Chinese Zodiac

The Chinese zodiac, known as Sheng Xiao or Shu Xiang, features 12 animal signs in this order: Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Sheep, Monkey, Rooster, Dog and Pig. 2024 is the Year of the Dragon (Loong) according to Chinese zodiac, starting from the 2024 Chinese New Year on Feb. 10 and lasting to 2025 Lunar New Year's Eve on Jan. 28. 2025 is the Year of the Snake.

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Video of Chinese Zodiac Dragon - Sign of 2024
What's your zodiac animal? - 12 Zodiac Animal Signs
People’s birth years determine their Chinese zodiac signs. However, things are not that easy! There is an animal representing each year, but the “year” is defined by Chinese lunar calendar, not the Gregorian year you are familiar with from Jan. 1st to Dec. 31st.

The dates of Chinese Lunar New Year vary every year, but will fall on a day in January or February. If you were born on a day during March to December, it won’t be difficult to figure out your zodiac animal sign, but for people with birthdays in January or February, there are bigger chances of mistaking their signs.

You can use our zodiac calculator to search for your animal sign. Select your Gregorian date of birth in the widget, and it will reveal your date of birth according to the lunar calendar, together with your sign.
The 12 zodiac animals are shown below in order, with recent years for you to directly find out your own birth year and animal sign.
Zodiac Animal Chinese Name Recent Years
Rat 鼠 (shǔ) 1924, 1936, 1948, 1960, 1972, 1984, 1996, 2008, 2020, 2032
Ox 牛 (niú) 1925, 1937, 1949, 1961, 1973, 1985, 1997, 2009, 2021, 2033
Tiger 虎 (hǔ) 1926, 1938, 1950, 1962, 1974, 1986, 1998, 2010, 2022, 2034
Rabbit 兔 (tù) 1927, 1939, 1951, 1963, 1975, 1987, 1999, 2011, 2023, 2035
Dragon 龙 (lóng) 1928, 1940, 1952, 1964, 1976, 1988, 2000, 2012, 2024, 2036
Snake 蛇 (shé) 1929, 1941, 1953, 1965, 1977, 1989, 2001, 2013, 2025, 2037
Horse 马 (mǎ) 1930, 1942, 1954, 1966, 1978, 1990, 2002, 2014, 2026, 2038
Sheep 羊 (yáng) 1931, 1943, 1955, 1967, 1979, 1991, 2003, 2015, 2027, 2039
Monkey 猴 (hóu) 1932, 1944, 1956, 1968, 1980, 1992, 2004, 2016, 2028, 2040
Rooster 鸡 (jī) 1933, 1945, 1957, 1969, 1981, 1993, 2005, 2017, 2029, 2041
Dog 狗 (gǒu) 1934, 1946, 1958, 1970, 1982, 1994, 2006, 2018, 2030, 2042
Pig 猪 (zhū) 1935, 1947, 1959, 1971, 1983, 1995, 2007, 2019, 2031, 2043
Origin of Chinese Zodiac
Video of Chinese Zodiac Story
The records from the excavated ancient bamboo books have proved the existance of Chinese zodiac before the Qin Dyansty (221 – 207BC), and the complete 12 animals’ cycle had been set before or during the Eastern Han Dynasty (25 – 220AD). What’s the origin of this mysterious theory with more than 2,000 years’ history? There is actually no conclusion, but the various guesses and legends make it more intriguing.

Some people believe that the 12 Chinese zodiac animals are simplified from the 28 animals which represent 28 constellations in ancient Chinese astronomy, while some insist the zodiac’s relationship with Jupiter’s revolution period just about 12 years. The most popular is the totem saying of the origin related to animal worship.

There is an interesting legend about the origin of Chinese zodiac. The Jade Emperor wanted to select 12 animals to be his palace guards. He prefered the Ox to be the first for its honesty and deligence, but out of everyone’s expectation, the smart Rat covertly hided on the Ox back and occupied the first place at the essential moment. The Tiger was crowned as the King of the Forest while the Dragon was titled the Lord of the Sea, and they ranked behind the Ox. The Rabbit won a race with the Dragon and gained No. 4. The Snake, Horse, Sheep, Monkey, and Rooster followed. The Dog was punished to be the last one for biting the Rabbit in a pet. Actually the Dog was the 11th, because there is one being late for the interview – the Pig finally took the last place.
Chinese Zodiac Compatibility: Who’s Your Mr./Ms. Right?
The compatibilities of the zodiac animals are mainly based on the Five Elements they belong to – Metal (Monkey, Rooster), Wood (Tiger, Rabbit), Water (Rat, Pig), Fire (Snake, Horse), and Earth (Ox, Dragon, Sheep, Dog).

