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12 Chinese Zodiac Animals – The Animals of Chinese Calendar

Imagine feeling lost in life’s journey, struggling with relationships, or unsure about career choices. Now, picture a guide rooted in ancient wisdom, offering clarity and direction. The Chinese Zodiac, a cycle of 12 animals, each representing unique personality traits and fortunes, could be this guide. This ancient system, more than just a horoscope, provides profound insights into character, compatibility, and destiny based on your birth year. Whether seeking harmony in relationships, career guidance, or personal growth, understanding the nuances of your Chinese Zodiac animals can unlock answers.

Chinese Zodiac – An Overview

The Chinese zodiac, also known as shengxiao (/shnng-sshyao/), meaning ‘born resembling,’ consists of 12 animal signs. These animals, in order, are Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Goat, Monkey, Rooster, Dog, and Pig.

Chinese zodiac animals

Image1: (12 chinese zodiac animals with related years)

The cycle of the Chinese zodiac starts/ends with the Chinese New Year, which falls in January/February. Each year in this 12-year cycle is linked to an animal sign, and each animal is believed to have unique characteristics. For instance, 2024 is the Dragon’s year, beginning on February 10th, 2024, and ending on January 29th, 2025, while 2023 was the Rabbit’s year, from January 22nd, 2023, to February 9th, 2024. It’s a common belief in Chinese culture that a person’s zodiac sign, determined by their birth year, greatly influences their personality, horoscope, and romantic compatibility.

This guide will help you learn more about the Chinese zodiac, including how to find your zodiac sign and understand your Chinese horoscope.


The history of the Chinese zodiac animals is steeped in ancient folklore and astrology. Originating over 2,000 years ago during the Han Dynasty((206 BC – 220 AD)), the zodiac system was linked to the lunar calendar. 

Legend has it that the Jade Emperor summoned all animals, but only 12 arrived. To honor them, he named a year after each, in the order of their arrival. This created the 12-year cycle, with each year associated with a specific animal. 

These animals were chosen for their significance in Chinese culture and their symbolic attributes. The zodiac was not only a timekeeping system but also a tool for predicting personality traits and fortune, deeply influencing Chinese culture and folklore.

What is My Chinese Zodiac Sign?

Discovering your Chinese Zodiac Sign is straightforward with this comprehensive table. Each year in the Chinese calendar corresponds to an animal sign, providing insights into personality traits and fortunes. Below is a table that will assist you in quickly identifying your zodiac sign.

Chinese zodiac animals

Image2: (Chinese zodiac calendar to help you find your zodiac sign)

Chinese Zodiac Signs by Years

Chinese Zodiac SignYearsPersonality Traits
Rat…1948, 1960, 1972, 1984, 1996, 2008, 2020…Resourceful, versatile, kind, smart
Ox…1949, 1961, 1973, 1985, 1997, 2009, 2021…Reliable, strong, fair, methodical, calm
Tiger…1950, 1962, 1974, 1986, 1998, 2010, 2022…Brave, confident, competitive, unpredictable
Rabbit…1951, 1963, 1975, 1987, 1999, 2011, 2023…Gentle, quiet, elegant, alert, responsible
Dragon…1952, 1964, 1976, 1988, 2000, 2012, 2024…Enthusiastic, intelligent, lively, energetic, generous
Snake…1953, 1965, 1977, 1989, 2001, 2013, 2025…Wise, mysterious, intuitive, sympathetic, graceful
Horse…1954, 1966, 1978, 1990, 2002, 2014, 2026…Energetic, independent, impatient, popular
Goat…1955, 1967, 1979, 1991, 2003, 2015, 2027…Calm, gentle, sympathetic, creative, determined
Monkey…1956, 1968, 1980, 1992, 2004, 2016, 2028…Smart, curious, witty, clever, playful
Rooster…1957, 1969, 1981, 1993, 2005, 2017, 2029…Observant, hardworking, courageous, talented
Dog…1958, 1970, 1982, 1994, 2006, 2018, 2030…Loyal, honest, kind, prudent, cautious
Pig…1959, 1971, 1983, 1995, 2007, 2019, 2031…Compassionate, generous, diligent, dependable

For example, if you were born in 1991, your Chinese zodiac sign is the Goat.

