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Chinese Zodiac

Written by Ruby ZhaoUpdated Jan. 26, 2024

Chinese zodiac, or shengxiao (/shnng-sshyao/ 'born resembling'), is represented by 12 zodiac animals. In order, they are the Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Goat, Monkey, Rooster, Dog, and Pig.

Chinese zodiac years begin/end at Chinese New Year (in January/February). Each year in the repeating zodiac cycle of 12 years is represented by a zodiac animal, each with its own reputed attributes.

2024 is a year of the Dragon, starting from February 10th, 2024 and ends on January 29th, 2025. 2023 is a year of the Rabbit, starting from January 22nd, 2023, and ending on February 9th, 2024.

Chinese people believe that a person's horoscope, personality, and love compatibility are closely associated with his/her Chinese zodiac sign, determined by his/her birth year.

Here you can find out all about the Chinese zodiac, including what your Chinese zodiac sign is and your 2024 horoscope predictions.

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2024 is the Year of the Dragon. Have you ever wondered why the Dragon is the most popular sign in the Chinese zodiac? The video below reveals the secret .

What is My Chinese Zodiac Sign?

Each Chinese zodiac year is represented by an animal. The calendar of Chinese zodiac years below will help you find your zodiac sign fast.

For example, 1991 is a year of the Goat. If you were born in 1991, your Chinese zodiac sign is the Goat, and you are known as a "Goat".

Chinese Zodiac Years

Chinese Zodiac Sign Years
Rat ...1948, 1960, 1972, 1984, 1996, 2008, 2020…
Ox …1949, 1961, 1973, 1985, 1997, 2009, 2021…
Tiger …1950, 1962, 1974, 1986, 1998, 2010, 2022…
Rabbit … 1951, 1963, 1975, 1987, 1999, 2011, 2023 ...
Dragon … 1952, 1964, 1976, 1988, 2000, 2012, 2024 …
Snake … 1953, 1965, 1977, 1989, 2001, 2013, 2025 …
Horse … 1954, 1966, 1978, 1990, 2002, 2014, 2026 …
Goat … 1955, 1967, 1979, 1991, 2003, 2015, 2027 …
Monkey … 1956, 1968, 1980, 1992, 2004, 2016, 2028 …
Rooster … 1957, 1969, 1981, 1993, 2005, 2017, 2029 …
Dog … 1958, 1970, 1982, 1994, 2006, 2018, 2030 …
Pig … 1959, 1971, 1983, 1995, 2007, 2019, 2031 …

You may want to read more about Chinese zodiac years.

For the starting date of a zodiac year, there are two schools of thought in Chinese astrology: Chinese New Year or the Start of Spring.

  • Chinese New Year, day 1 of the Chinese lunar year, falls somewhere in the period January 21st to February 20th.
  • The Start of Spring is the 1st of the 24 Solar Terms, beginning on February 3rd or 4th.

Most Chinese people use Chinese New Year as the start of the zodiac year. This is popular Chinese astrology. Only traditionalists and professional astrologers use the first solar term.

Therefore, for example if you were born in January or February in 1997, you might be an Ox or a Rat.

You can use our free Chinese zodiac sign calculator below to be sure.

Chinese Zodiac Calculator

Choose your date of birth and find out about your Chinese zodiac sign.

Click the zodiac sign below to check each animal sign's horoscope, personality, love compatibility, etc. in detail.

Chinese Zodiac Signs' Personality

Chinese zodiac animals have astrological and cultural meanings. Chinese people associate each animal sign with certain characteristics. It's believed that people born in a given year have the personality of that year's animal.

  • Rat: quick-witted, resourceful, versatile, kind.
  • Ox: diligent, dependable, strong, determined.
  • Tiger: brave, confident, competitive, unpredictable.
  • Rabbit: quiet, elegant, kind, responsible.
  • Dragon: confident, intelligent, enthusiastic.
  • Snake: enigmatic, intelligent, wise.
  • Horse: animated, active, energetic.
  • Goat: calm, gentle, sympathetic.
  • Monkey: sharp, smart, curious.
  • Rooster: observant, hardworking, courageous.
  • Dog: lovely, honest, prudent.
  • Pig: compassionate, generous, diligent.

