Also knowing your Chinese birth year will tell you your ruling animal or the Chinese Zodiac Year. This is very important in Chinese Astrology calculations. Chinese starts counting age from the time of pregnancy, unlike the western system where age is calculated from the time of birth. Since the period of pregnancy can vary, the age of the child. As Astrology is a Vedanga, it has answers to almost all our problems. Apart from a predictive science, Astrology can also be called an intuitive art. Astrology primarily is of two types: Sayan (Western) and Nirayan (Vedic). Some other types are Chinese, Mayan, Burmese, Tibetan, Hellenistic.

Twelve Chinese zodiac animals represent the years and are used in determining your fortune, marriage compatibility, career fit, and many more. They have a long history in Chinese culture and continue to play a significant role today. Chinese New Year will provide you with interesting details about the Chinese New Year 2021. Read on to know more about the Chinese Zodiac Signs below.

Contents

  • 1 What is the Chinese Zodiac?
  • 3 The science behind zodiac signs
  • 4 Introduction to zodiac animals
    • 4.12 Pig (猪—Zhū)
    • 4.13 FAQ

What is the Chinese Zodiac?

The Chinese zodiac is generally believed to have derived out of animal worship and started more than 2,000 years ago during the Qin dynasty. Over time, the animals were each given their own unique set of characteristics and were gradually integrated into everyday life. This gave rise to various compatibilities between the zodiac animals, which is often taken into consideration in marriage, career decisions, fortune-telling, among others.

What is your zodiac animal?

The order of the Chinese zodiac animals, according to a Chinese legend, was determined by a race sanctioned by the Jade Emperor (玉皇大帝—yù huáng dà dì). This is as follows: rat (鼠—shǔ), ox (牛—niú), tiger (虎—hǔ), rabbit (兔—tù), dragon (龙—lóng), snake (蛇—shé), horse (马—mǎ), goat (羊—yang), monkey(猴—hóu), rooster (鸡—jī), dog (狗—gǒu), and pig (猪—zhū).

The Zodiac animals cycle repeats every 12 years. To know what your zodiac animal is, here is a list of all the animals with their accompanying years:

Many people believe that your zodiac year (本命年—ben ming nian) is lucky. In reality, it is otherwise. In Chinese culture, your zodiac year is seen as a challenge you have to conquer. However, you can ward off the bad luck it brings by wearing red underwear throughout your zodiac year. If you want to learn more about this superstition, check out Chinese New Year Myths and Chinese New Year superstitions.

Origin of the Zodiac Signs

According to one Chinese tale, the Jade Emperor needed 12 animals to guard the palace. The cat asked the rat to help him sign up, but the latter forgot. This is why they became mortal enemies.

The ox was first in line at the palace, but the rat climbed its back and jumped ahead. While the tiger and the dragon witnessed the rat’s antics and thought it was unfair, they could only settle behind the ox.

Also, the rabbit challenged the dragon to a race and succeeded. Frustrated by this circumstance, the dog bit the rabbit and was sent to the back of the line as punishment. The snake, horse, goat, monkey, and the rooster also got into a fight. Meanwhile, the pig arrived very late and settled to be the last.

The science behind zodiac signs

To know the Chinese zodiac animals’ personality, fortune, and compatibility with each other, Chinese astrologers used the following technical information. Check out the following list:

  • Dì Zhī (地支) or Earthly Branches were the 12 terms originally used to refer to the years. They were also assigned to hours of the day based on solar time.
  • The animals were later integrated as mnemonics and were tagged as either yīn (阴)or yáng (阳).
  • The 10 Celestial Stems (天干—tiān gān) couple with the Earthly Branches for a 60-year calendrical cycle. One of the five elements is fixed for each year. The element is primarily what determines which you are compatible with.
  • Twelve Earthly Branches: zi (子), chǒu (丑), yín (寅), mǎo (卯), chén (辰), sì (巳), wǔ (午), wèi (未), shēn (申), yǒu (酉), xū (戌), hài (亥).
  • Ten Celestial Stems: jiǎ (甲), yǐ (乙), bǐng (丙), ding (丁), wù (戊), jǐ (己), gēng (庚), xīn (辛), rén (壬), guǐ (癸).
  • Five elements: water (水—shuǐ), wood (木—mù), fire (火—huǒ), earth (土—tǔ), metal (金—jīn).

