The horse ranks the seventh among the twelve animals in Chinese zodiac. It is associated with Wu in the Twelve Earthly Branches and the hours from 11:00 am to 1:00 pm. At the noon, Yangqi (positive energy) has reached its mount, and Yinqi (negative energy) is beginning to accumulate. At this time, the alternation of Yin and Yang makes most animals lie down and nap, while only horse stands. Therefore it is also referred to as "Horse of Wu".
The rat ranks the first among the twelve animals in Chinese zodiac. It is associated with the Zi in the Twelve Earthly Branches and the hours form 11:00 pm to 1:00 am. This is the time when the rat goes out most frequently, covered by the night. Therefore it is also referred to as "Rat of Zi".
The twelve Chinese zodiac signs, also known as "shuxiang" in Chinese, are twelve animals representing people’s year of birth associated with the Twelve Earthly Branches, including Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Goat, Monkey, Rooster, Dog, and Pig. The natural habits of the twelve Chinese zodiac animals are given many cultural connotations. They mean much more than what they are to the Chinese people, who worship and respect them. The images of these twelve animals are complete only when we combine their natural characters and symbolic meanings.
Traditional Chinese culture has a long history. Being a part of it, the zodiac culture has a close relationship with Chinese people’s concept of life, nature, religion and philosophy. The twelve Chinese zodiac signs, are Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Goat, Monkey, Rooster, Dog, and Pig.