According to the legend, before dying Buddha called all animals to his death bed. Twelve animals showed up. The smart and clever rat rode all the way on the tail of the ox, only to jump off just at the end of the journey right in front of Buddha.
As a reward, Buddha named one year out of a cycle of twelve years after these animals in the same sequence as they had shown up: Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Sheep, Monkey, Rooster, Dog and Pig.
The Chinese Horoscope is based on this Zodiac. The difference to the western horoscope is that the Zodiac signs are linked to years instead of the months and furthermore they are also linked to the five elements which are: