Your Chinese Zodiac Sign Reveals Sooo Much About You
Do you know your Chinese zodiac sign? Chinese astrology dates back thousands of years and uses different zodiac signs than those used in Western astrology.
Unlike Western zodiac signs, which depend on the day you were born and change monthly, Chinese zodiac signs depend on the year you were born and change yearly. In 2023, the Lunar New Year—beginning on January 22—will usher in the Year of the Rabbit, following the Year of the Tiger in 2022 and the Year of the Ox in 2021.
FYI: The date of the Lunar New Year changes every year, but always begins sometime between January 21 and February 20. That’s because it’s based on the lunisolar calendar and not the Gregorian calendar. To get specific, it falls on the second New Moon following the winter solstice (the date of which also varies a bit from year to year but is usually December 21 or 22—in 2022, it was December 21). Oh, and yeah, this means that if you were born in January or February, double-check to see if your birthday fell before or after the Lunar New Year in the year you were born because that will affect your Chinese zodiac sign. For example, babies born before January 22 of this year will be Tigers, not Rabbits.
The mythology behind the Chinese zodiac
The Chinese zodiac is made up of 12 animals. The legend of how the animals came to join the zodiac stems from a legend of Buddha leaving Earth. As word spread of his exit, the animals gathered to bid him farewell. The first was Rat, then came Ox, then Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Monkey, Sheep, Rooster, Dog, and finally Boar.
In honor of this gesture, each year in the 12-year lunar cycle is named for one of the animals. The year of your birth matches up with one of these signs, and the sign’s characteristics color your own personality and life path. It takes 12 years to cycle through the Chinese zodiac, and each new zodiac cycle begins with the Rat.
The Chinese zodiac signs and their meanings:
Birth year: 1936, 1948, 1960, 1972, 1984, 1996, 2008, 2020
Personality traits: The Rat is known for charm and creativity. Straightforward and very inquisitive, they’re always in the know. How? They have such a disarmingly honest way of asking questions that we can’t help but spill our secrets. Fun, dependable, and quite the deal finder, Rats will be generous only to those they’re especially close to.
Birth year: 1937, 1949, 1961, 1973, 1985, 1997, 2009, 2021
Personality traits: The Ox symbolizes good fortune through hard work and pure grit. Patient and tireless, the Ox enjoys their rituals and loves routine. Although Oxen are good listeners, it’s difficult to change their minds. When things get chaotic, this is the sign you need by your side to help restore order.
Birth year: 1938, 1950, 1962, 1974, 1986, 1998, 2010, 2022
Personality traits: Rebellious, colorful, and unpredictable, the Tiger commands awe and respect. This fearless and fiery fighter is revered as the sign of a defender. The Tiger is always ready for action, but they can struggle with indecision. Late-night phone calls? A last-minute adventure hatched in a flurry of texts? That’s standard fare for the always interesting, always plugged-in Tiger.
Birth year: 1939, 1951, 1963, 1975, 1987, 1999, 2011, 2023
Personality traits: The Rabbit is the soul of grace and sound advice. People born under this sign will lead a tranquil life, as they avoid drama as much as possible. Instead, they love to surround themselves with beauty. Inclined to be moody, they can come off as detached to people who aren’t part of their inner circle.
Birth year: 1940, 1952, 1964, 1976, 1988, 2000, 2012, 2024
Personality traits: The mighty and magnificent Dragon of ancient myth never ceases to enchant us. Dragon people are full of energy and strength. Life is a blaze of colors, and they are constantly busy. Eccentric and demanding, they never lack friends or admirers. It’s essential that they find a purpose or special mission in life. They need a cause to fight for, a goal to reach, or a wrong to right.
Birth year: 1941, 1953, 1965, 1977, 1989, 2001, 2013, 2025
Personality traits: The Snake is introspective and can come off as a bit of a mystery at first. Some Snakes may appear detached or lost in their own world, but this is just how they operate. They are highly intuitive and do not like to be rushed when analyzing a situation. Graceful and soft-spoken, Snakes naturally gravitate toward all the finer things in life.
