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China Daily | Updated: 2023-02-06 08:30
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Zodiac signs


"Which one of the zodiac animals you were born into" is one of the questions being frequently asked in social conversations. The Chinese zodiac associates each lunar calendar year to one of the 12 animal signs, circling in rotation, which shows the close connections having been built by people to relate their daily life to animals with reputed attributes. Meanwhile, the culture appreciates the importance of coexistence between people and other forms of life on Earth. An exhibition of artifacts now on at Henan Museum, in the provincial capital Zhengzhou, surveys the evolution of the zodiac signs and the implications and well wishes they are embedded with through the centuries. It is said that the legendary ruler Huangdi, or the Yellow Emperor, created the zodiac system more than 4,000 years ago. The earliest written recordings of the signs can be traced to the period before the Qin Dynasty (221-206 BC), and the system became widely practiced in the fifth and sixth centuries. Animals were featured on all kinds of ancient objects, including murals, pottery pieces, jade and ceramics. They were depicted as symbols of multiple meanings and blessings. Objects showing the rabbit, for example, the zodiac of this year, often imply kindness, fertility and longevity, and deliver a peaceful atmosphere. The exhibition runs through March 17.

9 am-5 pm, closed on Mondays. 8 Nongye Road, Zhengzhou, Henan province. 0371-6351-1237/9.

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