The twelve animals of the Asian zodiac were created as a way of representing time, specifically the lunar calendar. According to Chinese mythology the twelve animals of the Asian zodiac were chosen by the Jade Emperor, who held a race amongst the animals of the world, choosing the first twelve animals to cross the finish line to represent a year of the 12-year cycle.
There are many stories about how the race was run and how the animals used their wits and skills to arrive in the order that they did, the rat being the first in the cycle and the pig being the last to arrive.
Although China was the origin of the Asian Zodiac, other Asian countries adopted and adapted the system of marking the years. For example, in China the goat and the pig represent two of the years, whereas in Japan those years are assigned to the sheep and the boar. And in Vietnam, therabbit is replaced by the cat. Each year and the people born in that year are often assigned attributes and characteristics of each animal. Every twelve years, the cycle starts over. 2023 is the year of the rabbit.
What animal are you?