Zodiac calendar

There would be an easier way of checking signs and all other information. A calendar of all the information mentioned above in past and future years would look like this:

Compatibility

Essentially, there are six groups (六合—liù hé) of pairs that are most compatible. If you meet a compatible person, you would fit together like jigsaw pieces. They are the ones who support you in the background.

There are also four groups of trios (三合—sān hé) of compatible zodiac animals. If you form a compatible trio and work as a team, you would be very productive as you complement each other’s skills.

Introduction to zodiac animals

As previously mentioned, the Earthly Branches are associated with specific hours of the day. In turn, the animals are also connected to certain times. This adds to the various explanations as to the order of the Chinese zodiac animals. The following list includes every animal’s time of day, culture, personality, and compatibility.

Rat (鼠—Shǔ)

Those born in the Year of the Rat are known to handle their money really well. They never struggle financially and live very systematic lives. If you receive an expensive gift from someone born in these years, it means that they think highly of you. They do not seek praise and recognition. They take calculated risks and succeed more often than not. They have energetic personalities, but get tired quickly.

  • Science: The rat is Yang, its earthly branch is Zi.
  • Hours: 23:00-01:00. The rat is most productive during these hours.
  • Folklore: The rat steals food and this activity is understood as a means to keep a wealthy household and having surpluses. Some also pray to rats for children because of their capability to reproduce fast.
  • Compatibility:
    • Best match: Ox
    • Best group: Monkey, Dragon
    • Incompatible: Horse

Ox (牛—Niu)

People born in the Year of the Ox are hardworking and responsible. They are not fond of showing their emotions and keep them bottled up inside. They don’t usually lose their temper but when they do, they can be very ferocious and drive others away.

  • Science: The ox is Yin, its earthly branch is Chǒu.
  • Hours: 01:00-03:00. During these hours, farmers get out of bed to feed their oxen.
  • Folklore: To begin a new year of hard work and bountiful harvests, the ritual of whipping spring cattle (打春—dǎ chūn) used to be performed. Five types of grains would fill the stomach of the ox and then scattered to symbolize the sowing and harvest.
  • Compatibility
    • Best match: Rat
    • Best group: Snake, Rooster
    • Incompatible: Goat

Tiger (虎—Hǔ)

What Am I In Chinese AstrologyWhat Am I In Chinese Astrology

Those born in the Year of the Tigerare independent and have high self-worth. They take pride in being a leader and providing protection to the common people. Justice is what they aspire and never back down from arguments. Their recklessness is what causes them to fail sometimes, but they never truly collapse because they always find a way to get back up and succeed in the long run.

  • Science: The tiger is Yang, its earthly branch is Yín.
  • Hours: 03:00-05:00. Tigers are most frightening at night. Farmers would hear their vicious roars during these hours.
  • Folklore: Tigers are the king of all beasts. They are believed to be the guardians of children. Infants used to be washed with water boiled with tiger bones to ward off diseases.
  • Compatibility
    • Best match: Pig
    • Best group: Horse, Dog
    • Incompatible: Monkey

Rabbit (兔—Tù)

People born in the Year of the Rabbitintelligent, polite, and stylishly fashionable. They enjoy great career success because of their sense of responsibility and thoroughness. They never fall for someone easily as they take love seriously.

  • Science: The rabbit is Yin, and its earthly branch is Mǎo.
  • Hours: 05:00-07:00. During these hours, rabbits shortly leave their homes to feed on the dew.
  • Folklore: The rabbit represents the moon. In ancient China, people believed there was a rabbit on the moon.
  • Compatibility
    • Best match: Dog
    • Best group: Pig, Goat
    • Incompatible: Rooster

Dragon (龙—Lóng)

Those born in the Year of the Dragon are adventurous and romantic. Their mysterious personality is often difficult for people to understand. They may also seem lazy but become very determined when they decide to do something.