The traditional Chinese astrology indicates that the Five Elements are in a balanced generating cycle: Fire burns things to ash and Earth; Earth bears Metal inside; Metal turns into liquid (Water) in high temperature; Water nourishes Wood; Wood feeds Fire. Therefore some zodiac animals with agreeable elements can perfectly support and promote each other when they stay together, while some would stay in peace and tacit agreement; however some restrict or even harm each other when they meet.

See the illustrations below, or use our testing tool to check the compatibility for you and your partner!
Chinese Zodiac Compatibility Test
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Chinese Zodiac Compatibility: Best Matches for 12 Zodiac Signs

Outline of 12 Zodiac Animals: Personality, Compatibility, Fortune-Telling
The 12 animals have their own natural features and living habits, which directly reflect in the behaviors of people born in different years. The Heavenly Stems, Earthly Branches, Yin Yang, and Five Elements stated above also influence one’s character and destiny. Though in a same zodiac sign, the different blood types and Western astrology signs count for people’s different trails in life.

Click one of the following 12 tags, to reveal your own zodiac animal’s major personalitiy traits, compatibility, career, and fortune prediction in 2023. If you want to know more about an animal’s lucky things, birth months’ and dates’ analysis, and life advice, please enter each zodiac sign’s special column to know more.
  • Rat
  • Ox
  • Tiger
  • Rabbit
  • Dragon
  • Snake
  • Horse
  • Sheep
  • Monkey
  • Rooster
  • Dog
  • Pig
  • Rat – 鼠 (shǔ)
    Personality: adaptable, quick-witted, optimistic, considerate, versatile, outgoing
    Weaknesses: timid, stubborn, picky, lack of persistence, self-centered

    Career: The best jobs for Rat people include artist, author, doctor, teacher, lecturer, boat engineer, architect, fashion designer, and photographer. The skilled or creative occupations are suitable for them, and they can perform well in service industry, charity, and finance field.
  • Ox – 牛 (niú)
    Personality: prudent, calm, strong-willed, persistent, industrious, honest
    Weaknesses: stubborn, overcautious, insociable, clumsy of speech

    Career: The best jobs for Ox people include lawyer, doctor, teacher, writer, government officer, policeman, technician, politician, and office clerk. They are good at stable jobs requiring specific expertise, especially those related to building materials field.
  • Tiger – 虎 (hǔ)
    Personality: confident, courageous, steadfast, loyal, upright, trustworthy
    Weaknesses: arrogant, bossy, short-tempered, imprudent

    Career: Economist, politician, adventurer, and management officer are best jobs for Tiger people. They are suitable to work for public service or in the catering industry, outdoor sports facilities field, public service, or culture field.
  • Rabbit – 兔 (tù)
    Personality: gentle, considerate, cautious, friendly, virtuous, compassionate
    Weaknesses: irresolute, stubborn, timid, conservative, escapist

    Career: The ideal jobs for Rabbit people include farmer, breeder, teacher, priest, pharmacist, policeman, and judge. The occupations requiring sharp sense of art and carefulness are suitable for them. They could run a dessert shop, work in breeding or pet industry, or in a planning and design company.
  • Dragon – 龙 (lóng)
    Personality: energetic, confident, ambitious, frank, romantic, intelligent, generous
    Weaknesses: unstable, unrealistic, self-conceited, intolerant, lack of persistence

    Career: The language talent makes some of them nice writers or teachers, while the sense of business and money makes some good cashiers or financiers. Other suitable jobs for them include quality inspector, pharmacist, electrician, politician, and priest.
  • Snake – 蛇 (shé)
    Personality: sociable, graceful, eloquent, humorous, wise, perceptive, determined
    Weaknesses: unapproachable, jealous, suspicious, sly, inconstant

    Career: Snake people could be good artists, singers, politicians, teachers, painters, designers, or psychologists. They are good at performing arts and entertainment work. Some of them might core an achievement in archaeological research.
  • Horse – 马 (mǎ)
    Personality: warm-hearted, upright, easygoing, positive, patient, steady, independent
    Weaknesses: extravagant, too outspoken, opinionated, inflexible

