Some say that zodiac signs determine your fortune for the year, including career plan, marriage compatibility, love prospects, and so much more. The Chinese Zodiac signs form a recurring 12-year cycle, and each year is represented by one of 12 animals. The respective animal’s personality is said to complement the nature of the person born in that year. Do you know your Chinese Zodiac sign? Let’s find out!

 

The Heavenly Gate Lore

 

Depiction of the Jade Emperor

A long time ago, the Jade Emperor (or the Lord Buddha in some versions) wanted to select 12 animals to be his guards. Therefore, he sent an immortal being into humanity’s world to spread the message. He ordered that animals would be designated as calendar signs and the twelve that entered the Heavenly Gate would be selected according to the order of their arrival in a Great Race.

Early Risers: Quick-Witted Rat and Diligent Ox

The next morning, animals set off towards the Heavenly Gate. The Rat got up early, and on his way to the gate, he came across a river. He stopped there due to the swift current. After waiting for a long time, Rat noticed Ox about to cross the river and swiftly jumped into Ox’s ear.

The diligent Ox did not mind at all and just continued. After crossing the river, he ran towards the palace of the Jade Emperor. Suddenly, the Rat leaped from Ox’s back, passing the finish line first and dashed straight away to the feet of the Emperor. Rat won first place, and Ox was declared second.

Competitive and Fast: Tiger and Rabbit

Tiger and Rabbit came third and fourth in the race because both are fast and competitive. Tiger was faster, as Rabbit crossed the river by hopping on stepping stones and a floating log.

Good-Looking Dragon and Crafty Snake

Dragon was fifth and was immediately noticed by the Jade Emperor, who said Dragon’s son could be sixth. But Dragon’s son didn’t come with him that day. Just then, Snake came forward and said Dragon was his adoptive father, making Snake sixth.

Kind and Modest Horse and Sheep

Horse and Sheep arrived. They were courteous and modest, and each let the other go first. The Jade Emperor saw how polite they were and ranked them seventh and eighth respectively.

Jumping Monkey

Monkey had fallen well behind. However, Monkey jumped between trees and stones and caught up, placing ninth. Last in the race was Rooster, Dog, and Pig holding the tenth, eleventh and twelfth positions respectively.

These 12 animals became guardians of the Heavenly Gate, and so concluded the Great Race.

 

What does Your Zodiac Say About You?

Chinese astrologers believe that an individual born in a particular year will have specific characteristics, matching them to the animal which represents these characteristics best.  Along with years, these animal signs are also assigned to hours, days and months. According to these astrologers, a person’s future, present, and past could be defined using these aspects, and their future and personal characteristics could also be provided with accurate and powerful predictions. Scroll down to learn about yours.

If your birthday falls between January and February, you need to check if your zodiac is actually in the year before. This is because the Chinese Zodiac years follows the Lunar Calendar, not the Gregorian Calendar. For example, if your birthday is January 31st, 1969, you would be a Monkey as opposed to a Rooster.

Gold Chinese Zodiac wheel against red background.

RAT – Creative yet Ambitious

General Years: 1924, 1936, 1948, 1960, 1972, 1984, 1996, 2008

Birthstones: Emerald, Garnet

You are amiable and social amongst your peers. You are generous towards those you love and honest with your emotions. However, you are generally known to be greedy and uptight with your wealth. You also have high anxiety, which could make you come across as inflexible.

In romantic relationships, you are sentimental and respectful towards your partner. You cherish your partner, as you recognize that relationships take work to sustain. You are most compatible with Dragons and Monkeys.

OX – Strong and Independent

General Years: 1925, 1937, 1949, 1961, 1973, 1985, 1997, 2009

Birthstones: Lapis Lazuli, Aquamarine

You are loyal to the ones you love, and a great leader to both families and businesses. You have high stamina and strength, making you very intimidating to your competitors. However, you can be seen as stubborn and uncompassionate to your peers.

In romantic relationships, you are often unaffectionate and slow to open to others. However, once you have settled down with your partner, you become incredibly loyal to your loved one. You are most compatible with Roosters and Snakes.

TIGER – Sensitive yet Energetic

General Years: 1926, 1938, 1950, 1962, 1974, 1986, 1998, 2010

Birthstones: Ruby, Sapphire

You are extravagant and passionate. You also protect those closest to you, and you are a rebellious soul. But, you come across as attention-seeking and impulsive when living life.

In romantic relationships, you are adventurous and unafraid to try new things. However, you can be moody as a partner. You are most compatible with Horses and Dogs.

RABBIT – Sentimental and Lucky

General Years: 1927, 1939, 1951, 1963, 1975, 1987, 1999, 2011

Birthstones: Sapphire, Pearl

You are the luckiest of all zodiac signs. You are charming and sympathetic, attracting many towards you. You try to uphold peace and are detail oriented in your work. However, you are generally demanding and egotistical, for you know how to get what you want.