  • Science: The dragon is Yang, and its earthly branch is Chén.
  • Hours: 07:00-09:00. Fog usually appears during these hours. In Chinese folklore, dragons ride fog to come down to the earth.
  • Folklore: Dragons are among the most revered mythical creatures in China that emperors were seen as reincarnations of dragons. When paired with a phoenix, they symbolize a fruitful marriage and harmony between yin and yang.
  • Compatibility
    • Best match: Rooster
    • Best group: Monkey, Rat
    • Incompatible: Dog

Snake (蛇—Shé)

People born in the Year of the Snakemay seem cold, but they are actually warm and enthusiastic inside. They have this fierce desire for exclusive ownership that it annoys them if they are unable to fully understand someone. Although devoted and determined, their ultimate weakness is laziness.

  • Science: The snake is Yin, and its earthly branch is Sì.
  • Hours: 09:00-11:00. When the fog disperses, snakes come out to bask in the sunlight. The character for sì (巳) was made to resemble a snake.
  • Folklore: Snakes usually have negative implications and are used as symbols of witchcraft. But in Chinese mythology, the creator of the universe, Nǚ Wā (女娲), had the head of a human and the body of a snake.
  • Compatibility
    • Best match: Monkey
    • Best group: Rooster, Ox
    • Incompatible: Pig

Horse (马—Mǎ)

Those born in the Year of the Horseare very valiant. They are positive, energetic, and always seek to push themselves forward. They desire to be free and express themselves candidly. However, they tend to be bad at keeping secrets and lose interest fast.

  • Science: Horse is Yang, and its earthly branch is Wǔ.
  • Hours: 11:00-13:00. When the sun is at its brightest, horses would joyfully gallop in the fields.
  • Folklore: Horses play a crucial role in transportation and war and are the leaders of the six domestic animals. Northern ethnicities such as the Manchurians and Mongolians worship the horse.
  • Compatibility
    • Best match: Goat
    • Best group: Tiger, Dog
    • Incompatible: Rat

Goat (羊—Yang)

People born in the Year of the Goatare kindhearted. Although they hold on to their own opinions, they would rather suffer in silence than argue and ruin the mood of others. Nonetheless, they also have a few tricks up their sleeves. They have the ability to persuade others in their favor in a patient and polite manner.

  • Science: The goat is Yin, and its earthly branch is Wèi.
  • Hours: 13:00-15:00. By this time, the dew on the grass has been dried by sunlight and is thereby the best hours to let goat and sheep out.
  • Folklore: Xiè Zhì (獬豸) is a mythological one-horned goat that assisted the God of Justice, Gāo Yáo (皋陶). The goat is also used as a symbol of filial piety.
  • Compatibility
    • Best match: Horse
    • Best group: Pig, Rabbit
    • Incompatible: Ox

Monkey (猴—Hóu)

Those born in the Year of the Monkey are motivated by personal interest. They will put their entire heart into something they truly care for. On the other hand, they will act carelessly if it’s something they are not concerned about. They often live lengthy lives full of energy and curiosity for the world.

  • Science: The monkey is Yang, and its earthly branch is Shēn.
  • Hours: 15:00-17:00. Monkeys would play around in the forest during the sunset when the weather is much cooler.
  • Folklore: There are several Chinese legends about monkeys being the ancestors of humans. Monkeys are also associated with peaches, symbols of longevity. This is why monkeys are also used to represent a long life.
  • Compatibility
    • Best match: Snake
    • Best group: Rat, Dragon
    • Incompatible: Tiger

Rooster (鸡—Jī)

People born in the Year of the Roosterhave the ability to sense what others are thinking or feeling. They are able to plan for everything carefully because of their foresight. Although they make great friends, some are tricksters.

