Chinese Culture for Kids and the Chinese Zodiac Signs

Dec 6 08:37 2012 Ryann Nie Print This Article

A very common aspect of Chinese culture for kids is the Chinese zodiac signs. The zodiac signs are based on a 12-year moon cycle. The Chinese do not follow the same calendar year as everybody else does. As stated before,Guest Posting the Chinese culture follows a calendar that is based on the moon, or lunar, cycle. There are 12 animals within the cycle: Dog, Dragon, Horse, Monkey, Ox, Pig, Rabbit, Rat, Rooster, Sheep, Snake, and Tiger.

The Chinese zodiac signs are comparable to the ten heavenly stems and twelve earthly branches. The zodiac was also a system to count the years before the Christian calendar was created. The order of the animals and the selection influenced the people living during the Han Dynasty (206 B.C. - 220 B.C.), which is when it was created.

The Chinese zodiac is associated with astronomy, since the twelve animals are related with an earthly branch in the Chinese tradition. The different animal years were called Chen dragon, Chou ox, Hai pig, Mao rabbit, Shen monkey, Si snake, Wei sheep, Wu horse, Xu dog, Yin tiger, You rooster and Zi rabbit. There has been a very special relationship between animals and humans for a very long time, and this relationship is extremely pronounced within the zodiac signs.

The Chinese also believe that people’s characters are based on the animal that they were born under. They believe this because the people that were born under the animal inherit the characteristics of that particular animal. This also will include the good and bad parts of the animal, regardless of what they might be.

Something that people may not know about is the times of the different zodiacs.

Rat: 11 p.m. to 1 a.m., named Zi Shi (time period - Zi), which is when rats find food.

Ox: 1 a.m. to 3 a.m., named Chou Shi (time period - Chou), which is when the oxen reflect on the day and on life this time.

Tiger: 3 a.m. to 5 a.m., named Yin Shi (time period - Yin), which is when tigers hunt and exhibit their fiercest behavior.

Rabbit: 5 a.m. to 7 a.m., named Mao Shi (time period - Mao), which is based on stories of the jade rabbit who was on the moon, busy pounding medicinal herbs with a pounder.

Dragon: 7 a.m. to 9 a.m., named Chen Shi (time period - Chen), which is when dragons were said to fly throughout the skies to give people rainfall.

Snake: 9 a.m. to 11 a.m., named Si Shi (time period - Si), which is when snakes begin to leave their burrows.

Horse: 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., named Wu Shi (time period - Wu), which is when the day is blossoming with the rays of the sun and other animals are resting while the free horse is still running and playing vigorously.

Sheep: 1 p.m. to 3 p.m., named Wei Shi (time period - Wei), which is when it was said that if sheep were to eat grass at this time they would become stronger.

Monkey: 3 p.m. to 5 p.m., named Shen Shi (time period - Shen), which is when monkeys begin to get active.

Rooster: 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., named You Shi (time period - You), which is when roosters arrive back at their roost to stay as darkness sets in on the world.

Dog: 7 p.m. to 9 p.m., named Shu Shi (time period - Shu), which is when dogs begin their guard duty at the entrances.

Pig: 9 p.m. to 11 p.m., named Hai Shi (time period - Hai), which is when all is calm, even the pigs are resting.

A huge thanks to for the amazing information!


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Ryann Nie
Ryann Nie

As one of’s founders, Ryann Nie’s outstanding teaching credentials exemplify her love for teaching Mandarin Chinese to foreign students. Ryann graduated from HeBei University in 2005 with a degree specializing in Chinese for foreign students and obtained a diploma certifying her qualifications for teaching Chinese as a second language.


In 2006, Ryann began working for an online education company. It was the vast experience she gained from this opportunity that led to her partner with others in 2008 to launch This company has accumulated a great deal of respect around the world as an online language-learning institution, and has defied the odds by becoming one of the best online learning platforms in China.

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