Chinese Zodiac

  • Rat

    Rat

    1960, 1972, 1984, 1996, 2008, 2020
  • Ox

    Ox

    1961, 1973, 1985, 1997, 2009, 2021
  • Tiger

    Tiger

    1962, 1974, 1986, 1998, 2010, 2022
  • Rabbit

    Rabbit

    1963, 1975, 1987, 1999, 2011, 2023
  • Dragon

    Dragon

    1964, 1976, 1988, 2000, 2012, 2024
  • Snake

    Snake

    1965, 1977, 1989, 2001, 2013, 2025
  • Horse

    Horse

    1966, 1978, 1990, 2002, 2014, 2026
  • Goat

    Goat

    1967, 1979, 1991, 2003, 2015, 2027
  • Monkey

    Monkey

    1968, 1980, 1992, 2004, 2016, 2028
  • Rooster

    Rooster

    1969, 1981, 1993, 2005, 2017, 2029
  • Dog

    Dog

    1970, 1982, 1994, 2006, 2018, 2030
  • Pig

    Pig

    1971, 1983, 1995, 2007, 2019, 2031

The three best-known forms of astrology are Tropical (Western), Sidereal (Eastern), and Chinese. Tropical and Sidereal astrology interpret and divide the in the same way (12 Houses), but define a year differently. Tropical astrology fixes 0 degrees of Aries to the vernal equinox, which happens around the same dates (19th to 22nd) of March every year. Sidereal astrology defines the year based on the precession of fixed stars, which move backward one degree every 72 years.

As a result, someone born in the middle of April using Tropical astrology would be an Aries year in and year out. But a person born in the middle of April using Sidereal astrology would have a Pisces Sun sign instead of an Aries Sun sign.

Like Tropical and Sidereal astrology, Chinese astrology has twelve representatives, but they are not Zodiac signs, like Aries, Taurus, and so on. Instead, the twelve representatives (or Zodiac signs) are animals, and they are:

  • Rat
  • Ox
  • Tiger
  • Rabbit
  • Dragon
  • Snake
  • Horse
  • Goat
  • Monkey
  • Rooster
  • Dog
  • Pig

The Chinese Zodiac also differs from the Tropical and Sidereal systems by using five elements instead of four. The five elements are fire, water, wood, earth, and metal.

Additionally, the cycle runs over the course of 12 years, not 12 months, so everyone born in a certain year will be an element and animal. And, the Chinese New Year does not begin on January 1st. Rather, the New Year is determined by a lunisolar calendar, which uses a special calculation to determine the actual date each year, which differs from year-to-year.

If you happen to be born after January 1st, but before February 15th, then you need to know the exact date of the Chinese New Year; otherwise, you might get your Chinese Zodiac wrong if you simply go by the year to determine which animal you happen to be. In the case of 2020, which is the year of the Earth Ox, it begins on January 25th, 2020 and ends on February 11th, 2021.

Therefore, if you were born in 2020 and you looked up your Chinese Zodiac on a site that did not make this information clear, and you happened to be born on January 4th, 2020, you would mistakenly claim you were an Earth Ox, when, in fact, you would be an Earth Pig!

Chinese horoscope

Like other systems, the Chinese horoscope is based on the Gregorian calendar.

The Ancient Legend about Chinese Zodiac Creation

Legends say: The Jade Emperor (known as The Emperor in Heaven in Chinese folklore) ordered animals to be designated as calendar signs. The Emperor said that the 12 animals that arrive first the following day will be designated as the Chinese Zodiac signs. And the first one to arrive among the twelve will be assigned the 1st Sign. The Rat and the Cat heard about the news first and decided to go together to the meeting place. However, the next day the Rat forgot about its friend and ran alone to the Emperor’s palace.

On the way there, the Rat realized that other animals ran faster. So, the Rat made a deal with the Ox, saying that it would sing to him if he carried her on his back. The Ox reached the palace before other animals, and the Rat slid off his back and ran ahead of the Ox, becoming the first animal of the Chinese Zodiac.

The Ox was second, then the Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Goat, Monkey, Rooster, Dog, and Pig. The Rat’s friend, the Cat, missed the selection of the animals because it arrived at the palace too late, and that is why Cats and Rats have been enemies since ancient times.

The Chinese Zodiac Yin and Yang Theory

The fixed order of the animals in the Chinese Zodiac was decided based on the Chinese attributes of Yin and Yang. Yin is the receptive, feminine force of the universe, and Yang is the penetrating, masculine force. In order to know the yin or the yang of an animal, one must count the number of their toes, claws, or hoofs. The animals with even numbers have Yin energy and the animals with odd numbers have Yang energy. The Rat is unique because it is the only animal that has a different number of toes on its front and hind legs, making it a Yin and Yang animal. For this reason, the Rat takes first place in the Chinese Zodiac.