  • Science: The rooster is Yin, and its earthly branch is Yǒu.
  • Hours: 17:00-19:00. The Chinese character for yǒu (酉) looks similar to the character for wine (酒—jiǔ). Dinner and wine are usually consumed during these hours. It is also the time to put roosters and hens back to their nests.
  • Folklore: In ancient China, sworn brothers would swear to the heavens then drip rooster blood on the wine they drink. Roosters are also believed to ward off evil spirits.
  • Compatibility
    • Best match: Dragon
    • Best group: Snake, Ox
    • Incompatible: Rabbit

Dog (狗—Gǒu)

Those born in the Year of the Dogvalued in the workplace because of their loyalty. They very rarely break the rules except for people who are important to them. Their only desire is to live peacefully with their families.

  • Science: The dog is Yang, and its earthly branch is Xū.
  • Hours: 19:00-21:00. Before going to bed, people patrol around to check with their dogs trailing behind them.
  • Folklore: The Stone Dog was worshipped during the Qin and Han dynasty. Today, it is still common for people of the Guangdong Province to name their dogs Wàng Cái (旺财). It derives from the barking sound of dogs (旺旺—wàng wàng) and means “prosperous wealth.”
  • Compatibility
    • Best match: Rabbit
    • Best group: Tiger, Horse
    • Incompatible: Dragon

Pig (猪—Zhū)

People born in the Year of the Piguse their excellent critical thinking skills to solve problems. They are very polite and often provide for their families as they are usually wealthy. Their only downside is their short temper.

  • Science: The pig is Yin, and its earthly branch is Hài.
  • Hours: 21:00-23:00. Pigs rustle around during these hours as farmers feed them before calling it a day.
  • Folklore: In general, pigs are used to represent wealth. Their chubby faces and large ears are also symbols of fortune.
  • Compatibility:
    • Best match: Tiger
    • Best group: Rabbit, Goat
    • Incompatible: Snake

What is your Zodiac Animal?

Have you found your Chinese zodiac animal from our list? If not, you can leave us a comment with your birth year and we will tell you what exactly your Zodiac animal is.

FAQ

What is Chinese-zodiac?

TheThe Chinese zodiac is 12 years, where each sequence is related to an animal, and it represents the year of birth. A particular animal and its attributes characterize Theople born in that specific year. The chinese astrology is also used by other countries as well.

How do Chinese-zodiac works?

There is a belief that when one is born, there is an energy that enters them. Chinese zodiac tells you the type of energy a particular year holds and how the animal sign for that year interacts with that specific group. The life force has a sixty-year cycle divided into five periods of twelve years, and every 12 years have an animal name like Dog, Dragon, Monkey, and more.

Are Chinese-zodiac compatibility true?

You cannot deduce compatibility based on one’s zodiac, but from a full chart analysis, you can get the report. A complete chat analysis takes eight characters into account, while the zodiac sign is only 1 of the 8 in a chart. It plays a part in the compatibility analysis, but there are other factors to consider.

Conclusion

There are many stories explaining the beginning of the zodiac.The order of the Chinese zodiac animals ,according to a Chinese legend , was determined by a race sanctioned by the Jade Emperor (玉皇大帝 yù huáng dà dì) which is an ancient folk story. In ancient times, the Chinese zodiac was used to decide if two people were compatible to be in a marriage or love relationship. In some other countries the Chinese zodiac signs are used by various cultures other than Chinese. Each tribe had its unique animal symbol.

The five elements, including metal, water, wood, fire, and earth, have existed in Chinese culture for thousands of years, and affect the Chinese Zodiac. The twelve animals of the Chinese zodiac were developed in the early stages of Chinese civilization , therefore it is difficult to investigate the real origins. The creation of the mystical animals are represented by an image through interpretations and variations. They are used to predict fortune for people and their daily life, romantic relationship/stable love relationship, birth months, marriage compatibilities, happy marriage lives, luck, goals, understanding feelings minds, mental peace or luck in wealth,conflicts, lucky colors like gold, grey etc, their strengths and serve as a guide.

Predictions like health condition, family, love compatibilty and etc are make you construct an image for future possibilities and future periods.You can read about the personality Traits and challenges of Rat, Ox, Rabbit, Goats etc (in the chinese calendar). People believe that a Chinese zodiac year starts on the first day of the Chinese lunar calendar.

