Chinese Zodiac

Chinese Zodiac

By Fercility JiangUpdated Nov. 24, 2021

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.

2021 is a year of the Ox. 2022 is a year of the Tiger.

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 how to discover your Chinese zodiac sign and Chinese horoscope.

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What is My Chinese Zodiac Sign?

Each Chinese zodiac year is represented by an animal. The table 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 picture below to check each animal sign's horoscope, personality, love compatibility, etc. in detail.

Chinese New Year 2021
Year of the Ox
Lunar New Year 2021

 

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: quick-witted, resourceful, versatile, kind.

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

Unlucky Things

Chinese Zodiac Sign Unlucky Numbers Unlucky Colors Unlucky Directions
Rat 5, 9 yellow, brown south and southeast
Ox 5, 6 blue southwest
Tiger 6, 7, 8 brown southwest
Rabbit 1, 7, 8 dark brown, dark yellow, white north, west, and southwest
Dragon 3, 8 blue, green northwest
Snake 1, 6, 7 brown, gold, white northeast and northwest
Horse 1, 5, 6 blue, white north and northwest
Goat 4, 9 blue and black southwest
Monkey 2, 7 red, pink south, southeast
Rooster 1, 3, 9 red east
Dog 1, 6, 7 blue, white, gold southeast
Pig 1, 7, red, blue, green southeast

 

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

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:

Best Matches for the 12 Zodiac Signs

  • Rat: Rat, Ox, Dragon, or Monkey
  • Ox: Rat, Snake, or Rooster
  • Tiger: Horse, Dog, or Pig
  • Rabbit: Goat, Dog, or Pig
  • Dragon: Rat, Monkey, or Rooster
  • Snake: Ox or Rooster
  • Horse: Tiger, Goat, or Dog
  • Goat: Rabbit, Horse, Goat, or Pig
  • Monkey: Rat, Dragon, or Dog
  • Rooster: Ox, Dragon, or Snake
  • Dog: Tiger, Rabbit, Horse, or Monkey
  • Pig: Tiger, Rabbit, or Goat
Chinese Zodiac Love CompatibilityChinese Zodiac Love Compatibility

Chinese Horoscope 2021

2021 is a year of the Ox. The animal signs which are well matched with Ox usually enjoy good fortune in an Ox year, i.e. Rats, Snakes, and Roosters.

Click the animal signs below to learn more about each Chinese zodiac animal's horoscope in 2021.

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

Rats' Horoscope in 2021:

2021 is a year of the Ox, and the overall fortunes of Rat people (those born in a year of the Rat) are very good. Since the zodiac Rat and the zodiac Ox have a good relationship, the fortunes of Rat people will be exceptionally smooth. This year, regardless of whether they have difficulties in their careers or studies, Rats can get help from others in time. Read more on Monthly Horoscope for Rats in 2021.

2022 Chinese Zodiac Animal — The Tiger

The Tiger is the Chinese zodiac animal for 2022. Tiger year 2022 starts from February 1st, 2022 and ends on January 21st, 2023.

Known as the king of all beasts in China, the Tiger is a symbol of strength, exorcising evils, and braveness. A year of the Tiger is considered a good year.

The zodiac signs most compatible with the Tiger (the Pig, the Horse, and the Dog) usually enjoy good luck in 2022. However, Tigers, Monkeys, and Snakes might encounter some financial problems because they are believed to offend Tai Sui, the God of Age, in 2022.

Read more on the year of the Tiger including the 12 Chinese Zodiac Signs' Horoscopes for 2022.

2022 is the benmingnian (本命年 ‘origin of life year') for those people born under the Tiger sign. Read more on How to Make Good Luck in Your Zodiac Year Easily.

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Chinese Zodiac Story

Do you know why the 12 Chinese zodiac animals are in their fixed sequence from Rat to Pig? Why is the cat not one of the 12 zodiac animals?

The sequence of the 12 signs is popularly explained by a myth about when the Jade Emperor (the supreme immortal) was developing a calendar… All creatures on Earth were summoned to participate in a race. The first 12 to cross the line were awarded signs and their order in the Chinese zodiac. 

Find out more on the Chinese Zodiac story.

Actually, the 12 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 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.

What are the differences between Chinese zodiac and western astrology?

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 South Korea, 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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