Besides the Yin-Yang attributes of the animals, the ancient Chinese believed that Yin and Yang energy need each other for balance, which means some animals (or signs) work better together than others. For the animal signs to coexist in harmony, strong yang attributes must be balanced by yin attributes. As such, Rat’s wisdom is balanced by the diligence of Ox, Tiger’s valor by Rabbit’s prudence, Dragon’s strength by Snake’s flexibility, Horse’s persistence by Goat’s unity, Monkey’s changeability by Rooster’s constancy, and Dog’s fidelity by Pig’s amiability.

The Chinese Zodiac Hours

Besides associating each year of the twelve-year cycle with a Chinese Zodiac animal, traditional Chinese culture arranged the same animals to correspond to hours of the day. The ancient Chinese divided the 24-hour day into twelve two-hour periods, also known as the 12 Shichen or earthly branches, and designated an animal for every period.

As a result, a person’s character traits and his or her destiny is influenced by not just their birth year, but their birth hour as well. In the Chinese Zodiac daily hours’ earthly branch system, the animals appear in the same order as in the twelve-year cycle: Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Goat, Monkey, Rooster, Dog, and Pig. Rat’s hours are between 11 p.m. and 1 a.m., with the rest of the animals taking the following two-hour periods in the above-mentioned order.

Your Animal Sign in Chinese Zodiac

To find out your animal sign in the eastern zodiac, you can use a Chinese Zodiac table. Calculation of the years based on the Chinese lunar calendar decides that a person will meet his birth sign once in every twelve-year cycle. For example, people born in 1981, after February 5th and until January 24th, 1982, are Roosters, and they met or will meet their animal sign in 1993, 2005, 2017, 2029, and so on.

The Chinese Zodiac Year of Birth – Ben Ming Nian

The animal year of the person’s birth in the Chinese calendar is called Ben Ming Nian or the “Zodiac Year of Birth”. The year 2018 (February 16th to February 4th 2019) is the year of the Earth Dog.

Chinese Zodiac prediction teaches that one’s year of birth is an important time, and it is important to give relevant gifts to the people in their Ben Ming Nian to help them improve their fortune. In order to reduce the unlucky impact of the year, the ancients advise wearing red socks, waist belts, or underwear given by elders; red color brings good luck and wards off evil spirits.

Also, you can purchase a token with Pi Xiu, a mythical wild animal from Chinese traditions that is said to drive away evil spirits. And, you should place flowers or ornaments in the sign’s lucky directions. Since the Chinese believe their year of birth to be unlucky, there are several important things that should be avoided in the year, such as marriage or engagement, starting a business, making investments, and changing jobs. Staying away from negative places, things, and people is also advised during one’s Ben Ming Nian.

Below you can find the years and personality characteristics corresponding to every animal sign. Remember, if you happen to be born between January 1st and February 15th, you should look up the exact date for the start of the Chinese New Year.

12 Chinese Zodiac Signs: Meanings and Characteristics

Rat Chinese sign
Rat 

Rat is the first Chinese Zodiac representative. People born in 1924, 1936, 1948, 1960, 1972, 1984, 1996, 2008, and 2020 are rats. Rats are known for their wisdom; they are also quick-witted, energetic, ambitious, practical, and charming. Their weaknesses include stubbornness, greed, timidity, and a love of gossip.

Ox Chinese sign
Ox 

Ox is the second Chinese Zodiac representative. If you were born in 1925, 1937, 1949, 1961, 1973, 1985, 1997, or 2009, then you are an Ox. Ox individuals are diligent, creative, hard-working, ambitious, honest, and patient. Nevertheless, they can be stubborn, indifferent, slow, narrow-minded, and poor at communication.

Tiger Chinese zodiac
Tiger 

Tiger is the third Chinese Zodiac representative. If you were born in 1926, 1938, 1950, 1962, 1974, 1986, 1998, and 2010, then you are a Tiger. The Tiger is brave and fierce. People who belong to this sign of the Chinese Zodiac are courageous, charismatic, competitive, intense, and lucky. Some of their weaknesses include irritability, overindulgence, and desire to boast to other people.

Rabbit Chinese zodiac
Rabbit 

Rabbit is the fourth Chinese Zodiac representative. Rabbits are symbols of longevity and good luck. Individuals born in 1927, 1939, 1951, 1963, 1975, 1987, 1999, and 2011 are Rabbits. Their strengths include intelligence, caution, gentleness, friendliness, and kindness. On the negative side, they may be nervous, superficial, and melancholy.

