2012 hits the animal indication of “Tatsu”(Dragon). According to the old lunar
calendar that was brought to Japan from China in mid 6th century,
the classification system of “Junishi” Chinese zodiac) was applied to
every historical year that is represented by 12 kinds of animals individually.
2012 corresponds to the fifth turn animal of “Dragon”.
The fixed order of animals consists of Rat, Cattle, Tiger, Rabbit,
Dragon, Snake, Horse, Sheep, Monkey, Rooster, Dog and Boar.
According to a fairy tale, when God called up animals to get together
for the new year celebration, Cattle arrived the meeting place earlier
than others for fear of his slow walking speed. Rat stayed on the back
of Cattle and jumped off toward God appearing as the top animal to see God.
This is why Rat was ranked as the first year animal.
Persons born in the Dragon year are said to have strong desire
for knowledge as well as to be active and sociable. They are often regarded
as the romanticist who yearns for dreams and adventures. We, Japanese
often ask others, “What year were you born in ?”, as every year has
its own feature.
Then, the reply will be “Dragon year” for instance. The animal shape of
the new year is also printed in “Nengajo”, greeting card for a new year.