The story goes that a long time ago, Buddha ordered some animals to come see him on New Year’s Day. It was at that point he told the group that he would nominate 12 animals to be the leaders of all the animals, and that they would take turns each year. This is how the Chinese zodiac came to be.

In Japan, New Year’s greetings cards are important, so knowing which animal to adorn your card with is important.

In a time of both misinformation and too much information, quality journalism is more crucial than ever.
By subscribing, you can help us get the story right.