Chinese Zodiac culture is very influencial nowadays. The symbolic meaning of 12 Chinese Zodiacs can be understood in 6 pairs. Each pair represents comprmentary characters that should be combined if one to be succeed.
The first pair is mouse and bull. Mouse symbolizes wisdom and bull represents diligence. Wisdom and diligence must be closely combined together. Wisdom without diligence is just petty trick. People with diligence but no wisdom are only fools. Therefore they should be combined, which is the first and most important pair of hope and demand on Chinese from their ancestors.
The second pair is tiger and rabbit. Tiger stands for bravery and rabbit symbolizes carefulness. Only by firmly binding them together can people be really brave but cautious. Bold people without carefulness are reckless and those with too much carefulness become timid. This pair is also very important, thus ranked the second.
The third pair is dragon and snake. Dragon symbolizes strength and snake softness. It’s believed that being too strong is easy to be broken while absolute softness means losing one’s independent opinions. So to embody strength and softness has been a teaching lesson passed down by Chinese ancestors from generation to generation.
The next is horse and sheep. Horse is a symbol of persistence, the adherence to reaching the goal, and sheep is a symbol of mildness. If one person only cares about achieving his goal on his own but ignores people around him, he will definitely keep getting into troubles and cannot succeed. If one person only focuses on associating with others mildly he will lose his way as well as his goal. Thus, persistence must be bound with mildness tightly, which is the fourth pair of hope from Chinese ancestors.
And then it comes to monkey and rooster. Monkey stands for flexibility. As for rooster, it means stability since there was no clock in ancient times and rooster’s crowing was the herald of the beginning of a new day. Roosters crow at fixed time so they represent stability. Flexibility and stability must be united tightly. If you are only flexible but not stable, you cannot gain anything no matter how good your strategy is. But if Chinese people are only stable but not flexible, just like a pond of stagnant water or a piece of iron, they would have not been able to carry out the present Reform and Opening Up policy. Only by fusing them perfectly can people maintain a stable status and keep the overall harmony and order on the one hand and keep moving forward innovatively on the other hand. This is the most fundamental vital concept.
The last pair is dog and boar. Dog symbolizes loyalty and boar amicableness. One who is too loyal to be amicable will exclude others. On the contrary, one who is too amicable without loyalty will lose his principle. So, be it loyalty to a nation, country and team or loyalty to one’s ideals, it must be combined with amicableness to maintain the real loyalty in the bottom of one’s heart. Chinese people have always been stick to these are principles “To be amicable to others and to be principled to oneself” and “gentleman get along with others but are also different and independent” .