Chinese New Year Zodiac Animals

One of the most important characteristics of Chinese New Year Calendar is that it names each of the twelve years after an animal.

Some say the Chinese zodiac animals derive from an ancient tale of Buddha holding a race and asking all the animals to participate before he departed from the earth. But only twelve animals came to offer him farewell and as a token Lord Buddha named a year after each of the twelve animals in the order they arrived. The 12 animals were given a place in the calendar. The Rat won by riding on the Ox’s back and the Pig came last because he stopped to have a meal.

The 12 animal signs in the Chinese zodiac are known to the Chinese as the Twelve Earthly Stems.

According to the popular Chinese myth the animal ruling the year in which a person is born tremendously influences his or her behavior and traits.

Are you a charming Snake, a witty Monkey or maybe a friendly Rabbit? Find out what Chinese zodiac animal you are and see what characteristics your sign gives you.

Chinese zodiac signs

Animal Characteristics Years
Rat intellectual, imaginative, charming 1924 1936 1948 1960
1972 1984 1996 2008
Ox honest, motivated, genuine 1925 1937 19491961
1973 1985 1997 2009
Tiger brave, unpredictable, resilient 1926 1938 1950 1962
1974 1986 1998 2010
Rabbit friendly, talented, calm 1927 1939 1951 1963
1975 1987 1999 2011
Dragon innovative, self-assured, passionate 1928 1940 1952 1964
1976 1988 2000 2012
Snake wise, intuitive, charming 1929 1941 1953 1965
1977 1989 2001 2013
Horse friendly, positive, sophisticated 1930 1942 1954 1966
1978 1990 2002 2014
Sheep artistic, elegant, kind 1931 1943 1955 1967
1979 1991 2003 2015
Monkey witty, clever, resourceful 1932 1944 1956 1968
1980 1992 2004 2016
Rooster hard-working, courageous, romantic 1933 1945 1957 1969
1981 1993 2005 2017
Dog loyal, compassionate, honest 1934 1946 1958 1970
1982 1994 2006 2018
Pig reliable, generous, devoted 1935 1947 1959 1971
1983 1995 2007 2019