The Garden of Chinese Zodiac

The Garden of Chinese ZodiacThe Chinese Zodiac Garden is just across from Mountain View Pavilion. The grassy enclosure is home to a dozen smooth, white-stone-sculptured animals. These zodiac symbols are arranged according to the tian gan (heavenly stems) and di zhi (earthly branches) of Chinese geomancy. The zodiac sculptures, crafted in Han and Qing Dynasty styles, are set among cotton, India rubber fig and other tall shade trees.

The first of the 12 zodiac symbols is the rat, its sharpened nose pointing south. As for the big-clawed tiger, its fin-like back is modelled after the legendary Zhou Dynasty mascot. The elegantly resting horse was designed after the stone horses at the Ming Dynasty Tombs, northwest of Beijing.