Similar to the ten heavenly stems and twelve earthly branches, animals in Chinese zodiac were also created for counting years as the system that is now universally accepted based on the Gregorian calendar. The selection and order of the animals that influence people’s lives very much was originated in the Han Dynasty (202BC – 220AD) and based upon each animal’s character and living habits. The old-time division was mostly related to number 12: one ji equals 12 years, one year has 12 months, one day has 12 time periods called shi chen. Ancient people observe that there are 12 full moons within one year. So, its origin is associated with astrology. Each animal sign is usually related with an earthly branch, so the animal years were called
- Zi Rat
- Chou Ox
- Yin Tiger
- Mao Rabbit
- Chen Dragon
- Si Snake
- Wu Horse
- Wei Sheep
- Shen Monkey
- You Rooster
- Xu Dog
- Hai Pig.
Xiang Yu, Liu Bang defeated his rival and established
the Han Dynasty (206BC – 220AD) establishing Chang’an (the present Xian) as its capital city in 202 BC.
In Chinese history, Han consisted of two dynasties: the Western Han (206 BC – 24 AD) and the Eastern Han (25 – 220). During the period there were 24 emperors on the throne. Many were excellent contributing to the prosperity of the country with Emperors Gaozu, Wen, Jing and Wu among them.
As many wise emperors took effective measures during their reign, the Han Dynasty was a period of peace and prosperity. It was a World power at that time with interests in literature, arts, culture and technology with this dynasty achieving numerous unparalleled and praiseworthy successes. Some of the achievements at that time still influence the lives of the Chinese people today.
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