    Career: The best jobs for Horse people are adventurer, writer, architect, performer, entrepreneur, scientist, artist, politician, critic, and tour guide. They could get achievements in art, tourist, political or commercial fields. Charity work is also suitable for them.
  • Sheep – 羊 (yáng)
    Personality: gentle, softhearted, considerate, reliable, hardworking, thrift
    Weaknesses: indecisive, timid, pessimistic, moody, weak-willed

    Career: The suitable jobs for Sheep people include painter, musician, beautician, doctor, teacher, editor, writer, and house cleaner. They could have excellent performance in domestic service, medical, art, education, and publishing fields.
  • Monkey – 猴 (hóu)
    Personality: intelligent, enthusiastic, self-assured, sociable, innovative, eloquent, adaptable
    Weaknesses: jealous, arrogant, lack patience and perseverance, opportunistic

    Career: Their suitable jobs include linguist, diplomat, journalist, entertainer, businessman, athlete, stockbroker, detective, lawyer, and programmer. The highly logical and challenging jobs are attractive for them, while fields that need eloquence are good choices.
  • Rooster – 鸡 (jī)
    Personality: foresighted, ambitious, capable, quick-minded, confident, outgoing, independent
    Weaknesses: selfish, narrow-minded, impatient, critical, overconfident

    Career: Rooster people could be brilliant politicians, diplomats, or public speakers. Some could be influential scientists. Some perform well in clothing and cosmetics trade. Other suitable jobs for them include designer, beautician, tour guide, and actor / actress.
  • Dog – 狗 (gǒu)
    Personality: righteous, brave, loyal, responsible, reliable, clever, quick-witted
    Weaknesses: impatient, conservative, stubborn, emotional

    Career: Dog people could be good lawyers, judges, organizers, teachers, doctors, civil servants, programmers, advertising planners, or bloggers. Beside traditional industries, they are more talented in self-media field for their outstanding planning ability and creativity.
  • Pig – 猪 (zhū)
    Personality: warm-hearted, sincere, honest, optimistic, generous
    Weaknesses: sleepy, slow-witted, gullible, short-tempered, jealous

    Career: The best occupations for Pig people are veterinarian, breeder, forester, teacher, civil servant, policeman, doctor, professor, and artist. Agriculture and animal husbandry are suitable fields for them. Medical and art fields are also worth trying.
Science behind Chinese Zodiac
How do zodiac animals affect people’s personalities and lives?
The date and time of one’s birth are the keys. This is the same in both western and Chinese horoscope. The difference lies in the ways of marking the time of birth. The Chinese lunar canlendar is based on the combinition of 10 Heavenly Stems (Tian Gan) and 12 Earthly Branches (Di Zhi), two basic groups of terms of ancient Chinese astronomy and astrology, which work together in a fixed order to mark years, months, days, and hours. Hereunder are some interesting technical terms.

1. 12 Earthly Branches:12 terms in one-to-one correspondence with 12 zodiac animals - Zi (Rat), Chou (Ox), Yin (Tiger), Mao (Rabbit), Chen (Dragon), Si (Snake), Wu (Horse), Wei (Sheep), Shen (Monkey), You (Rooster), Xu (Dog) and Hai (Pig).

2. 10 Heavenly Stems:Jia, Yi, Bing, Ding, Wu, Ji, Geng, Xin, Ren, Gui.

The 10 Heavenly Stems match the 12 Earthly Branches in a 60-pair cycle to mark years, months, and days, eg. July 1st 2020 in Gregorian calendar is the Yi Si Day of Ren Wu Month in Gen Zi Year of the Rat. See more about Heavenly Stems & Earthly Branches.

3. Yin Yang:Yin means feminine and negative, while Yang means masculine and positive. They are profound terms in ancient Chinese philosophy. Their simple connection with zodiac animals are: Yang applies to Rat, Tiger, Dragon, Horse, Monkey, and Dog, while Yin goes to Ox, Rabbit, Snake, Sheep, Rooster, and Pig.

4. Five Elements:Ancient Chinese believed that all things in the world, including the zodiac animals, belonged to five categories – Metal (Monkey, Rooster), Wood (Tiger, Rabbit), Water (Rat, Pig), Fire (Snake, Horse), and Earth (Ox, Dragon, Sheep, Dog).