Dragon Chinese zodiac
Dragon 

Dragon is the fifth Chinese Zodiac representative. If you were born in 1928, 1940, 1952, 1964, 1976, 1988, 2000, and 2012, you are a Dragon. Dragon represents good fortune and authority. Dragon people are successful, brave, kind-hearted, powerful, and courageous. However, they might be also tactless, conceited, over-confident, and quick-tempered.

Snake Chinese zodiac
Snake 

Snake is the sixth Chinese Zodiac representative. People born in 1929, 1941, 1953, 1965, 1977, 1989, 2001, and 2013 are snakes. Snakes are flexible, patient, and sensitive. They are also discreet, wise, sympathetic, and mesmerizing. On the negative side, they may be greedy, lazy, and arrogant.

Horse Chinese zodiac
Horse 

Horse is the seventh Chinese Zodiac representative. Horses are known for their persistence. If you were born in 1930, 1942, 1954, 1966, 1978, 1990, 2002, and 2014, you are a Horse. These individuals are easy-going, upstanding, and warm-hearted. Some of their weaknesses include: lack of persistence and love of spending money.

Goat Chinese zodiac
Goat 

Goat is the eighth Chinese Zodiac representative. Individuals born in 1931, 1943, 1955, 1967, 1979, 1991, 2003, and 2015 are Goats. Goats stand for harmony and solidarity. People born in the year of Goat are shy, determined, imaginative, and polite. However, they may be also unrealistic, short-sighted, and pessimistic.

Monkey Chinese zodiac
Monkey 

Monkey is the ninth Chinese Zodiac representative. Monkeys are flexible. Those born in 1932, 1944, 1956, 1968, 1980, 1992, 2004, and 2016 are Monkeys. These individuals are energetic, confident, charismatic, intelligent, inventive, and loyal. Negatively, they may be arrogant, egotistical, snobbish, and restless.

Rooster Chinese zodiac
Rooster

Rooster is the tenth Chinese Zodiac representative. People born in 1933, 1945, 1957, 1969, 1981, 1993, 2005, and 2017 are Roosters. Roosters are punctual and loyal. They are independent, hard-working, honest, courageous, and self-confident. Some of their weaknesses include: arrogance, vanity, and pride.

Dog Chinese zodiac
Dog

Dog is the eleventh Chinese Zodiac representative. If you were born in 1934, 1946, 1958, 1970, 1982, 1994, 2006, and 2018, then you are a Dog. The Dog symbolizes honesty and loyalty. Individuals born in these years are friendly, honest, loyal, straightforward, smart, and responsible. On the negative side, they may be defensive, stubborn, self-righteous, and critical of others.

Pig Chinese zodiac
Pig

Pig is the twelfth Chinese Zodiac representative. Pigs represent wealth and good fortune. Individuals born in 1935, 1947, 1959, 1971, 1983, 1995, 2007, and 2019 are Pigs. They are honest, fun, happy, educated, brave, and sincere. Some of their weaknesses include being gluttonous, naive, self-indulgent, and lazy.

Chinese Zodiac Years

The years of the Chinese zodiac follow a lunar calendar. The lunar calendar has only twenty-eight days, which explains why, each year, Chinese New Year falls on a different day.