We’re happy to provide you with interesting stuff about the compatibilities of Chinese zodiacs. If you did not find answers to your queries, leave a comment and we will try to answer you as much as we can.

By Vigdis Hocken and Aparna Kher

Friday, February 12, 2021 is the Lunar New Year and the start of the Year of the Ox in the Chinese zodiac.

The ox is one of 12 animals in the Chinese zodiac (Shēngxiào, or 生肖), which is based on a 12-year cycle. The Year of the Ox begins on Chinese New Year, ending the Year of the Rat.

People born in the Year of the Ox are traditionally considered to be honest, hard working, trustworthy, and logical.

2022: Year of the Tiger

The following year in the Chinese zodiac is the Year of the Tiger, which starts on February 1, 2022 and ends on January 21, 2023, when the Year of the Rabbit begins.

What Year Is What Animal?

The zodiac starts with the Year of the Rat and cycles continuously through the 12 signs.

What is my Chinese zodiac animal? (Click to expand)What is my Chinese zodiac animal? (Click to collapse)

Zi (Rat)

Imaginative, generous, successful, popular, curious

  • Feb 10, 1948 – Jan 28, 1949
  • Jan 28, 1960 – Feb 14, 1961
  • Feb 15, 1972 – Feb 2, 1973
  • Feb 2, 1984 – Feb 19, 1985
  • Feb 19, 1996 – Feb 6, 1997
  • Feb 7, 2008 – Jan 25, 2009
  • Jan 25, 2020 – Feb 11, 2021

Chou (Ox)

Confident, honest, patient, conservative, strong

  • Jan 29, 1949 – Feb 16, 1950
  • Feb 15, 1961 – Feb 4, 1962
  • Feb 3, 1973 – Jan 22, 1974
  • Feb 20, 1985 – Feb 8, 1986
  • Feb 7, 1997 – Jan 27, 1998
  • Jan 26, 2009 – Feb 13, 2010
  • Feb 12, 2021 – Jan 31, 2022

Yin (Tiger)

Sensitive, tolerant, brave, active, resilient

  • Feb 17, 1950 – Feb 5, 1951
  • Feb 5, 1962 – Jan 24, 1963
  • Jan 23, 1974 – Feb 10, 1975
  • Feb 9, 1986 – Jan 28, 1987
  • Jan 28, 1998 – Feb 15, 1999
  • Feb 14, 2010 – Feb 2, 2011
  • Feb 1, 2022 – Jan 21, 2023

Mao (Rabbit)

Affectionate, kind, gentle, compassionate, merciful

  • Feb 6, 1951 – Jan 26, 1952
  • Jan 25, 1963 – Feb 12, 1964
  • Feb 11, 1975 – Jan 30, 1976
  • Jan 29, 1987 – Feb 16, 1988
  • Feb 16, 1999 – Feb 4, 2000
  • Feb 3, 2011 – Jan 22, 2012
  • Jan 22, 2023 – Feb 9, 2024

Chen (Dragon)

Chinese Astrology Dog

Enthusiastic, intelligent, lively, energetic, innovative

  • Jan 27, 1952 – Feb 13, 1953
  • Feb 13, 1964 – Feb 1, 1965
  • Jan 31, 1976 – Feb 17, 1977
  • Feb 17, 1988 – Feb 5, 1989
  • Feb 5, 2000 – Jan 23, 2001
  • Jan 23, 2012 – Feb 9, 2013
  • Feb 10, 2024 – Jan 28, 2025

Si (Snake)

Charming, intuitive, romantic, highly perceptive, polite

  • Feb 14, 1953 – Feb 2, 1954
  • Feb 2, 1965 – Jan 20, 1966
  • Feb 18, 1977 – Feb 6, 1978
  • Feb 6, 1989 – Jan 26, 1990
  • Jan 24, 2001 – Feb 11, 2002
  • Feb 10, 2013 – Jan 30, 2014
  • Jan 29, 2025 – Feb 16, 2026

Wu (Horse)

