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Chinese Astrology

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Actual date of origin of Chinese Astrology is not known. Some of the scholars place its origin between 4000 and 2000 BC. It is said that the Astrology in China was all prevalent around the time of the middle ages. The Chinese Zodiac consists of a 12-year cycle; each year of the cycle is named after a different animal that gives different and distinct characteristics to its year. A 13th "leap" year is periodically added to keep the system in balance. According to one myth, a Chinese emperor invited all the friends of the forest to a New Year party, he was expecting many guests, but only twelve animals came. The rat was first, followed by the ox, and so on. The emperor honored the animals by naming the years after them. Another Chinese legend suggests that more than five centuries before the birth of Christ, when Chinese Astrology was at it's peak, the dying Buddha asked all the animals of the world to come before him to bid them farewell, for which they would receive gifts. Most of the animals failing to comprehend the reason behind the request, failed to arrive before the Buddha. Those who did appear before the Buddha, however, were only 12 in number. These twelve animals were the rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, goat, monkey, rooster, dog and pig. These twelve animals came to represent the Chinese zodiac cycle; each presiding over one year in the same orders in which they arrived in the meeting. According to popular Chinese belief, the year of a person's birth is the primary factor in determining that person’s personality traits, physical and mental attributes, abilities and degree of success and happiness throughout his or her lifetime. Events and occurrences in a given year are influenced by the nature of that year's animal.

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