Chinese Zodiac: What Is My Chinese Zodiac And Who Is Most Compatible With Me?
Written by Sally Guo Updated Sep. 26, 2022
Chinese zodiac (sheng xiao) includes a total of 12 animal signs. The animals are Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Goat, Monkey, Rooster, Dog, and Pig. They are used to tell the year. The signs change each lunar year on a rotating cycle, which can influence people’s compatibility, personality, and horoscope.
Chinese zodiac years begin and end at the Chinese New Year in January or February. 2023 is the year of the rabbit, lasting from Jan. 22, 2023, to Feb. 9, 2024.
What is My Chinese Zodiac Sign?
There are 12 signs in the Chinese zodiac. Every year has a zodiac animal sign. Your zodiac sign is decided by your birth year. For example, 1977 is the year of the Snake, if you were born in 1977, then your Chinese zodiac animal is Snake.
Chinese Zodiac Calculator
If you don't know your Chinese zodiac sign, use the Chinese Zodiac Signs Calculator to find out your zodiac sign.
In ancient times, the Chinese zodiac is a system to tell the year. Each year is represented by an animal. It is a recycling circle of 12 years. The Chinese zodiac year starts on the Chinese lunar New Year, which is about one or two months behind the Gregorian calendar.
How to be Lucky in Your Chinese Zodiac Years (Ben Ming Nian)
It is widely believed if the year is the same as your zodiac sign, you will be unlucky all year. Many Chinese people think one’s zodiac year is a hurdle to jump over. 2023 is the year of the rabbit, rabbits should particularly be careful.
The way to protect yourself from bad luck and evil spirits is to wear red things such as red underwear, and a red belt. etc. Even though it seems superstitious, Chinese people treat it as a real concern. That is the reason why you will see red things sold everywhere on the Chinese New Year market.
According to Chinese astrology, some of the Chinese zodiac signs are destined for good luck. They are Rat, Dragon, Pig, Ox, and Snakes.
Being quick-witted and smart, Rat men will usually have a great chance to marry a beautiful wife.
Dragon is the most powerful zodiac sign. People born in the year of the dragon are confident, so they are more likely to make great achievements in a career.
The pig is thought of as a lucky zodiac sign as it is the symbol of wealth, happiness, and honesty in Chinese culture.
Ox is the symbol of diligence. The ox zodiac sign is particularly blessed by God to get a prosperous fortune.
Snake is the enigmatic animal among the 12 Chinese zodiac signs. They like to work alone and to be quiet most of the time.
What Is the Unluckiest Chinese Zodiac Sign?
The Goat was generally thought to be the unluckiest sign in the Chinese zodiac. Maybe it’s because Empress Dowager Cixi’s zodiac sign is Goat, there is a popular saying that 90% of Goats are inadequate (十羊九不全) in Chinese folk.
It is thought that most people born in the year of the Goat are destined for bad luck. So many Chinese people would not want to have babies in the Goat years.
Chinese Zodiac Story
According to ancient records, the origins of the zodiac came from the “totems” of ancient tribes. Each tribe had its unique animal symbol as its protecting deity.
Legend gives another interesting explanation: the grand race. The race was organized by the King of Heaven who controlled all of the universes. These 12 animals won the race and thus were chosen as the zodiac year animals.
Why the little rat could be the first sign? Why the cat is not in the 12 zodiac sign? Read more on the Chinese zodiac story.
Chinese Zodiac Elements
Each zodiac year is associated with one of the five elements: wood, earth, fire, water, and metal.
For example, for the rabbit years, there are years of the wood rabbit, earth rabbit, water rabbit, and metal rabbit. 2023 is the year of the water rabbit. The next water rabbit will come in 60 years.
In ancient China, each day was divided into 12 two-hour periods. each period was represented by a zodiac animal by that animal's nature.
Many Chinese believe the hour of your birth is more important than the year you were born. Therefore, Chinese zodiac hours can be particularly informative when analyzing your personality and your destiny.
23:00 to 1:00
Rats are active during this time.
1:00 to 3:00
Oxen are used to grazing at night.
3:00 to 5:00
Tigers hunt prey.
5:00 to 7:00
Rabbits like to eat grass with the morning dew, as light emerges.
7:00 to 9:00
It's often foggy at this time, dragons would ride the clouds and mount the mists.
9:00 to 11:00
Snakes go out for food.
11:00 to 13:00
Wild horses like to run and neigh at noon.
13:00 to 15:00
This is the best time for goats to eat grass.
15:00 to 17:00
As sunset approaches, monkeys moan.
17:00 to 19:00
Roosters go back to their henhouses.
19:00 to 21:00
Dogs are responsible for guarding households at night.
21:00 to 23:00
Lazy pigs do nothing but eat and sleep, day and night.
Chinese Zodiac Significance
The history of the Chinese zodiac dates back to the Qin Dynasty (221-207 B.C), and it is officially recorded during the Han Dynasty (25-220 A.D).
The Chinese zodiac originated from the worship of animals. Many scholars think the zodiac signs came from the “totems” of ancient tribes. Each tribe had its unique animal symbol as its protecting deity.
Chinese zodiac culture is generally related to superstition. It combines traditional Chinese customs, philosophy, astrology, and numerology. The meaning of the zodiac symbolizes people’s good wishes. In ancient times, the Chinese zodiac was used to count years and hours, and guide people’s life.
Now, many people still believe in the zodiac and its prediction.