The Chinese Zodiac, known as Sheng Xiao in Chinese, is based on a twelve year cycle, each year in that cycle related to an animal sign. These animal signs are the rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, sheep, monkey, rooster, dog and pig. The Chinese zodiac is calculated according to Chinese lunar calendar. CLICK HERE to use the tool to search for your Chinese zodiac. Select your Gregorian date of birth, and you'll reveal your date of birth according to Chinese lunar calendar together with your Chinese zodiac sign.
The twelve animals in the cycle of the Chinese Zodiac derive from a legend about Buddha who invited all the animals to join him for New Year's Day. Only twelve animals went to see Buddha. As a reward he promised to name a year for each one in order of their arrival, these were the rat, ox, tiger, hare, dragon, snake, horse, sheep, monkey, cock, dog and boar.
Each Chinese Zodiac has his own Buddha for protection. For example, Amitabha Buddha is the buddha of Dog & Pig. People boin in Dog & Pig years are believed to be protected by Amitabha. In the same way, Acalanatha Buddha was believed to protect people boin in Rooster years; Vairocan Buddha is believed to protect people boin in Sheep & Monkey Years; Mahāsthāmaprāpta Buddha is believed to protect people boin in Horse Years; Visvabhadra Buddha is believed to protect people boin in Dragon & Snake Years; Manjushri Buddha is believed to bless people boin in Rabbit Year; Akasagarbha Buddha is believed to bless people boin in OX & Tiger years; And the Thousand-hand Avalokitesvara (Qian shou guanyin buddha) is believed to bless people boin in Mouse years.