Chinese astrology sign of the rat

According to Chinese Astrology and Horoscope, the Chinese lunar calendar has 12 months of 29 or 30 days. The Chinese New Year is celebrated at the second new moon after the winter solstice and falls between January 21 and February 19 on the Gregorian calendar. Like in western Astrology here too we have 12 signs however here each sign represents an animal. In tracing the origin of animal symbols in Chinese Astrology and Horoscope, we often come across the legend of Buddha, who conducted a special animal race.
Since its very inception Chinese Astrology and Horoscope are seen to mention about the five element theory. This branch of Astrology is believed to have originated in China about the 3rd millennium BC.

The calendar is adjusted to the length of the solar year by the addition of extra months at regular intervals. Chinese New Year is on a different day every year because our western calendar (Gregorian) doesn’t match with the Chinese Lunar Calendar. These animals are, Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Sheep, Monkey, Rooster, Dog and Pig. This is how the story goes, that once upon a time Buddha summoned all animals of animal Kingdom for a race, there were twelve animals that finished the acclaimed position .
The five elements that are talked about in Chinese Astrology and Horoscope are Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal, and Water that fall in this order. Each year of the Chinese calendar is associated with one of the twelve animals of the Chinese Zodiac.

These were the animals that were declared animals of the Chinese year in the order that they finished the race.
Like most astrology systems, the lunar calculations are used in Chinese astrology and Horoscope. Though it is difficult to trace the basis of animals being used as signs, still there is a legend that goes into explaining its origin.

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