The Chinese Zodiac Cycle
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Although the origin of the use of animals to denote the twelve years of the Chinese zodiac cycle is uncertain, one explanation is given by a popular folk legend. Just before the Buddha was to depart Earth, he summoned all the animals to bid farewell. Only twelve showed up to pay their respects, and as a reward he named the years after them in the order in which they had arrived.

Chart of Chinese Zodiac Cycle
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