Guide The Astronomers Pig

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In China each year is associated with one of twelve animals and one of the five elements, making a sixty-year cycle. An accurate astrological prediction is a complex process, although it is by no means scientific, and is regarded very seriously by some people. A Chinese almanac dating from c.

Many Chinese households will regularly consult an almanac or calendar based on the lunar year that provides a set of guidelines to promote or advise against certain tasks or events being undertaken on certain days.

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Claims for the origins of this book go back over years to BC, from which date it is said to have been in constant publication. Originally produced solely by the imperial palace whose supposed link to the Heavens offered the ultimate authority on all matters celestial, the almanac is now freely published, but a certain ritual still surrounds its use.

In its handling, clean hands and a degree of reverence are required.

Old almanacs must be disposed of by burning, either at a temple or with care by each family, in order to release their powers back to Heaven and the almanac must always be stored with respect and never placed on the floor or beneath a table. Despite the lighthearted treatment of astrological suppositions surrounding the zodiac, the respect afforded to the almanac reveals the ongoing belief afforded to the more complex arts of astronomy and divination and their importance in Chinese society.

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Detail of almanac showing the zodiac animals Or. Some of the more popular and better-known elements of Chinese astrology are the superstitions relating to the Chinese year signs. The Chinese zodiac animals make up a twelve-year cycle used for dating the years based on a lunar system. In the lunar calendar the beginning of the year falls somewhere between late January and early February of the solar calendar. The Chinese have adopted the solar calendar since , but the lunar calendar is still used for festive occasions such as the Chinese New Year and many Chinese calendars will print both the solar and the lunar dates.

The twelve animals that appear on the Chinese zodiac calendar — a rat, ox, tiger, rabbit or hare , dragon, snake, horse, sheep or goat , monkey, rooster, dog and pig — are the topic of countless legends embedded in Chinese mythology. The same zodiac animals are also used in many neighbouring cultures to China. You can read more about the mythology surrounding the zodiac animals by visiting our Astrology and Myths page.


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In Chinese folklore horoscopes have developed around the animal signs, much like monthly horoscopes have been developed for the different moon signs Pisces, Aries, Capricorn etc. The signs are all allocated different qualities and attributes and horoscopes derived from these are largely regarded as light-hearted fun. The simple characteristics of the animals themselves and the relationships they suggest are enduringly popular and well known and are commonly displayed in a wheel, representing the cyclical nature of the calendar.

The cycle always begins with the rat and ends with the pig and should be read in a clockwise direction:. Find your birth year in the chart below to discover your Chinese zodiac animal and read on to see if you have the typical characteristics of your sign:. Looking at the Zodiac wheel, the three animals which are most evenly spaced from one another are generally considered to be the best matches: Rat, Dragon and Monkey; Ox, Snake and Rooster; Tiger and Horse and Dog; Rabbit, Sheep and Pig. The signs that are opposite each other in the Zodiac Circle chart are thought to be poor matches.

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But, each person is a combination of the sign of the year in which they were born as well as of the sign which influences the time of day and month in which they were born. So, while you may find that a person was born in a year that would seem to make you and they a poor match, the other influences that you share may balance the ill effects of incompatible signs and make for a very good relationship. Likewise, these influences can also cause problems in a match of even the most compatible signs.

The animal signs above, assigned by the year of your birth, represent what others perceive you as being or how you present yourself. This affects your motivations, love life and inner personality and it is vital to the understanding of your compatibility with other signs. Work out your animal sign and those of your friends from the table above. Can you recognise yourselves in the descriptions? Do you get on well with those the zodiac says you should?

If not, write your own descriptions or horoscopes. How would you describe yourself and your friends?


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  • There are a number of legends which recount the selection of the zodiac animals. Visit the Astrology and Myth Page to read a popular version and then discuss the tale with your class. You might want to think about the following questions: Do you think the selection process was fair? Do you think any other animals should have been included and why? How would you have chosen to name the months of the calendar? Find showtimes, watch trailers, browse photos, track your Watchlist and rate your favorite movies and TV shows on your phone or tablet! IMDb More. Keep track of everything you watch; tell your friends.

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