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The former is based on a lunar year and five 12-year sub-cycles, while the latter revolves around a 12-month solar year.The Chinese zodiac, moreover, is not equated with constellations, as is the occidental zodiac.At many Japanese temples even today, visitors can purchase small protective amulets or carvings of their patron Buddhist-Zodiac deity. On this particular day, people were advised not to work the fields or get married. Each consists of three lines and each is associated with either the yin or yang principle.

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East Asia’s calendar is also based on the Twenty-Eight Constellations or 28 Moon Lodges, which added greater precision.

Says famed author Isaac Asimov in Words from the Myths (1963) about the Western zodiac: "The heavens contain thousands of stars.

Although replaced in modern times by the Gregorian (solar) calendar, the Zodiac is still used today (unofficially) as a popular method of divination in many Asian and Western nations.

It was calibrated to track the waxing and waning phases of the moon, used as a method for counting years, months, days and hours in the Chinese imperial court and civil calendar, and utilized to forecast one’s future and determine one’s character.

Shepherds and farmers, in prehistoric days, studied these patterns because they served as a calendar.

The sun moves against the background of the stars and different stars are visible at night at different times of the year.

These are 'fixed stars' since, unlike the planets, they do not change position with respect to one another.

They form patterns that do not change, night after night and year after year.

The most important constellations in this connection would be those through which the sun actually passed on its path across the sky. The reason for the twelve is that the phases of the moon were also used to keep time.

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