey people are intelligent, quick-witted and resourceful. Monkeys are fun loving, full of energy, fantasy and plans. A Monkey person is clever, cunning, agile and lively. They are good problem solvers. Monkeys are intelligent, adaptable and sociable. At parties they are at the centre of attention due to their charm and humour. They don't hide their emotions, they like jokes but can be restless. Monkeys are immune to insults. Monkeys can be unscrupulous, selfish and devious. They can be dishonest and inconsistent. Monkeys have little respect for others, easily get jealous and yield to temptation.

The Hen (or Rooster) is the tenth animal in the Chinese zodiac. Hen people have a keen sense of observation and like to be noticed and flattered. It is not easy to fool a Hen and they make good trouble-shooters. They are conscious of their appearance and what they wear. Funny, witty, brave, enthusiastic, efficient and honest. A Hen person is very intelligent, a good thinker and has an excellent memory, alert and organised. They are intelligent, entertaining and strong willed but generous to friends. Hens are clever at finance, confident and outstanding performers. They make great hosts and enjoy entertainment. They always keep their promises. Hen people are boastful, easily critical and have strong opinions. They are notoriously picky and easily misunderstood.

The Dog is the eleventh animal in the Chinese zodiac and is the symbol of loyalty and wisdom for the Chinese. It is one of the most likeable signs of the Chinese Horoscope. Dog people value honour and enjoy helping other people. A Dog person is loyal, honest and affectionate, with a deep sense of justice and fair play. They are willing to fight for their principles. A Dog person has great respect for tradition, is very moral, honest and straightforward. They are warm and good workers. Dog people are intelligent, intuitive, good listeners and have good judgement. Dog people tend to overestimate dangers, and are sometimes bad tempered when cornered. They can also be simplistic, suspicious and obstinate. They are generally not happy in love and tend to be hot headed. A Dog person is also full of anxiety.

The Pig (or Boar) is the twelfth animal in the Chinese zodiac and stands for wealth, family and prosperity, happiness and good luck. Pigs are considered the jewels of the Chinese Horoscope as they are honest, upright and thus very popular. A Pig person is open, straightforward, and simple. They do not know how to be devious or underhand, and are frank, honest and trustworthy. They take the initiative and are diligent, calm, understanding and gallant. A Pig person is tolerant and avoids disputes. They are peace-loving, enjoy the good things in life but are not over-indulgent. Unfortunately, due to the trusting nature of the Pig person, they are easily swindled. They are wilful and obstinate, often make mistakes and have poor arguments. Materialistic but self-sacrificing.

Legal Disclaimer: Under UK law, horoscopes and readings are deemed to be for entertainment purposes only and do not represent legal, financial, medical or other specialist advice.

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