Chinese Zodiac Signs' Lucky/Unlucky Things

Lucky Things

Chinese Zodiac Sign Lucky Numbers Lucky Colors Lucky Flowers
Rat 2, 3 blue, gold, green lily, African violet
Ox 1, 4 white, yellow, green tulip, peach blossom
Tiger 1, 3, 4 blue, gray, orange yellow lily, cineraria
Rabbit 3, 4, 6 red, pink, purple, blue plantain lily, jasmine
Dragon 1, 6, 7 gold, silver, grayish white bleeding-heart glory bower, dragon flowers
Snake 2, 8, 9 black, red, and yellow orchid and cactus
Horse 2, 3, 7 yellow and green calla lily and jasmine
Goat 2, 7 brown, red, and purple carnations and primroses
Monkey 4, 9 white, blue, gold chrysanthemum, crape myrtle
Rooster 5, 7, 8 gold, brown, and yellow gladiola, cockscomb
Dog 3, 4, 9 red, green, and purple rose, cymbidium orchids
Pig 2, 5, 8 yellow, gray, brown, gold hydrangea and daisy

Unlucky Things

Chinese Zodiac Sign Unlucky Numbers Unlucky Colors
Rat 5, 9 yellow, brown
Ox 5, 6 blue
Tiger 6, 7, 8 brown
Rabbit 1, 7, 8 dark brown, dark yellow, white
Dragon 3, 8 blue, green
Snake 1, 6, 7 brown, gold, white
Horse 1, 5, 6 blue, white
Goat 4, 9 blue, black
Monkey 2, 7 red, pink
Rooster 1, 3, 9 red
Dog 1, 6, 7 blue, white, gold
Pig 1, 7 red, blue, green

Chinese Zodiac Compatibility - Is He/She Right for You?

Chinese Zodiac Love CompatibilityBest Matches for the 12 Chinese Zodiac Signs

An important use of the Chinese zodiac is to determine if two people are compatible in a romantic relationship... or any kind of relationship. Zodiac compatibility is usually checked before getting married in China.

People born in a certain zodiac animal year are believed to have attributes of that animal, which determines their personality traits and could either help or hinder a relationship.

Chinese Zodiac Compatibility Calculator

Enter date of birth and test now
Boy's date of birth:
Girl's date of birth:

What is the luckiest/unluckiest Chinese zodiac sign?

In Chinese culture, the top 5 luckiest/most popular zodiac signs are Dragon, Snake, Pig, Rat, and Tiger conventionally.

There is a popular Chinese folk saying that 9/10 Goats are inadequate (十羊九不全 '10 Goats 9 incomplete'), which implies that most people born in a year of the Goat are destined for bad luck. Most Chinese people also believe that people born in a Goat year will grow up to be followers rather than leaders. Although this is an outdated superstition, it has a real effect on Chinese society.

Conversely, the Dragon is the most coveted zodiac sign, with Chinese births peaking in Dragon years.

Rationally, it's hard to identify the luckiest or unluckiest zodiac signs, as each sign has its own advantages and disadvantages. Socially, different combinations of zodiac signs cause different relational dynamics, which may affect someone's life more, as we don't live in isolation.

Which Chinese Zodiac Signs are Lucky in the Year of the Dragon 2024?

Year of the Dragon 2024

The luckiest zodiac signs are predicted to be Monkeys, Roosters, and Pigs.

According to Chinese zodiac predictions, Dragons, Goats, Dogs, Oxes, and Rabbits will face challenges in 2024 due to opposing Tai Sui (Jupiter), the deity governing fortune.

Read more on the year of the Dragon including the 12 Chinese Zodiac Signs' Horoscopes for 2024.

2024 is the benmingnian (本命年 'origin of life year') for those people born under the Dragon sign. Read more on How to Make Good Luck in Your Zodiac Year Easily.

For more insights, we present the fortunes of the 12 Chinese zodiac signs below.

Chinese Zodiac Horoscope and Lucky Color for 2024

Click the animal signs below to learn about each Chinese zodiac animal's horoscope in 2024.

  • Rat
  • OX
  • Tiger
  • Rabbit
  • Dragon
  • Snake
  • Horse
  • Goat
  • Monkey
  • Rooster
  • Dog
  • Pig

Rats' Horoscope and Lucky Color for 2024

Rats, you can expect some challenges in 2024 and your career will be affected by inauspicious stars. It's also not the right time to make investments. But you should not be too nervous as you will be in harmony with Tai Sui in 2024.

