12 Animal Signs: What is your Chinese Zodiac sign?

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The 12-year Chinese Zodiac is important in Chinese astrology, and it allocates a new animal each year. Each Chinese New Year’s zodiac animal advances one year. As a student learning Chinese, knowledge about the basics of the Zodiac is also helpful.

Understanding your Chinese Zodiac sign can be a fun way to learn more about Chinese culture. In fact, Chinese Zodiac beliefs and rituals provide cultural knowledge vital to communicating better when you visit China, as they are still important in China and other Asian countries.

You will also pick up new vocabulary, like the name of all the animal signs, etc. So learning the Chinese language is also an important part of learning about the origins of the Chinese Zodiac. This is also true if you in the future continue learning more about what is behind the Chinese Zodiac system, like Chinese philosophy, five elements, yin and yang etc.

Chinese Zodiac Overview and the Chinese Horoscope

The Chinese Zodiac year is an old technique for determining destiny. This plan is based on a 12-year cycle, with each year represented by one of 12 zodiac animals, or shēngxiào 生肖 in Chinese.

The Chinese Zodiac is a tool for determining one’s fate. According to the traditional Chinese lunisolar calendar, each new year is represented by a zodiacal animal.

Families from China and beyond will celebrate the Spring Festival on February 12, 2023. As they do, they’ll welcome the second 12-year animal as the year of the tù 兔 rabbit starts.


Chinese New Year: the Chinese Zodiac Origin Story 

Scholars believe the Chinese Zodiac began in ancient times, believing that it has roots back in Zhànguó Shídài 战国时代 the Warring States era (475 BCE to 221 BCE). The Chinese astrological calendar gained prominence in the Han Dynasty (202 BCE to 202 CE).

Several hypotheses and popular stories explain China’s zodiac animals. Understanding the tradition’s roots can be tricky. One theory says the Chinese Zodiac originated on the Silk Road trade routes. According to this belief, Indian Buddhists brought the zodiac animals to China.

Another theory is related to the Jade Emperor. He invited all the world’s animals, but only 12 came. In honor of these 12 animals, today known as the 12 Chinese zodiac animals, he gave each one a year on the Chinese calendar.

The Chinese Zodiac stories feature the Jade Emperor. Buddhist mythology believes 12 sacred animals guard Buddha’s palace. Jade Emperor conducted a race to decide the winner. The Guards were among the top 12 racers. They’re now Zodiacs.

The Zodiac order for the coming years

The zodiac order for the coming years is as follows:

2022: hǔ 虎 tiger

2023: tù 兔 rabbit

2024: lóng 龙 dragon

2025: shé 蛇 snake

2026: mǎ 马  horse

2027: yáng 羊 sheep

2028: hóu 猴 monkey

2029: jī 鸡 rooster

2030: gǒu 狗 dog

2031: zhū 猪 pig

2032: shǔ 鼠 rat

2033: niú 牛 – ox

When explaining the different Chinese Zodiacs, it is essential to know that they follow the Chinese lunar calendar. So the change from one year to the next according to the lunar calendar is when the Zodiac animal changes.

Emphasis on Birth Year

Western astrology stresses birth dates. In the Chinese system, one’s birth year determines their fate.

The zodiac animal linked with a birth year is thought to impact a person’s personality and significant life events.

For centuries, fortune tellers have used the Chinese Zodiac to forecast people’s futures. These forecasts include romantic partnerships. Many utilize zodiac animals to match personalities. Traditional zodiac believers claim each animal can interact positively with the others.

Chinese people think each of the 12 zodiac animals has positive attributes. Those born in a Chinese zodiac animal’s year share these features.

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The Zodiac animals

Here are the Zodiac animals in order, and we explain what is typical for each Zodiac animal and those born in those years.

1 shǔ 鼠 rat

People born in 1948, 1960, 1972, 1984, 1996, 2008, and 2020 are born in the year of the shǔ 鼠 rat.

They’re intelligent, hard-working, and ambitious. These features make it easier for them to get rich.

2 niú 牛 ox

Niú 牛 Ox is the second year of the Chinese Zodiac, and those born in 1949, 1961, 1973, 1985, 1997, 2009, and 2021 belong to the niú 牛 ox.

They work hard, have a strong sense of duty, and earn the boss’s respect rapidly.

3 hǔ 虎 tiger

The third Chinese Zodiac is the hǔ 虎 tiger. Those that are born in the year of the tiger hǔ 虎 are born in 1950, 1962, 1974, 1986, 1998, 2010, or 2022.

They’re independent and confident.

4 tù 兔 rabbit

The fourth Chinese Zodiac is tù 兔 rabbit. Those born in 1951, 1963, 1975, 1987, 1999, and 2023 are born in the year of the tù 兔 rabbit.

They tend to be peaceful, quiet, and polite. People like to be friends with them.

5 lóng 龙 dragon

People born in 1940, 1952, 1964, 1976, 1988, 2000, and 2012 are born in the year of the lóng 龙 dragon. Dragons adore adventure and romance.

6 shé 蛇 snake

Those of you that are born in 1929, 1941, 1953, 1965, 1977, 1989, 2001 and 2013 were born in the year of the shé 蛇 snake. 

Those born in the shé 蛇 snake year may seem cold but have warm souls. They plan and succeed step by step. 

7 mǎ 马 horse

People born in 1918, 1930, 1942, 1954, 1966, 1978, 1990, 2002, and 2014 are born in the year of the mǎ 马 horse.

Horses take charge and refuse to lose.

8 yáng 羊 goat

People born in 1919, 1931, 1943, 1955, 1967, 1979, 1991, 2003 and 2015 are born in the year of the yáng 羊 goat. They’re kind and honest.

9 hóu 猴 monkey

People born in 1920, 1932, 1944, 1956, 1968, 1980, 1992, 2004 and 2016 are born in the year of the hóu 猴 monkey.

People born in the year of the hóu 猴 monkey have a powerful spirit. They want to learn and are intelligent. They refuse to stay behind and always hope to improve.

10 jī 鸡 rooster

People born in 1921, 1933, 1945, 1957, 1969, 1981, 1993, and 2005 are born in the year of the jī 鸡 rooster. 

People born in the year of the jī 鸡 rooster are skilled at reading people’s emotions. They’re pleasant, harmonic, and readily make new acquaintances.

11 gǒu 狗 dog

Those born in 1922, 1934, 1946, 1958, 1970, 1982, 1994, and 2006, 2018 are born in the year of the gǒu 狗 dog.

They’re straightforward and loyal to their pals.

12 zhū 猪 pig

If you are born in 1923, 1935, 1947, 1959, 1971, 1983, 1995, 2007, and 2019 you are born in the year of the zhū 猪 pig.

Those born in the year of the zhū 猪 pig tend to be quiet, meticulous, and attentive. They are friendly and warm folks with numerous friends. They always have a good set of buddies to help them.

Chinese Zodiac sentences

How do you use your Zodiac sign? Here are some excellent sentences to utilize when discussing your Zodiac:

A keyword is shǔ 属. It means that you belong to a Zodiac animal. Thus, you are born in the year of……

Here are some phrases and questions using shǔ 属:

Nǐ shǔ shén me shēngxiào


What Zodiac animal are you? 

Wǒ shǔ ___。

我属 ___。 –

I was born in the year of the ___. 

Wǒ shǔ zhū.


I was born in the year of the pig.

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