The Chinese zodiac is based on your birth year. Each year is assigned an animal to represent the traits and characteristics of people born in that particular year. Additionally, each sign corresponds with one of the five Chinese astrology elements: wood, earth, fire, water or metal. These elements are cyclical, meaning that they correspond to different animals every 12 years. Each 12-year cycle begins with the Rat, and the next one starts in 2024.
You can find your zodiac birth animal by checking the table below. However, if you were born in January or February, it’s best to use an online calculator because the Chinese New Year is variable as it is based on the lunar cycle.
Chinese Zodiac Animal Sign Characteristics:
The rat is hard-working and focused. She is sociable, community-spirited and easy to get along with. She is charming and funny but may not divulge her deepest secrets. Therefore, you may think she is shallow. Don’t be fooled – she is not. Ratty likes to make nests, so has a tendency to hoard. However, to counteract that tendency, she is also very organized.
Rat Correspondences: Sagittarius, Water
There’s no doubt; the Ox is in charge in most situations. Strong-willed to the point of sheer obstinacy, the Ox cannot be challenged. He makes the decisions and sets the boundaries. In the Ox household, bills are paid on time, and the children are well-behaved. The glue that holds them together is the loyalty instilled by the family Ox.
Ox Correspondences: Capricorn, Earth
The Tiger has her ups and downs. Generally a cheerful optimist, she can be a little on the moody side some of the time and a bit of a risk-taker at others. Tiger enjoys looking her best, enjoys being the center of attention and can be a bit of a drama queen.
Tiger Correspondences: Aquarius, Wood
Rabbit gets on well with everyone. He is tactful, light-hearted and pleasant to have around. He can sometimes be a little ‘full of himself’ as he considers himself to be an arbiter of good taste. Nevertheless, he is entertaining and chatty, so you’ll always be in good company with a Rabbit.
Rabbit Correspondences: Pisces, Wood
Dragon is enigmatic. She tends to keep herself to herself. She is extremely motivated and keen to prove she is capable of anything she sets her mind to. She makes her own opportunities rather than wait for someone to provide them. She can be a little bossy – things must be done the way she would like them done.
Dragon Correspondences: Aries, Earth
Horse can’t be corralled and enclosed. He must have room to breathe. Freedom is vital to Horse so you must give him plenty of space. If you can do that, he’ll be a loyal companion. He is quite vain, enjoys a good prance and the chance to show off. He’ll give his full attention to any challenge and work until the job is done.
Horse Correspondences: Gemini, Fire
Snake is ingenious. She won’t make up her mind until she has all the facts. She plays her cards close to her chest and doesn’t indulge in idle gossip – unless it helps her in some way. Snake is a good listener but is sure that she is filing away every nugget of information for future use. Don’t expect Snake to share her secrets; they are hers and hers alone.
Snake Correspondences: Taurus, Fire
Sheep is a good friend, although he gets down in the dumps quite frequently. He’s a bit sensitive and doesn’t enjoy conflict in any shape or form. Gentleness is the main characteristic of Sheep. They are happiest in an unchanging environment. Thus, Sheep will tend to stick to the same job all their lives. Don’t criticize or tease him; he hates it and will brood over your words for days. If you need someone to listen, then Sheep is the one to spill your heart out to.
Sheep Correspondences: Cancer, Earth
Monkey runs on high energy. She is either full on or asleep. Nothing seems to slow her down. She can be a bit selfish and over-competitive, but that is just her nature. Always willing to take on a challenge, learn a new skill, or be the first to volunteer. She likes to stand out from the crowd. Be sure of your Monkey before you divulge your feelings – she can be heartless at times.
Monkey Correspondences: Leo, Metal
Rooster is so sure of himself. He is the star of the show; he struts around like he owns the place; that’s because he probably does. He knows what he likes, and he’s not afraid to share his opinions with anyone. It’s either right or wrong according to Rooster – there’s no in between. You won’t find him sitting on the fence. Rooster is highly organized and won’t let you down.
Rooster Correspondences: Virgo, Metal
Dog is a lovely companion. She is ultra-loyal, eager to make her friends happy and usually very sweet-tempered. She is always trustworthy, always reliable. However, don’t push Dog, she has teeth and claws and will use them when necessary. On the whole, Dog is one of the most pleasant characters of the Chinese zodiac.
Dog Correspondences: Libra, Earth
Pig is lovely. He is always open and honest, cares about his family and friends and will always take care of you. Don’t take your Pig for granted. Pigs are generous to a fault, so usually don’t have much in the way of wealth and possessions. Because they are so warm-hearted, they can be taken advantage of, so look out for your Pig and don’t let him get into trouble.
Pig Correspondences: Scorpio, Water