Chinese astrology is one of the most popular forms of astrology. The zodiac system here is a twelve-year cycle, where every year has been named after an animal name. The animal here is basically a symbol that represents different characteristics and personalities. The Chinese astrologers have this belief that the animal symbol plays a very important role in the life of a person. A person's traits, success, and happiness - everything depends upon the specific animal symbol he or she belongs to.
Chinese zodiac signs are animal symbols. Each animal sign represent a specific type of personality. The exact history of the origins of the Zodiac is not known. Different books have different stories. Following are those twelve signs, the element they belong to, and the types of characteristics they represent.
Unlike the Vedic and Western astrological system, where the number of elements is four, there are five elements in Chinese astrology. These five elements include Water, Metal, Earth, Fire, and Wood. These elements are also referred to as modifiers that influence the characteristics of the twelve animal signs. This way, every animal sign is governed by any one of these five elements.
The twelve signs have been divided into two categories - six signs are considered as power signs while the remaining six are considered as the romance signs. The romance signs include Pig, Dog, Rooster, Ram, Horse, and Rabbit. The Power signs include Monkey, Snake, dragon, Tiger, Ox, and Rat.
As per the Chinese astrological system, there are four animal trines. Each trine consists of three animal signs. Monkey, Dragon, and Rat belong to the first trine. The second trine consists of Rooster, Snake, and Ox. The three signs that belong to the third trine include Dog, Horse, and Tiger. The fourth trine includes the last three animal signs that include Pig, Ram, and Rabbit.
Chinese zodiac system is not only popular in China; other cultures also use the same. For example, the Chinese animal signs are commonly used in the Japanese New Year and Korean New Year's card. In fact, the Korean version of zodiac is very much similar to the Chinese version. Some Asian countries also use the same zodiac system. However, this is possibly because of the cultural influence of China. Still, the zodiac animals may differ from country to country. For example, the Vietnamese zodiac system uses water buffalo instead of the ox as the second animal sign. Similarly, in the Japanese version, wild boar is used instead of the pig.