Eastern legend says that the Lord Buddha summoned all animals to come to him before he departed from Earth. Only 12 came to bid him farewell. Lord Buddha rewarded the 12 animals who came to honor him by naming a year after each one in the order in which they arrived. It is believed that the animal ruling the year a person was born has a profound effect on their personality. Individuals are believed to identify with the specific animal for their entire life and take on its characteristics.