STJ Passport: Chinese Lunar Calendar

Have you really ever known the true history and mystery of the Chinese Lunar Calendar?

This picture is a real handwork from one of my friends. All the tools she needs, which are just a red paper and a scissor.

The Chinese Lunar Calendar names each of the twelve years after an animal. It is Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Sheep, Monkey, Rooster, Dog, and Pig.

Legend has it that the Lord Buddha summoned all the animals to come to him before he departed from earth. Only twelve came to bid him farewell and as a reward he named a year after each one in the order they arrived. It is kind of like race. The Chinese believe the animal ruling the year in which a person is born has a profound influence on personality, saying: “This is the animal that hides in your heart.”

Furthermore, I heard a plenty editions of folk tales about the Chinese Lunar Calendar while I grew up. Maybe you already noticed that there is no cat in the calendar, why? Because when the animals got the message from the Lord Buddha, so the good friends, cat and rat had a little conversation. Since the cat liked to sleep, so he wanted the rat to wake him up in second morning. Then the rat answered “yep!” However, the rat woke up and sneaked away by himself. This is also the legend why cats and rats are enemies.

At this point, you must question about why the little weak rat can be the first one? There is also a folk tale. The first one was supposed to be oxen, but the rat was stand on the oxen’s head. When the oxen arrived at the final place, the rat jumped off and became the first one.

Here is my conclusion:  the Chinese calendar is deeply rooted in ancient tradition that still carries on today with the same mysterious history of Chinese ways.

       At the introduction, I said that the year you were born show different personality and spirit. So here it is. You can check it out by yourself.


Rat        1924     1936     1948     1960     1972     1984     1996

Ox        1925     1937     1949     1961     1973     1985     1997

Tiger    1926     1938     1950     1962     1974     1986     1998

Rabbit  1927     1939     1951     1963     1975     1987     1999

Dragon 1928       1940     1952     1964     1976     1988     2000

Snake  1929     1941     1953     1965     1977     1989     2001

Horse  1930     1942     1954     1966     1978     1990     2002

Sheep  1931     1943     1955     1967     1979     1991     2003

Monkey 1932     1944     1956     1968     1980     1992     2004

Rooster  1933   1945     1957     1969     1981     1993     2005

Dog      1934     1946     1958     1970     1982     1994     2006

Pig        1935     1947     1959     1971     1983     1995     2007


Rats: are said to be imaginative, charming and very generous to those they love. They are supposed to make good writers, critics and publicists.


Ox: are born leaders, inspiring confidence in everyone they come into contact with. However, they can be too demanding. Methodical and good with their hands, they make fine surgeons and hairdressers.


Tigers: are said to be bold and adventurous, and are bestowed with initiative and charm. However, they have a tendency to be risk takers, making them act before they think about the consequences. They tend to make good bosses, explorers or racing drivers.


Rabbits: are affectionate, co-operative and pleasant, with lots of friends. But they can get too sentimental and seem superficial. Ideal careers areas include law, diplomacy or the stage.


Dragons: tend to be popular individuals who are always full of life and enthusiasm, with a reputation for being fun-loving. They make good priests, artists and politicians.


Snake: People born in the year of the Snake are romantic and deep-thinking, wise and charming, although they tend to dismiss others too quickly and are a bit stingy with money. Ideal jobs include teaching or psychiatry.


Horse: If you are born in the Year of the Horse then you are amazingly hard working and very independent. Although you are intelligent and friendly, you can sometimes be a bit selfish. You would make a good scientist or poet.


Sheep: Those born in the Year of the Sheep are said to be charming, elegant and artistic, who like material comforts. A bit of a worrier they also have a tendency to complain about things. Jobs as actors, gardeners would suit.


Monkey: If you are born in the Year of the Monkey, you are very intelligent, well-liked by everyone, and will have success in any field you choose.


Rooster: The sign of the Rooster indicates a person who is hard-working and definite about their decisions. Roosters are not afraid to speak their minds and can therefore sometimes come across as boastful. They make good restaurant owners and world travelers.


Dogs: are honest and faithful to those they love but they tend to worry too much and find fault with others. They make ideal secret agents or business people.


Pig: People born in the Year of the Boar are honest and tolerant and make good friends, but tend to expect the same from everyone else, and more often than not they end up disappointed. They thrive in the arts as entertainers.



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