How have you been doing, followers? I’m sure you have been having fun if you’ve spent time reading all of our posts because they are all very interesting!
Enough with self-flattery, let’s get on with it.
So today, I am going to talk about something that is quite common throughout the world, yet beautifully unique to Korea (and China) at the same time, the Zodiac signs.
Reading this post, you may be thinking of your own zodiac sign. If you were born on the 16th of August, your zodiac would be Leo; if you were born on the 29th of August, your zodiac would be Virgo. However, that is not how it works in Korea.
The zodiac that Koreans follow is also known as the Chinese Zodiac. While its origin is China, both China and Korea have shared, and still share large part of their culture – Chinese zodiac has become ingrained in the culture of Korea.
Chinese zodiac is based on a 12-year cycle, with different animals representing each year of birth. Here is the list:
People who were born in the year of Rat are said to be more intelligent, adaptable, quick-witted, charming, artistic and sociable. They partner well with those of Dragon and Monkey.
People born in the year of Ox are said to be more loyal, reliable, thorough, strong, reasonable, steady and determined. They partner well with those of Snake and Rooster.
People from the year of Tiger are said to be more enthusiastic, courageous, ambitious, leadership, confidence and charismatic. They partner well with those of Horse and Dog.
People who were born in the year of Rabbit are said to be more trustworthy, empathic, modest, diplomatic, sincere, sociable, caretakers and sensitive. They partner well with those of Sheep and Boar.
People who were born in the year of Dragon are said to be more lucky, flexible, eccentric, imaginative, artistic, spiritual and charismatic. They partner well with those of Rat and Monkey.
People born in the year of Dragon are said to be more philosophical, organised, intelligent, intuitive, elegant, attentive and decisive. They partner well with those of Rooster and Ox.
People born in the year of Horse are said to be more adaptable, loyal, courageous, ambitious, intelligent, adventurous and strong. They partner well with those of Dog and Tiger.
People born in the year of Sheep are said to be more tasteful, crafty, warm, elegant, charming, intuitive, sensitive and calm. They partner well with those of Boar and Rabbit.
People born in the year of Monkey are said to be more quick-witted, charming, lucky, adaptable, bright, versatile, lively and smart. They partner well with those of Dragon and Rat.
People born in the year of Rooster are said to be more honest, energetic, intelligent, flamboyant, flexible, diverse and confident. They partner well with those of Snake and Ox.
People born in the year of Dog are said to be more loyal, sociable, courageous, diligent, steady, lively, adaptable and smart. They partner well with those of Tiger and Horse.
People born in the year of boar are said to be more honourable, philanthropic, determined, optimistic, sincere and sociable. They partner well with those of Sheep and Rabbit.
The order is very important, since the same cycle repeats itself every 12 years. For those who cannot grasp the order by heart, here is an interesting mythology that may help you:
Upon founding the first country ever on the Korean peninsula, the King declared that whichever animal reaches first shall be given a prize. The diligent Ox started first, but the clever Rat hopped on the Ox, and upon reaching the finish line, the Rat jumped ahead, coming first place and the Ox, the second.
The Tiger ran in for third, followed by the Rabbit who started late because he overslept. The Dragon rushed from the sky for fifth position, followed by the Snake who caught onto the tail of the Dragon. The famous couple, the Horse and the Sheep ran together. The Horse wanted his girlfriend to come in before him, but his horseshoe came in before her, making him 7th and the Sheep 8th. This was then followed by the Monkey, the Rooster, the Dog, and eventually, the slow Boar!
Now, look for your year of birth on this chart!
So what is your animal? Do the characteristics accurately describe your traits? If they don’t, that’s also fine! It’s just our ancestors showing off their wit! 😃