5. 12 Shi Chen:12 two-hour periods form a day, with each called a Shi Chen and marked by one of the 12 Earthly Branches and its corresponding zodiac animal, eg. 23:00 – 00:59 is called Zi Hour and represented by the Rat.

The 12 animals connect to people’s birth dates and time, with interactions from the above five perspectives, affecting people’s personalities, compatibilities, and fortune in the future.
Chinese Zodiac Culture & Folklore
Chinese zodiac is actually an imaginary belief, basing on the zodiac animals' temperament, and combining the traditional Chinese religions, philosophy, astrology, and numerology. In ancient times, the zodiac was said not only to decide people’s destinies, but also to control a year’s harvest and even influence the fortune of the whole nation. Nowadays, the zodiac signs still accompany Chinese people throughout their lives, affecting their personalities, ideas, behaviors, fortune, and marriage compatibilities.

When coming up with the years of the same zodiac signs of one’s birth year, called Ben Ming Nian in Chinese, one would be unlucky and should pay great attention to restrain his or her own behaviors to tide over the difficulty every 12 years. In Taoism, each year has a certain god called Taisui in charge of the world. People meeting their Ben Ming Nian would go to temples to worship the year’s Taisu god to pray for good luck and avoid disasters. There is also a tradition of wearing in red to exorcise evil spirits.

The zodiac culture is also embodied in Chinese literature and art. You might have been impressed by the Journey to the West, a classical Chinese novel with the leading role of Monkey King; or you might have heard the story of the 12 bronze animal heads of the Old Summer Palace in Beijing. There are a lot of legends, poems, fictions, paintings, sculptures, and traditional Chinese paper-cuttings themed on zodiac animals. Nowadays, the zodiac is considered the mascot of the Chinese New Year, adding entertainments to people’s daily life.
Questions & Answers on Chinese Zodiac
Asked by Mamo from NEPAL | Apr. 17, 2024 06:09Reply
2024 fortune of fire rat
Hi! I am Capricorn born on December 27th 1996 a Fire Rat . Will I be able to go to Korea for my further study in 2024 ?
Answers (1)
Answered by Lori | Apr. 17, 2024 23:13

2024 is a pretty lucky year for you, especially in career. You may go there successful.
Asked by Sarah from NEW ZEALAND | Apr. 07, 2024 20:15Reply
2024 F Wood Rat Work Forecast
Hello, I'm a female Wood Rat born on 17th Oct 1984 and I was wondering if I will find some form of volunteer work or volunteer work that, will lead to paid work that is right for me in 2024?
Answers (1)
Answered by Joshua | Apr. 08, 2024 19:53

Hi, it's predicted that you may make big progress in you progress in 2024.
Asked by Mili from CANADA | Mar. 30, 2024 20:57Reply
Aries/F Metal Rooster
I want to know if 2024 is good year to start master degree studies in 2024 and Im move for that reason.
Answers (1)
Answered by Joshua | Apr. 02, 2024 01:05

2024 is a good year for the Rooster in term of study and they may get great records in examinations.
Asked by justine from PHILIPPINES2 | Mar. 26, 2024 20:03Reply
love and career forecast
hi! I am a Sagittarius rat born on December 20, 1996 can anyone please help me know if i am going to achieve my goals of becoming a police lieutenant and at what age will i be able to achieve it and will i become successful in business? and in love life when will i be able to meet the girl whom ill end up marrying. thankyou in advance.
Answers (1)
Answered by Lori | Mar. 27, 2024 18:37

It's a hopeful year for you in career so you may become a police lieutenant this year. You are lucky in wealth this year also. As for love, you may come across a lovely girl and try to travel with her to enhance relationship.
Asked by Marie from USA | Mar. 11, 2024 22:59Reply
Good Time to Apply for Jobs
Hello! I’m a female oxen born July 31, 1985, I would like to know when is a good time to start applying for jobs. I’ve been a stay at home mom for 2 years now but would like to help my husband make ox born June 7, 1985, to save money so we can buy a house. Any information is helpful, thank you!
Answers (1)
Answered by Anna | Mar. 13, 2024 01:57

The possibility of getting a job is relatively high in lunar October for Ox people, which is 11/01 to 11/30. But this is just a prediction. No pains, no gains. Good luck with you~
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