Chinese Zodiacs

On Nov. 1, students had the opportunity to learn about Chinese Zodiacs. The event was put on by Confucius Institute. The event started off as a lecture where students learned what the twelve Chinese zodiac signs are, what they mean, and the story behind how the 12 animals were chosen. After the lecture students got to try their hands at ink and wash painting, or Shui-mo. Attendees were asked to try and paint out a Rooster, which is this year’s animal.

Attendees learned the story of how the 12 animals were chosen. The story says that while Buddha was about to pass away, he called out to all the animals on earth to come to him. Only 12 animals answered his call and came. A Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Sheep, Monkey, Rooster, Dog and Pig in that order came to bid him farewell. The Rat and Ox are said to have come at the same time because the Rat hopped on the back of the Ox to cross a river and then jumped off and proclaimed that it was the first. Each animal was given a year in the order they arrived.

The Chinese Zodiac signs are much different than the Zodiac signs that come to most people’s minds. Instead of having a Zodiac sign that is based on the month you were born, which is what comes to mind when talking about Zodiac signs, they are instead based on the year you are born. The Chinese Zodiac sign can be used for a multitude of things. You can determine someone’s age based off their animal, you can figure out someone’s personality traits, and fortune tellers can tell your future and compatibility with someone by just using your sign.

Students had the opportunity to learn  not only about the Zodiac signs but got a small glimpse into Chinese culture and customs. If you have any interest in learning more about Chinese culture, two more events are being held by the Confucius Institute this semester. They will be holding a cooking night Thursday, Nov. 16, and their Self-Care Series: Joint and Knee Pain on Nov. 30.