As a romantic partner, you tend to be distant and secretive. You also need to be pampered in relationships, and you are compatible with Pigs and Sheep.

DRAGON – Fun and Majestic

General Years: 1928, 1940, 1952, 1964, 1976, 1988, 2000, 2012

Birthstones: Ruby, Amethyst

You are larger than life and known for your old soul. You are courageous as you always stand up for what’s right and what’s fair. However, you can come off too strong and even brutish as you let your passions take over.

As a romantic partner, you are expressive and fiercely loyal. You are compatible with Rats and Monkeys.

SNAKE – Mysterious but Funny

General Years: 1929, 1941, 1953, 1965, 1977, 1989, 2001, 2013

Birthstone: Opal

You are emotional and secretive. You are loyal to those you love most and are a deep thinker when it comes to life. However, you are easily misunderstood as you tend to be ruthless in getting what you want.

In romantic relationships, you have the innate ability to please your partner. You are extremely comfortable with your sexuality. You are most compatible with Oxes and Roosters.

HORSE – Self-Sufficient and Warm

General Years: 1930, 1942, 1954, 1966, 1978, 1990, 2002, 2014

Birthstone: Topaz

You are free-spirited and intelligent. You are open-minded to difference and work hard for everything in life. However, you are known to be fickle and only be close to those near you. You are hot-headed, making it difficult to let you be close to people.

In romantic relationships, you are very passionate. However, you are impatient for results, so you would often make assumptions. You are most compatible with Dogs and Tigers.

SHEEP – Gentle yet Strong

Some traditional sources identify Sheep as Goat.

General Years: 1931, 1943, 1955, 1967, 1979, 1991, 2003, 2015

Birthstones: Sapphire, Emerald

You are extremely loving and have the purest heart of all the zodiac signs. You are protective of the things you love and you are compassionate for those who need you. However, you are pessimistic and shy, making it hard to get close to you.

In relationships, you are confident and needs a patient partner to help you blossom. However, you are exceptionally romantic and expressive. You are most compatible with Rabbits and Pigs.

MONKEY – Charming and Intelligent

General Years: 1932, 1944, 1956, 1968, 1980, 1992, 2004, 2016

Birthstones: Tiger’s Eye, Peridot

You have a business-oriented mind as you are extremely charming to your peers. You are funny to be around, and you are extremely self-aware. However, you are generally known as crafty and egotistical.

In romantic relationships, you are adventurous; you are comfortable with exploring your sexuality. You are most compatible with Rats and Dragons.

ROOSTER – Progressive and Successful

General Years: 1933, 1945, 1957, 1969, 1981, 1993, 2005, 2017

Birthstones: Citrine, Topaz

You are extremely extravagant and spoil those closest to you. You are resourceful and brave, making you a great person to be around. You dream big! However, you are hypercritical with those around you, which can come across as attention seeking.

In romantic relationships, you are very dominating. However, you are extremely loving and most compatible with Snakes and Oxes.

DOG – Faithful and Altruistic

General years: 1934, 1946, 1958, 1970, 1982, 1994, 2006, 2018

Birthstones: Ruby, Diamond

You are extremely trustworthy amongst your peers. You are courageous and a generous person. You are also the most observant of the zodiacs as well. However, you can come across too strong, which leads to barriers that feed into your pessimism.

As a romantic partner, you are sensitive and reliable towards your partner. You are most compatible with Tigers and Horses.

PIG – Kind and Persevering

Some traditional sources identify Pig as Boar.

General Years: 1935, 1947, 1959, 1971, 1983, 1995, 2007, 2019

Birthstones: Moonstone, Ruby

You are strong and optimistic. In fact, you’re everyone’s best friend as you are extremely mellow and easy-going. However, you are quick-tempered and can be known for your greed.

In romantic relationships, you are affectionate towards your partner. You are also comfortable with exploring your sexuality. You are most compatible with Sheep and Rabbits.

 

Traditions with Gifts

Although each zodiac animal has their birthstone(s), traditional Chinese culture believes that gifting the zodiac animal in gold or jade is considered luckier than a birthstone. Jade represents wisdom, good fortune, and wealth. Gold represents luck in general. When a child is born, they would be gifted a golden necklace of their zodiac animal by their parents.

Your most unlucky year is your zodiac year! For instance, if you were born in the Year of the Pig, your unfortunate years would be any year that falls on the Year of the Pig. During that year, Chinese traditions encourage people to hang their birth zodiac necklace above their bed headset to encourage blessings for better luck that year. Moreover, some people would tie a red string around their wrists or ankles for good luck. These red strings would be knotted and should not be cut off, lest the blessing lose their potency.

The Chinese Zodiac is one of the several fortune prediction methods employed by the Chinese. Even though it is an ancient practice, it continues to be a powerful tool in the art of Feng Shui and Chinese astrology.

 

What does your Chinese Zodiac say about you? Let us know in the comments below.