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What is My 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. Originated from ancient zoolatry and boasting a history of more than 2,000 years, it plays an essential role in Chinese culture. The 12 Chinese zodiac animals in a cycle are not only used to represent years in China, but also believed to influence people’s personalities, careers, compatibility, marriage, and fortune.

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 the Chinese lunar calendar, not the Gregorian year you are familiar with from Jan. 1st to Dec. 31st.

The dates of the Chinese Lunar New Year vary every year but will fall on a day in January or February. If you were born on a day from 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 AnimalChinese NameRecent 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

The records from the excavated ancient bamboo books have proved the existence of the Chinese zodiac before the Qin Dynasty (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 on the zodiac’s relationship with Jupiter’s revolution period of 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 the Chinese zodiac. The Jade Emperor wanted to select 12 animals to be his palace guards. He preferred the Ox to be the first for its honesty and diligence, but out of everyone’s expectation, the smart Rat covertly hid 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.