BeginningEndBeginningEndSign
1900 Jan. 311901 Feb. 181960 Jan. 281961 Feb. 14鼠 rat
1901 Feb. 191902 Feb. 071961 Feb. 151962 Feb. 04牛 ox
1902 Feb. 081903 Jan. 281962 Feb. 051963 Jan. 24虎 tiger
1903 Jan. 291904 Feb. 151963 Jan. 251964 Feb. 12兔 rabbit
1904 Feb. 161905 Feb. 031964 Feb. 131965 Feb. 01龍 dragon
1905 Feb. 041906 Jan. 241965 Feb. 021966 Jan. 20蛇 snake
1906 Jan. 251907 Feb. 121966 Jan. 211967 Feb. 08馬 horse
1907 Feb. 131908 Feb. 011967 Feb. 091968 Jan. 29羊 goat
1908 Feb. 021909 Jan. 211968 Jan. 301969 Feb. 16猴 monkey
1909 Jan. 221910 Feb. 091969 Feb. 171970 Feb. 05鷄 rooster
1910 Feb. 101911 Jan. 291970 Feb. 061971 Jan. 26狗 dog
1911 Jan. 301912 Feb. 171971 Jan. 271972 Feb. 14猪 pig
1912 Feb. 181913 Feb. 051972 Feb. 151973 Feb. 02鼠 rat
1913 Feb. 061914 Jan. 251973 Feb. 031974 Jan. 22牛 ox
1914 Jan. 261915 Feb. 131974 Jan. 231975 Feb. 10虎 tiger
1915 Feb. 141916 Feb. 021975 Feb. 111976 Jan. 30兔 rabbit
1916 Feb. 031917 Jan. 221976 Jan. 311977 Feb. 17龍 dragon
1917 Jan. 231918 Feb. 101977 Feb. 181978 Feb. 06蛇 snake
1918 Feb. 111919 Jan. 311978 Feb. 071979 Jan. 27馬 horse
1919 Feb. 011920 Feb. 191979 Jan. 281980 Feb. 15羊 goat
1920 Feb. 201921 Feb. 071980 Feb. 161981 Feb. 04猴 monkey
1921 Feb. 081922 Jan. 271981 Feb. 051982 Jan. 24鷄 rooster
1922 Jan. 281923 Feb. 151982 Jan. 251983 Feb. 12狗 dog
1923 Feb. 161924 Feb. 041983 Feb. 131984 Feb. 01猪 pig
1924 Feb. 051925 Jan. 241984 Feb. 021985 Feb. 19鼠 rat
1925 Jan. 251926 Feb. 121985 Feb. 201986 Feb. 08牛 ox
1926 Feb. 131927 Feb. 011986 Feb. 091987 Jan. 28虎 tiger
1927 Feb. 021928 Jan. 221987 Jan. 291988 Feb. 16兔 rabbit
1928 Jan. 231929 Feb. 091988 Feb. 171989 Feb. 05龍 dragon
1929 Feb. 101930 Jan. 291989 Feb. 061990 Jan. 26蛇 snake
1930 Jan. 301931 Feb. 161990 Jan. 271991 Feb. 14馬 horse
1931 Feb. 171932 Feb. 051991 Feb. 151992 Feb. 03羊 goat
1932 Feb. 061933 Jan. 251992 Feb. 041993 Jan. 22猴 monkey
1933 Jan. 261934 Feb. 131993 Jan. 231994 Feb. 09鷄 rooster
1934 Feb. 141935 Feb. 031994 Feb. 101995 Jan. 30狗 dog
1935 Feb. 041936 Jan. 231995 Jan. 311996 Feb. 18猪 pig
1936 Jan. 241937 Feb. 101996 Feb. 191997 Feb. 06鼠 rat
1937 Feb. 111938 Jan. 301997 Feb. 071998 Jan. 27牛 ox
1938 Jan. 311939 Feb. 181998 Jan. 281999 Feb. 15虎 tiger
1939 Feb. 191940 Feb. 071999 Feb. 162000 Feb. 04兔 rabbit
1940 Feb. 081941 Jan. 262000 Feb. 052001 Jan. 23龍 dragon
1941 Jan. 271942 Feb. 142001 Jan. 242002 Feb. 11蛇 snake
1942 Feb. 151943 Feb. 042002 Feb. 122003 Jan. 31馬 horse
1943 Feb. 051944 Jan. 242003 Feb. 012004 Jan. 21羊 goat
1944 Jan. 251945 Feb. 122004 Jan. 222005 Feb. 8猴 monkey
1945 Feb. 131946 Feb. 012005 Feb. 92006 Jan. 28鷄 rooster
1946 Feb. 021947 Jan. 212006 Jan. 292007 Feb. 17狗 dog
1947 Jan. 221948 Feb. 092007 Feb. 182008 Feb. 6猪 pig
1948 Feb. 101949 Jan. 282008 Feb. 72009 Jan. 25鼠 rat
1949 Jan. 291950 Feb. 162009 Jan. 262010 Feb. 23牛 ox
1950 Feb. 171951 Feb. 052010 Feb. 242011 Feb. 2虎 tiger
1951 Feb. 061952 Jan. 262011 Feb. 32012 Jan. 22兔 rabbit
1952 Jan. 271953 Feb. 132012 Jan. 232013 Feb. 9龍 dragon
1953 Feb. 141954 Feb. 022013 Feb. 102014 Jan. 30蛇 snake
1954 Feb. 031955 Jan. 232014 Jan. 312015 Feb. 18馬 horse
1955 Jan. 241956 Feb. 112015 Feb. 192016 Feb. 7羊 goat
1956 Feb. 121957 Jan. 302016 Feb. 82017 Jan. 27猴 monkey
1957 Jan. 311958 Feb. 172017 Jan. 282018 Feb. 15鷄 rooster
1958 Feb. 181959 Feb. 072018 Feb. 162019 Feb. 4狗 dog
1959 Feb. 081960 Jan. 272019 Feb. 52020 Jan. 24猪 pig