The most ancient system of astrology in existence is the Chinese zodiac. Though the first documented cycle of the zodiac was introduced in 2637 B.C., some scholars place its origin as far back as 4000 B.C. The Chinese zodiac is based on twelve animal signs to represent each year of a 12-year cycle. Each of these animals is distinct in nature, appearance, and behavior and is believed to have a significant influence on their respective years and on the people who are born within them. To discover which animal sign is yours, scroll down to locate the animal that corresponds with your birth year.
The Chinese Lunar Calendar
The Chinese lunar calendar is based on a 60-year cycle. Five 12-year cycles are repeated in each 60-year cycle, so each animal sign appears five times in a major cycle. The first day of each month of a Chinese calendar year begins with every new moon. To determine what a Chinese year looks like, the dates for the new moons must be calculated. Years consist of 12 months and have 353, 354, or 355 days. Leap years consist of 13 months and have 383, 384, or 385 days. Because new moon dates vary from year to year and because the number of days in a given year also varies, the Chinese calendar does not begin or end on the same day every year. For instance, the current 60-year cycle started on February 2, 1984. Therefore, if you were born in January of 1984, you are not in fact a Rat, but a Pig. This is because the zodiac year of 1983 actually extended through the first of February. Those with January or February birthdays must learn the start date of the Chinese lunar calendar for their particular birth years in order to determine their true animal sign.
According to Chinese legend, the Lord Buddha summoned all the animals of the world to gather around him before his transcendence from the earth. He was disappointed to discover that only twelve animals answered his call. In tribute to these twelve animals, he designated one year to each of them in the order that they arrived: the Rat, the Ox, the Tiger, the Rabbit, the Dragon, the Snake, the Horse, the Sheep, the Monkey, the Rooster, the Dog, and the Pig. These animals came to symbolize the 12 animal signs. The same legend varies in detail; some sources designate the Chinese Emperor as the summoner and New Year’s Day as the occasion for the animals to assemble. Another legend revolves around the Jade Emperor. The Jade Emperor resided in the heavens and had never seen the earth. Curious about the sights and sounds of the intriguing planet and bored in his heavenly station, he appointed his advisors to bring him the twelve most interesting animals of the earth. The twelve animals that reached the Jade Emperor’s throne were the Rat, the Ox, the Tiger, the Rabbit, the Dragon, the Snake, the Horse, the Sheep, the Monkey, the Rooster, the Dog, and the Pig, sequenced according to the highest impression made upon the Jade Emperor. This is how the 12 animal signs came to being in this order.
The Animal Signs
Years: 1900, 1912, 1924, 1936, 1948, 1960, 1972, 1984, 1996, 2008
Clever and sociable, the Rat always seems to know the right thing to say. Because of this charm, Rats are usually popular but will value only the most loyal of friends. Frugal and wise about accruing items of value, Rats are a symbol of wealth in the East. Rats also tend to be ambitious and successful. On the other hand, Rats need to limit their self-promotion before it transforms into outright greed. Though they are loyal and generous to their closest intimates, rats may be calculating or exploitive of strangers. Their quick wit can also take a turn for an unexpected tantrum.
Rats are most compatible with Dragons or Monkeys. Horses do not make a good match with Rats.
Years: 1913, 1925, 1937, 1949, 1961, 1973, 1985, 1997, 2009
For their reliability and honest integrity, the Ox is often called upon for advice. Strong and steadfast, they aren’t easily intimidated. As a result, Oxen are a great source of comfort to their friends and family. They are also favorites in the professional world for their dependability and detail-oriented approach. For the same reasons, Oxen may be perceived as far too serious and narrow-minded. Though popular for the valuable qualities of loyalty and sincerity, Oxen tend to keep to themselves in the midst of a crowd and care not for the frivolities of gossip. Though they don’t let themselves get pushed around, Oxen may also prevent themselves from getting close to others and establishing new and lasting personal connections.
Oxen are most compatible with the Roosters or Snakes. Goats do not make a good match with Oxen.
Years 1914, 1926, 1938, 1950, 1962, 1974, 1986, 1998, 2010
Always ready and willing to defend their mates, Tigers are extremely attractive to the opposite sex. Tigers are emotional as well as physical and are likely to appreciate poetry and conversation. They are fun, sociable beings that enjoy the attention they receive for their range of good qualities. The emotional side of Tigers can easily get the better of them, as mood swings and emotional outbursts reveal their highly sensitive side. Friends of Tigers must learn to adjust to their volatility and vanity. Tigers also tend to make decisions on the spur of the moment, impelled by an impatient nature.
Tigers are most compatible with Horses or Dogs. Monkeys do not make a good match for Tigers.
Years 1915, 1927, 1939, 1951, 1963, 1975, 1987, 1999, 2011
The Rabbit enjoys a tranquil life and avoids conflict at any cost. Well-liked for their virtuous and reserved natures, Rabbits enjoy the company of friends and family. Always looking their best, rabbits are also admired for their refined taste and take pride in maintaining and decorating their homes. The docile Rabbit must take care not to let foes take advantage of their passive natures. Face to face with a problem, the Rabbit finds it difficult to stand alone and is highly dependent on the assistance of friends and family. With a high maintenance lifestyle that many envy, the Rabbit may be seen as a snob.
The most compatible match for Rabbits are Goats and Pigs. Roosters do not make a good match with Rabbits.
