The Chinese animal zodiac, or Sheng Xiao in Chinese Pinyin, is a rotating cycle of 12 years, with each year being represented by an animal and its reputed attributes.
Traditionally these recurring animals were used to date the years, a different animal for one year, with each animal year repeated every 12 years. There are altogether 12 animals, which are, in order, rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, ram, monkey, rooster, dog and pig.
Actually Chinese animal zodiac has certain similarities with the Western zodiac. Both have rotating cycles divided into 12 parts, and both imply the influence of each sign on a person’s personality. However, the differences are major. Chinese animal zodiac is divided into years, while Western zodiac is divided into months, and the animals are not associated with constellations.