The Chinese zodiac, also known as the “Shengxiao(生肖)”, is based on a twelve-year cycle, each year in that cycle related to an animal sign, including rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, sheep, monkey, rooster, dog and pig. 2019 is a year of the Pig, starting from February 5th 2019 and ending on January 24th 2020. Next year is a year of rat and 2021 is the year of ox. You can use the zodiac calculator to search for your Chinese zodiac animal sign.
Origin of Chinese Zodiac
The origin of the Chinese zodiac is related to animal worship. According to the Qin Jian unearthed in Shuihudi(Yunmeng) of Hubei province, and Fangmatan(tianshui) of Gansu province, a relatively complete zodiac system existed in the pre-Qin period. The earliest recorded literature of 12 zodiac is Lun Heng(论衡) written by Wang Chong of the eastern Han dynasty. Ancient people observe that there are 12 full moons within one year. So, its origin is associated with astrology. Each animal sign is usually related with an earthly branch, so the animal years were called Zi Rat, Chou Ox, Yin Tiger, Mao Rabbit, Chen Dragon, Si Snake, Wu Horse, Wei Sheep, Shen Monkey, You Rooster, Xu Dog and Hai Pig.
Like so many ancient traditions, the origin stories of the Chinese zodiac vary. Some say that a Great Race was held to determine which animals would be placed in the zodiac for eternity, others say the Buddha (or Jade Emperor) called on all animals to help mankind and only 12 responded. The Great Race determined each animal’s position in the zodiac.
12 Zodiac Signs
|Year||1960, 1972, 1984, 1996, 2008, 2020||1961, 1973, 1985, 1997, 2009, 2021||1962, 1974, 1986, 1998, 2010, 2022|
|Year||1963, 1975, 1987, 1999, 2011, 2023||1964, 1976, 1988, 2000, 2012, 2024||1965, 1977, 1989, 2001, 2013, 2025|
|Year||1966, 1978, 1990, 2002, 2014, 2026||1967, 1979, 1991, 2003, 2015, 2027||1968, 1980, 1992, 2004, 2016, 2028|
|Year||1969, 1981, 1993, 2005, 2017, 2029||1970, 1982, 1994, 2006, 2018, 2030||1971, 1983, 1995, 2007, 2019, 2031|
The Nature of the Animals
|Rat||Water||Inner self, art and beauty, it represents the season of winter.||Communicate well, diplomatic and persuasive, flexible and adaptable.|
|Ox||Earth||Grow and development, nurturing environment.||Supportive and loyal, not like rush in doing things, patient and steady.|
|Tiger||Wood||Represents spring, growth and plant life.||Energetic, artistic, outgoing and progressive.|
|Rabbit||Wood||Represents spring, growth and plant life.||Energetic, artistic, outgoing and progressive.|
|Dragon||Earth||Grow and development, nurturing environment||Supportive and loyal, not like rush in doing things, patient and steady.|
|Snake||Fire||Fire, heat and represents the season of summer.||Leaders, and to makes others to follow, not like rules.|
|Horse||Fire||Fire, heat and represents the season of summer.||Leaders, and to make others to follow, not like rules.|
|Goat||Earth||Grow and development, nurturing environment.||Supportive and loyal, not like rush in doing things, patient and steady.|
|Monkey||Mental||Strength, solidity and the ability, represents the season of autumn.||Strong, dogmatic and resolute, good organizers, independent, serious but inflexibility.|
|Rooster||Mental||Strength, solidity and the ability, represents the season of autumn.||Strong, dogmatic and resolute, good organizers, independent, serious but inflexibility.|
|Dog||Earth||Grow and development, nurturing environment.||Supportive and loyal, not like rush in doing things, patient and steady.|
|Pig||Water||Inner self, art and beauty, it represents the season of winter.||Communicate well, diplomatic and persuasive, flexible and adaptable.|
Chinese Zodiac Compatibility
Chinese people associate each animal with certain characteristics. It’s believed that people born in a given year have the personality of that year’s animal. Some signs are perfect matches while some are less compatible or even born opponents.
Best Matches for 12 Signs:
|Sign||Best Matches||Sign||Best Matches|
|Rat||Ox, Dragon, Rabbit||Ox||Rat, Monkey, Rooster|
|Tiger||Dragon, Horse, Pig||Rabbit||Rat, Goat, Monkey, Dog, Pig|
|Dragon||Rat, Tiger or Snake||Snake||Dragon, Rooster|
|Horse||Goat, Tiger||Goat||Rabbit, Horse, Pig|
|Monkey||Ox, Rabbit||Rooster||Ox, Snake|
|Dog||Rabbit||Pig||Goat, Tiger, Rabbit|
Ben Ming Nian (Zodiac Year of Birth)
Ben Ming Nian (Zodiac Year of Birth) is the animal year when a person was born. As the Chinese zodiac recurs every 12 years, the animal year will come around when you are 12, 24, 36, 48, 60, 72, 84, etc. According to ancient Chinese superstition, people in their own Ben Ming Nian may offend “Taisui”, also called the God of Age, so they will have bad luck during that year, such as such as sickness, economic loss, physical injuries and obstacles in career.
However, there are some effective ways to reduce the influence of misfortune. The most popular method is to wear red underwear, socks or belts, as red is believed to bring good luck. Some jewelry accessories may also help, such as pendants and bracelets with auspicious images.
Chinese Zodiac Hours
In ancient times, people divided the day into 12 2-hour period in order to tell time and designated an animal to represent each period according to each animal’s “special time” according to ancient
memory and common observation.
|Rat||Zi Shi(子时): 11pm-1am||Rats forage most actively.|
|Ox||Chou Shi(丑时): 1am-3am||Oxen chew the cud most comfortably.|
|Tiger||Yin Shi(寅时): 3am-5am||Tigers hunt most ferociously.|
|Rabbit||Mao Shi(卯时): 5am-7am||Rabbits pound the ground most fervently.|
|Dragon||Chen Shi(辰时): 7am-9am||Dragons hover most thickly.|
|Snake||Si Shi(巳时): 9am-11am||Snakes emerge most readily.|
|Horse||Wu Shi(午时): 11am-1pm||Horses stand most impressively.|
|Goat||Wei Shi(未时): 1pm-3pm||Goats eat and urinate most frequently.|
|Monkey||Shen Shi(申时): 3pm-5pm||Monkeys play most vigorously.|
|Rooster||You Shi(酉时): 5pm-7pm||Roosters return to their coops most routinely.|
|Dog||Xu Shi(戊时): 7pm-9pm||Dogs guard most dutifully.|
|Pig||Hai Shi(亥时): 9pm-11pm||Pigs snuffle most sweetly.|
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