Years 1916, 1928, 1940, 1952, 1964, 1976, 1988, 2000, 2012
One of the most powerful signs of the Chinese zodiac, the luck of the Dragon extends to a fulfilling love life, a strong degree of influence, and an intelligent, enthusiastic nature. Those around a Dragon will find themselves navigating toward the natural charisma and healthy energy of the sign. While Dragons tend to pursue leadership positions, they can be critical of others to the point of arrogance. Dragons will anger easily and say harsh, judgmental words at the height of their emotion. Their originality is a strength, but often borders on eccentric.
Dragons are most compatible with Monkeys or Rats. Dogs do not make a good match with Dragons.
Years 1917, 1929, 1941, 1953, 1965, 1977, 1989, 2001, 2013
Though they are intuitive and instinctual, Snakes will think a situation through before acting. Characteristics of Snakes are mixed: they are introverted yet playful, wise, and seductive. Snakes know how to get ahead and are more than willing to share the fruits of their labor. Not the most confident of the signs, Snakes are prone to jealousy. Extremely possessive of their loved ones, Snakes are generally insecure. Highly motivated and intelligent, they must learn how to handle failure.
Snakes are most compatible with Roosters or Oxen. Pigs do not make a good match with Snakes.
Years 1918, 1930, 1942, 1954, 1966, 1978, 1990, 2002, 2014
Full of life and good cheer, Horses have the energy to enjoy the active lifestyle they prefer. Independent and self-reliant, Horses know how to get ahead and are usually successful in whatever vocation they choose. They will use their resources to travel the globe and enjoy meeting new people wherever they go. Don’t be surprised if a Horse you know cancels everything on the calendar to indulge on a luxurious vacation. Reckless and impatient, Horses tend to act in the moment, without considering the consequences. Because of this, they may get the reputation of being selfish and insensitive.
Horses are most compatible with Tigers or Dogs. Rats do not make a good match with Horses.
Years 1919, 1931, 1943, 1955, 1967, 1979, 1991, 2003, 2015
The quiet Sheep has a kind and gentle heart and enjoys daydreaming. This soft nature hides the passionate side of the Sheep, who lives for art and is likely to be well accomplished in the field. Sheep are generous with their love, but need a lot of love in return. For the too timid sheep, life can pass by without being lived to the fullest. Sheep must learn to open up to people, as their insecurities may prevent others from seeing the beauty within them. Otherwise, their dreams will come true only in their imaginations.
Sheep are most compatible with Rabbits or Pigs. Oxen do not make a good match with Sheep.
Years 1920, 1932, 1944, 1956, 1968, 1980, 1992, 2004, 2016
Count on the Monkey to make you laugh. In the presence of a gathering of people, whether big or small, the Monkey is always the center of attention. The curious and inventive mind of the Monkey, coupled with a clever wit and sociable nature make the sign a fun companion who can turn the world into a more interesting and wonderful place. Being put on a pedestal may have gotten to the Monkeys’ head, as those of this sign tend to feel superior and look down on others who do not know as much as they do. In the spirit of fun, Monkeys will not spare the feelings of easy targets for their teasing.
Monkeys are most compatible with Dragons or Rats. Tigers do not make a good match with Monkeys.
Years 1921, 1933, 1945, 1957, 1969, 1981, 1993, 2005, 2017
Roosters never give up on what they’ve set their minds to and they never break their promises. Excellent communicators with honest hearts, Roosters earn respect from those around them. In addition to their hard work and integrity, Roosters will bravely stand up for what they believe in. In speaking their minds, Roosters may become a bit too outspoken and insist on being heard above all others. In relationships, they tend to be the dominating mates and at times nitpick their significant others’ every move. Roosters value appearances and may unnecessarily point out flaws when others aren’t looking their best.
Roosters are most compatible with Oxen or Snakes. Rabbits do not make a good match with Roosters.
Years 1922, 1934, 1946, 1958, 1970, 1982, 1994, 2006, 2018
Dogs believe in living simple and decent lives. They are extremely loyal, trustworthy, and honest. Therefore, the Dog is surrounded by the truest of friends and is always taken care of. Dogs are conscious of the world around them, and always stay abreast of current local and global issues. When Dogs believe they are right, they are stubborn to change their minds, even when all the evidence is set before them. At times, Dogs lose their patience with society and need to live short periods of time in seclusion to regroup. In truth, all a Dog really needs to fully enjoy life is to lighten up.
Dogs are most compatible with Tigers or Horses. Dragons do not make a good match with Dogs.
Years 1923, 1935, 1947, 1959, 1971, 1983, 1995, 2007, 2019
Though Pigs work hard to become well informed, they are never pretentious about what they know. Gregarious in nature, Pigs know how to go out and have a good time without being too concerned about what others think. Though Pigs enjoy being happy, they also take care to make sure those around them are smiling just as much as they are. While Pigs enjoy the good life to the fullest, they may become too attached to materialistic things. They may also miss out on the simple pleasure in life because they are always seeking the most lavish meals and surroundings. Pigs may easily be taken advantage of by those tagging along for a free ride.
Pigs are most compatible with Rabbits or Goats. Roosters do not make a good match with Pigs.
Based on specific scientific and mathematical calculations, Chinese astrology is taken by believers as fact, not myth. Over the centuries, it has been used to plan the building of cities, the strategies of wars, the timing of childbirth. In everyday life, Chinese astrology can also be of significance. Like the principles of yin and yang, it takes into account all that is found within the universe, good and bad. If your animal sign points out characteristics in your nature that are not necessarily positive, do not believe that these negative traits must be forever imprinted in your destiny. Rather, think of the insight brought to you by your animal sign as an opportunity to change bad habits and thus live a more balanced life.
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