Are You Yin or Yang, Light or Dark?

Graphic rendering of two faces in profile and a yin/yang symbol in-between.


Each person is classified as yin or yang based on one of the five elements, depending on your year of birth. The strength of your yin or yang nature also depends on the day of the year you are born, as different elements are stronger in different seasons.

Yin and Yang by Chinese Zodiac Sign

Your Chinese zodiac sign depends on the year of your birth. The years do not completely correspond with Western years, as the year starts on a day other than January 1. If you are born in January or February, you may be under the sign for the previous year.

While the animal assigned to each year has an associated element, the years themselves are ascribed being yin or yang in alternating order. Years ending in an even number are yang and those ending in an odd number are yin (keeping in mind that the year doesn't begin January 1, but rather sometime between January 20 to February 21, depending on the lunar calendar).

The cycle repeats every 60 years. It is the combination of your birth year, its assigned animal, element, and whether it is a yin or yang year that determines which years may bring good or bad fortune, and to what degree.

Consulting a fortune teller or a yearly Chinese almanac can help you find out if you are yin or yang, but you can also figure it out based on certain traits.

By Season

The cold seasons of fall and winter are the yin seasons and are designated as feminine. The hot seasons of spring and summer are the yang seasons, designated as masculine.

Yin and Yang Personalities

Moving beyond Chinese astrology, you will find many personality quizzes online to categorize yourself as yin or yang independent of your birth date and year. These quizzes may be taken for entertainment or to confirm personality traits you believe that you have. As is typical, the results are often written in a general way so that no matter what result you get, you will think it applies very well to you. Take such quizzes with a grain of salt.

Yin is the dark half of the yin and yang symbol. It means the shady place, and it is cold, wet, yielding, passive, slow, and feminine. Metal and water traits are assigned to yin.

Yang is the light half of the symbol and it means the sunny place. It is hot, dry, active, focused, and masculine. Wood and fire traits are assigned to yang.

Note that yin and yang are not exclusive. They are meant to interplay and be complementary, not separate. They are not regarded as immutable. They are interdependent and constantly transforming into each other. A little of each is present in the other, as represented by the alternate color dot in the center of each.

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Your Citation
Mack, Lauren. "Are You Yin or Yang, Light or Dark?" ThoughtCo, Aug. 25, 2020, Mack, Lauren. (2020, August 25). Are You Yin or Yang, Light or Dark? Retrieved from Mack, Lauren. "Are You Yin or Yang, Light or Dark?" ThoughtCo. (accessed March 22, 2023).