In ancient times, in order to tell the time, people divided one day into twelve 2-hour periods, and designated one animal to represent each period according to each animal’s special time.
Rat: 23:00-01:00 (when rats actively look for food).
Ox: 01:00-03:00 (when oxen begin to ruminate and start tilling the land)
Tiger: 03:00-05:00 (when tigers begin hunting prey)
Rabbit: 05:00-07:00 (when, according to Chinese folk tales, the jade rabbit on the moon starts pounding herbs with a pestle)
Dragon: 07:00-09:00 (when, in Chinese folk tales, dragons start marching westwards)
Snake: 09:00-11:00 (when snakes leave their holes)
Horse: 11:00-13:00 (when sunshine is the strongest during the day, and the horses remain rigorous while many other animals lie down to have a break)
Goat: 13:00-15:00 (it is believed that if goats will grow fatter if they eat grass during this time)
Monkey: 15:00-17:00 (when monkeys become very lively)
Rooster: 17:00-19:00 (when roosters return to their coops)
Dog: 19:00-21:00 (when dogs carry their duty to guard the houses)
Pig: 21:00-23:00 (when pigs are sleeping tight and sound)