Find Your Chinese Zodiac Sign

Year of the Snake
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The Chinese mark each year with a corresponding animal, each of which are the 12 animals in the Chinese Zodiac. The animals rotate in an order based on the legend surrounding that animal. Here's what you should know if you're interested in learning more about the Chinese zodiac and want to find out your sign.

The Legend of the Chinese Zodiac

There are several versions of the story of the origin of the Chinese zodiac.

One is that the Buddha often forgot his age, and so to make it easier to calculate his age, he selected 12 animals to represent each year. According to the story, he invited all the animals of the world to gather at a certain place, some say a banquet, at a certain time. The first 12 to arrive were to be rewarded with a year named after each one.

The night before the meeting, the cat and the rat agreed to wake each other up to begin the journey together. However, the rat didn’t keep his promise and the cat overslept. By the time the cat arrived, the meeting was already over. The other animals took their time making it to the venue , except the ox, who knew he was a much slower walker so he began the journey the night before.

The ox walked all night but he was unaware that the rat had been riding on his head the entire journey. Just before the ox arrived, the rat jumped over him and took the first spot in the zodiac.

Some versions of the story have the rat climbing on the ox just before crossing a river and then jumping to the finish line. The rest of the animals arrived in the following order: tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, goat, monkey, rooster, dog, and pig.

The Chinese Zodiac Today

At first, the Chinese zodiac was used as a convenient way to count the years and keep track of one’s age.

During the Eastern Zhou Dynasty, the 12 animals were linked to the year of a person’s birth. Then and today, when a Chinese baby is born, his or her animal sign is said to reveal his or her character. A person's Chinese zodiac sign is also used to figure out his or her fortune. Marriage partners' compatibility is also determined by their animal signs.

Find Your Animal Sign

So what's your sign? Here's how birth years correspond to Chinese zodiac signs:

  • Rat: 2008, 1996, 1984, 1972, 1960
  • Ox: 2009, 1997, 1985, 1973, 1961
  • Tiger: 2010, 1998, 1986, 1974, 1962
  • Rabbit: 2011, 1999, 1987, 1975, 1963
  • Dragon: 2012, 2000, 1988, 1976, 1964
  • Snake: 2013, 2001, 1989, 1977, 1965
  • Horse: 2014, 2002, 1990, 1978, 1966
  • Goat: 2015, 2003, 1991, 1979, 1967
  • Monkey: 2016, 2004, 1992, 1980, 1968
  • Rooster: 2017, 2005, 1993, 1981, 1969
  • Dog: 2018, 2006, 1994, 1982, 1970
  • Pig: 2019, 2007, 1995, 1983, 1971

For more information about the Chinese zodiac, check out these helpful resources:

The Chinese Zodiac in Mandarin

The Origins of the Chinese Zodiac

Sources:

Chinese Zodiac, 12 Chinese Zodiac Animals, Find Your ... (n.d.). Retrieved October 21, 2016, from http://www.chinahighlights.com/travelguide/chinese-zodiac/