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Birth year: 1942, 1954, 1966, 1978, 1990, 2002, 2014, 2026
Personality traits: People born in the Horse’s year are full of optimism and high energy, although their moods may cause them to have a hot temper. Intuitive and talkative, they can encourage even the shiest people to open up about their lives. As mentally quick as they are physically active, Horses have cunning social reflexes and handle pressure with ease.
Birth year: 1943, 1955, 1967, 1979, 1991, 2003, 2015, 2027
Personality traits: Sheep are known for their big hearts and commitment to helping others. Often shy, they’re commonly drawn to creative fields and outlets, such as art and fashion. Kind and compassionate, they have an inner determination that seems at odds with their gentle personality. When threatened, they can respond passionately and decisively, even though they detest fighting.
Birth year: 1944, 1956, 1968, 1980, 1992, 2004, 2016, 2028
Personality traits: The Monkey is the sign of the inventor; people born in the Monkey’s year love a good challenge. A natural entertainer, they engage through creativity and charm. The Monkey can solve intricate problems with ease and is very resourceful. A person born under this year is naturally ambitious and can achieve things others dare not attempt.
Birth year: 1945, 1957, 1969, 1981, 1993, 2005, 2017, 2029
Personality traits: The Rooster is the most misunderstood and eccentric of all the signs. They can come off brash and overconfident, but at heart, they can be ultra traditional. Roosters are outstanding performers, and they shine when they are the center of attention. Naturally charismatic, the Rooster is a gifted storyteller.
Birth year: 1946, 1958, 1970, 1982, 1994, 2006, 2018, 2030
Personality traits: A person born in the year of the Dog is intelligent and refreshingly straightforward. They have a deep sense of loyalty and a passion for justice and equity. People born under this year naturally know how to connect people and work with others, no matter how different.
Birth year: 1947, 1959, 1971, 1983, 1995, 2007, 2019, 2040
Personality traits: The Boar sign symbolizes honesty, simplicity, and courage. Boars are known to live in extremes. Whether it’s love, friendship, generosity, or fashion, the Boar never does anything halfway! With such a big personality and passion for expression, the Boar never has a shortage of friends or invitations. This sign’s biggest challenge is saying no.
Elements in Chinese Astrology
In Chinese astrology, each year is also characterized by one of the Five Elements: metal, water, wood, fire, and earth. These five elements are believed to be the fundamental building blocks of everything in the universe. They all work together, and each has its own unique traits and associations.
Birth year: Ending in 0 or 1, including 1970, 1971, 1980, 1981, 1990, 1991, 2000, 2001, 2010, 2011, 2020
Birth years: Ending in 2 or 3, including 1972, 1973, 1982, 1983, 1992, 1993, 2002, 2003, 2012, 2013
Personality traits: Communicative, creative, emotional, observant, quiet, persuasive
Birth years: Ending in 4 or 5, including 1974, 1975, 1984, 1985, 1994, 1995, 2004, 2005, 2014, 2015
Personality traits: Strong morals, curious, confident, cooperative, progressive, generous
Birth years: Ending in 6 or 7, including 1976, 1977, 1986, 1987, 1996, 1997, 2006, 2007, 2016, 2017
Personality traits: Decisive, assertive, adventurous, innovative, fearless, impulsive
Birth years: Ending in 8 or 9, including 1978, 1979, 1988, 1989, 1998, 1999, 2008, 2009, 2018, 2019
Personality traits: Practical, resourceful, organized, intelligent, enterprising, calm
The Year 2023
Following the Lunar New Year on January 22, the year 2023 is the year of the Water Rabbit. According to ChinaHighlights.com, "The sign of Rabbit is a symbol of longevity, peace, and prosperity in Chinese culture. 2023 is predicted to be a year of hope." Sign me up.
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