The Story of the Chinese Zodiac

The Chinese Zodiac is the basis for the symbols associated with the years on the Chinese calendar. This is a Zodiac recognized by a number of Asian countries, China and Japan being among these. As our Auburn teriyaki restaurant has a foot in both countries, the story behind this Zodiac is an important one to us.

As is the case with many legends, the specific details of the Zodiac story are not widely agreed upon. Some say that it started with Buddha inviting the animals to oversee his departure from Earth, while others say it was the Jade Emperor inviting the animals to his birthday celebration. Some say that the twelve animals who showed up were rewarded with a position on the calendar, while others say that a competition was staged to see which animals would get the highest positions. Even the specific animals that belong in the calendar are not entirely agreed upon. However, the most common version places the rat in the first position, followed by the ox, the tiger, the rabbit, the dragon, the snake, the horse, the ram, the monkey, the rooster, the dog, and the pig.

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