All of us know that the zodiac wheel based on western astrology has twelve signs and each one begins around the 19 to 22 of one month and ends around the same time the next month when the second zodiac sign begins. Hence there are twelve zodiac signs in a year and each person is assigned the zodiac depending on the day and month of his birth. However, under Chinese astrology, the zodiac is assigned depending on the year of birth of a person.
Chinese zodiac also has 12 signs and hence their wheel is a twelve-year circle. Each Chinese zodiac sign is represented by an animal and an element.
So, if you are planning on a Chinese zodiac tattoo the options are to choose the symbol of the animal assigned to the year of your birth or the element.
There is also an alternative to designing the tattoo with Chinese lettering or kanji symbols, symbolizing the animal or element instead of the picture. However, it is personal choice whether to choose a Chinese zodiac symbol or try out other zodiac symbols from other cultures such as Hindu, Indian or Japanese etc.
Zodiac sign tattoos are gaining popularity all over the world be it Indian, western, Chinese or Japanese due to its astrological symbolism and with more people realizing that astrology is a science and not just a belief or a traditional ritual. Since Chinese zodiac tattoo signs are represented by animals and the elements people are likely to relate better to it.
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So, If you won’t know which Chinese zodiac sign you belong, it is better to check out your date and year of birth with reference to a Chinese lunar calendar. This way you will not make a mistake. Especially if you are born at the beginning of the western calendar year, there is a likely hood that the year may be varied according to the Chinese lunar calendar. Similarly in the Indian culture, the beginning of the year is mid-April. Hence whenever you are adopting a zodiac tattoo sign belonging to another culture, it is better to cross-check before you ink it in.
The 12 animals representing the twelve different zodiac years in Chinese astrology are Rat, Bull, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Goat, Monkey, Rooster, Dog and Pig.
All these animals can be tattooed on you in any manner you like with the help of a creative tattoo artist. Alternately, you can also write the name of the animals in Chinese lettering. Just make sure that your lettering is done by an artist familiar with the Chinese alphabets or cross-check with someone who knows Chinese.
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These precautions are absolutely essential since the tattoo is permanent and you cannot afford mistakes. It is not very easy to find a good tattoo parlor or an artist who does a good job of Chinese tattoo designs. Hence you may need to do a little research before you get your Chinese zodiac tattoo done.
Gallery of Chinese zodiac tattoos