Diligent, friendly, sophisticated, talented, clever

  • Feb 3, 1954 – Jan 23, 1955
  • Jan 21, 1966 – Feb 8, 1967
  • Feb 7, 1978 – Jan 27, 1979
  • Jan 27, 1990 – Feb 14, 1991
  • Feb 12, 2002 – Jan 31, 2003
  • Jan 31, 2014 – Feb 18, 2015
  • Feb 17, 2026 – Feb 5, 2027

Wei (Sheep)

Artistic, calm, reserved, happy, kind

  • Jan 24, 1955 – Feb 11, 1956
  • Feb 9, 1967 – Jan 29, 1968
  • Jan 28, 1979 – Feb 15, 1980
  • Feb 15, 1991 – Feb 3, 1992
  • Feb 1, 2003 – Jan 21, 2004
  • Feb 19, 2015 – Feb 7, 2016
  • Feb 6, 2027 – Jan 25, 2028

Shen (Monkey)

Witty, lively, flexible, humorous, curious

  • Feb 12, 1956 – Jan 30, 1957
  • Jan 30, 1968 – Feb 16, 1969
  • Feb 16, 1980 – Feb 4, 1981
  • Feb 4, 1992 – Jan 22, 1993
  • Jan 22, 2004 – Feb 8, 2005
  • Feb 8, 2016 – Jan 27, 2017
  • Jan 26, 2028 – Feb 12, 2029

You (Rooster)

Virgo weekly horoscope next week. Shrewd, honest, communicative, motivated, punctual

  • Jan 31, 1957 – Feb 17, 1958
  • Feb 17, 1969 – Feb 5, 1970
  • Feb 5, 1981 – Jan 24, 1982
  • Jan 23, 1993 – Feb 9, 1994
  • Feb 9, 2005 – Jan 28, 2006
  • Jan 28, 2017 – Feb 15, 2018
  • Feb 13, 2029 – Feb 2, 2030

Xu (Dog)

Loyal, honest, responsible, courageous, warm-hearted

  • Feb 18, 1958 – Feb 8, 1959
  • Feb 6, 1970 – Jan 26, 1971
  • Jan 25, 1982 - Feb 12, 1983
  • Feb 10, 1994 – Jan 30, 1995
  • Jan 29, 2006 – Feb 17, 2007
  • Feb 16, 2018 – Feb 4, 2019
  • Feb 3, 2030 – Jan 22, 2031

Hai (Boar/Pig)

Sincere, tolerant, hard-working, honest, optimistic

  • Feb 8, 1959 – Jan 27, 1960
  • Jan 27, 1971 - Feb 14, 1972
  • Feb 13, 1983 - Feb 1, 1984
  • Jan 31, 1995 - Feb 18, 1996
  • Feb 18, 2007 - Feb 6, 2008
  • Feb 5, 2019 – Jan 24, 2020
  • Jan 23, 2031 – Feb 10, 2032

12 Animals and 5 Elements

Each of the 12 years in the Chinese zodiac cycle is represented by an animal and is associated with one of five elemental signs: wood, earth, fire, water, and metal. The Year of the Ox is associated with metal.

Zodiac and Human Connections

According to the Chinese zodiac, your birth year tells you more than just your age. Not only is one's personality affected by the animal associated with their birth year, but the compatibility of their relationships also depends on their zodiac.

Starts with the Spring Festival

In China, the start of a new year is celebrated with a Spring Festival, the biggest holiday of the year. Traditionally, people give their house a big spring clean and hang couplets on their doors. Couplets are poetic lines about spring and prosperity written in gold or black on red paper.

Setting off firecrackers is hugely popular, and children get hongbao, little red gifts with money inside, from older family members.

The Chinese Calendar

The animal signs in the Chinese zodiac are calculated in accordance with the Chinese calendar, which is lunisolar and is based on astronomical observances of the Sun's longitude and the Moon's phases.

This calendar is older than the Gregorian calendar, which is used by most countries today. In fact, the Chinese calendar's origins can be traced as far back as the 14th century BCE.

What Am I In Chinese Astrology

Leap years in the Chinese calendar happen approximately every three years when they add a leap month.