Lucky color for 2024: white, blue, pink

Read more about Rat Horoscope 2024: Career, Love, and Money Predictions

Chinese Zodiac Story: Explaining the Order and Why There's No Cat

Chinese Zodiac Story

Do you know why the 12 Chinese zodiac animals are in their fixed sequence from Rat to Pig?

The sequence of the 12 signs is popularly explained by a myth about when the Jade Emperor (the supreme immortal) wanted to select 12 animals to be his guards. All creatures on Earth were summoned to participate in a race. The earlier one went through the Heavenly Gate, the better the rank one would have.

  • Rat and Ox got up very early. On the way to the Gate, Rat jumped onto the back of the Ox to cross the river. He won first place by suddenly jumping down from Ox's back and dashed to the feet of the Emperor when they're near to the Heavenly Gate. Ox was second.
  • Tiger and Rabbit came third and fourth because both are fast and competitive, but Tiger was faster.
  • Good-looking Dragon was fifth and was immediately noticed by the Jade Emperor, who said Dragon's son could be sixth. Just then, Snake came forward and said Dragon was his adoptive father; so Snake ranked sixth.
  • Horse and Goat arrived. They were very kind and modest and each let the other go first. They were ranked seventh and eighth.
  • Monkey had fallen well behind. But he jumped between trees and stones, and caught up to be ninth. Last were Rooster, Dog, and Pig.

Why is the cat not one of the 12 Chinese zodiac animals? It is said that Cat and Rat got as far as crossing the river together on Ox's back, but Rat pushed Cat into the water. Cat was washed away and didn't get to the Heavenly Gate in time to get a ranking. After that a great enmity grew between Cat and Rat, so that rats scatter in all directions when a cat appears.

The story is widespread (and widely varying) among Chinese. Though it is made up, it might be interesting for you to tell your children and friends.

Actually, the 12 Chinese zodiac animals were chosen very deliberately by the ancients, after many revisions. The zodiac animals are either closely related to ancient Chinese people's daily lives or have lucky meanings in ancient Chinese culture.

What are the differences between Chinese zodiac and western astrology?

Star Zodiac Signs and Chinese Zodiac Signs

The main similarity between the two systems is that both systems are based on time periods of birth, and they both have 12 symbols or signs with associated personalities and fortunes.

However, there are big differences in their origins and astrological theory.

With the Chinese zodiac, the 12 signs are derived from the ancients' musings about archetypal animals, people's personalities and fortunes, and their relationships with one another and years of birth. A myth about a celestial race was later developed to explain the Chinese zodiac sequence.

This differs from Western astrology, where the 12 zodiac signs are based on constellations' positions relative to the earth. The constellations were named according to Greek mythology and astrological theory was developed based on the stars supposed influence on human personalities and lives.

In addition, the Chinese zodiac is calculated on a year-by-year base while the Western zodiac corresponds with "months".

Read more on Differences between the Chinese Zodiac and Western Astrology.

Chinese Zodiac in Other Asian Countries

The Chinese zodiac has a great influence on several other Asian countries, such as the SouthKorea, Japan, Vietnam, Singapore, Thailand, and Myanmar. In some countries, the zodiac signs are the same as the Chinese ones, while some of the animals differ in other countries.

The 12 Chinese zodiac animals in order are: Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Goat, Monkey, Rooster, Dog, and Pig. These animal signs are exactly the same in South Korea, North Korea, Singapore, and Cambodia.

  • The 12 Japanese zodiac animals in order are: Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Goat, Monkey, Rooster, Dog, and Boar.
  • The 12 Vietnamese zodiac animals in order are: Rat, Buffalo, Tiger, Cat, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Goat, Monkey, Rooster, Dog, and Pig.
  • The 12 Thai zodiac animals in order are: Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Naga (a mythical half-human-half-snake spirit), Snake, Horse, Goat, Monkey, Rooster, Dog, and Pig.
  • The 8 Burmese zodiac animals are: Garuda (a mythical bird), Tiger, Lion, Elephant (with tusks), Rat, Guinea Pig, and Dragon.
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