When it comes to the starting date of a zodiac year, there are two primary viewpoints in Chinese astrology: the Chinese New Year and the Start of Spring.

  • Chinese New Year: This marks the first day of the lunar year and usually falls between January 21st and February 20th.
  • Start of Spring: Recognized as the first of the 24 Solar Terms, it typically begins on February 3rd or 4th.

Most people in China use the Chinese New Year to mark the beginning of the zodiac year. This approach is widely accepted in popular Chinese astrology. Conversely, traditionalists and professional astrologers may prefer to use the Start of Spring.

Therefore, if you were born in January or February 1997, your zodiac sign could be either the Ox or the Rat, depending on the exact date of your birth.

Luckiest/ Unluckiest Zodiac Animals

In Chinese culture, some zodiac signs are traditionally seen as luckier than others. The Dragon, Snake, Pig, Rat, and Tiger are often considered the most fortunate signs.

There’s an old Chinese saying about the Goat sign: “10 Goats, 9 incomplete” (十羊九不全). This suggests that people born in the year of the Goat might face more challenges or bad luck. Many also believe that Goat individuals might be more likely to be followers rather than leaders. Though this is an ancient belief, it still influences how some people in Chinese society think.

On the other hand, the Dragon sign is highly esteemed, with noticeable increases in births during Dragon years.

However, it’s important to note that labeling zodiac signs as the luckiest or unluckiest is subjective. Each sign has its strengths and weaknesses. Plus, how people interact based on their zodiac signs can greatly influence their lives since no one exists in isolation.

Chinese Zodiac in Other Asian Countries

The Chinese zodiac is not just popular in China but also holds significant cultural value in several other Asian countries, including South Korea, Japan, Vietnam, Singapore, Thailand, and Myanmar. These countries have their own versions of the zodiac, with some similarities and some differences to the Chinese model.

The 12 animals of the Chinese calendar are the Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Goat, Monkey, Rooster, Dog, and Pig. This exact lineup is also observed in South Korea, North Korea, Singapore, and Cambodia.

  • Japan’s zodiac includes the Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Goat, Monkey, Rooster, Dog, and Boar.
  •  In Vietnam, the system is slightly different, featuring the Rat, Buffalo, Tiger, Cat, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Goat, Monkey, Rooster, Dog, and Pig. 
  • Thailand’s version includes an intriguing mix: Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Naga (a mystical serpent being), Snake, Horse, Goat, Monkey, Rooster, Dog, and Pig. 
  • Lastly, Myanmar’s zodiac is unique, with only eight animals: Garuda (a legendary bird), Tiger, Lion, Elephant (with tusks), Rat, Guinea Pig, and Dragon.


Q1: What are the 12 Chinese zodiac animals in order?

Answer: These 12 animals in order are Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Goat, Monkey, Rooster, Dog, and Pig.

Q2: What Chinese animal is my birthday?

Answer: To find your animal, you need to know your birth year and match it to the Chinese lunar calendar, which assigns an animal to each year in a 12-year cycle.

Q3: What is the 13th animal of the zodiac?

Answer: The 13th animal does not exist in traditional zodiac systems, as they typically feature 12 animals.

Q4: What Chinese animal year is 2024?

Answer: The year 2024 in the Chinese zodiac is the Year of the Dragon.


All in all, our discussion about Chinese zodiac animals offers valuable insights into this ancient astrological system. By aligning one’s birth date with the zodiac calendar, which comprises 12 unique animals, individuals can identify their corresponding sign. Each animal signifies distinct personality traits, influencing individual characteristics and life paths. Notably, 2024 marks the Year of the Dragon, a period associated with strength and fortune.

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