Chinese Zodiac

 

Zodiac Animal Signs and Dates of Birth

rat Rat ox Ox tiger Tiger
01/31/1900 - 02/18/1901
02/18/1912 - 02/05/1913
02/05/1924 - 01/24/1925
01/24/1936 - 02/10/1937
02/10/1948 - 01/28/1949
01/28/1960 - 02/14/1961
02/15/1972 - 02/02/1973
02/02/1984 - 02/19/1985
02/19/1996 - 02/06/1997
 

02/19/1901 - 02/07/1902
02/06/1913 - 01/25/1914
01/25/1925 - 02/12/1926
02/11/1937 - 01/30/1938
01/29/1949 - 02/16/1950
02/15/1961 - 02/04/1962
02/03/1973 - 01/22/1974
02/20/1985 - 02/08/1986
02/07/1997 - 01/27/1998
 

02/08/1902 - 01/28/1903
01/26/1914 - 02/13/1915
02/13/1926 - 02/01/1927
01/31/1938 - 02/18/1939
02/17/1950 - 02/05/1951
02/05/1962 - 01/24/1963
01/23/1974 - 02/10/1975
02/09/1986 - 01/28/1987
01/28/1998 - 02/15/1999
 

rabbit Rabbit dragon Dragon snake Snake

01/29/1903 - 02/15/1904
02/14/1915 - 02/02/1916
02/02/1927 - 01/22/1928
02/19/1939 - 02/07/1940
02/06/1951 - 01/26/1952
01/25/1963 - 02/12/1964
02/11/1975 - 01/30/1976
01/29/1987 - 02/16/1988
02/16/1999 - 02/04/2000
 

02/16/1904 - 02/03/1905
02/03/1916 - 01/22/1917
01/23/1928 - 02/09/1929
02/08/1940 - 01/26/1941
01/27/1952 - 02/13/1953
02/13/1964 - 02/01/1965
01/31/1976 - 02/17/1977
02/17/1988 - 02/05/1989
02/05/2000 - 01/23/2001
 

02/04/1905 - 01/24/1906
01/23/1917 - 02/10/1918
02/10/1929 - 01/29/1930
01/27/1941 - 02/14/1942
02/14/1953 - 02/02/1954
02/02/1965 - 01/20/1966
02/18/1977 - 02/06/1978
02/06/1989 - 01/26/1990
01/24/2001 - 02/11/2002
 

horse Horse sheep Sheep monkey Monkey

01/25/1906 - 02/12/1907
02/11/1918 - 01/31/1919
01/30/1930 - 02/16/1931
02/15/1942 - 02/04/1943
02/03/1954 - 01/23/1955
01/21/1966 - 02/08/1967
02/07/1978 - 01/27/1979
01/27/1990 - 02/14/1991
02/12/2002 - 01/31/2003
 

02/13/1907 - 02/01/1908
02/01/1919 - 02/19/1920
02/17/1931 - 02/05/1932
02/05/1943 - 01/24/1944
01/24/1955 - 02/11/1956
02/09/1967 - 01/29/1968
01/28/1979 - 02/15/1980
02/15/1991 - 02/03/1992
02/01/2003 - 01/21/2004
 

02/02/1908 - 01/21/1909
02/20/1920 - 02/07/1921
02/06/1932 - 01/25/1933
01/25/1944 - 02/12/1945
02/12/1956 - 01/30/1957
01/30/1968 - 02/16/1969
02/16/1980 - 02/04/1981
02/04/1992 - 01/22/1993
01/22/2004 - 02/08/2006
 
rooster Rooster dog Dog boar Boar
01/22/1909 - 02/09/1910
02/08/1921 - 01/27/1922
01/26/1933 - 02/13/1934
02/13/1945 - 02/01/1946
01/31/1957 - 02/17/1958
02/17/1969 - 02/05/1970
02/05/1981 - 01/24/1982
01/23/1993 - 02/09/1994
 

02/10/1910 - 01/29/1911
01/28/1922 - 02/15/1923
02/14/1934 - 02/03/1935
02/02/1946 - 01/21/1947
02/18/1958 - 02/07/1959
02/06/1970 - 01/26/1971
01/25/1982 - 02/12/1983
02/10/1994 - 01/30/1995
 

01/30/1911 - 02/17/1912
02/16/1923 - 02/04/1924
02/04/1935 - 01/23/1936
01/22/1947 - 02/09/1948
02/08/1959 - 01/27/1960
01/27/1971 - 02/14/1972
02/13/1983 - 02/01/1984
01/31/1995 - 02/18/1996
 


 


 

Origin of Chinese Zodiac

In ancient times, our ancestors counted the years with 10 celestial stems and 12 terrestrial branches. Although this was scientific, most people were illiterate and could not memorize or calculate easily. Thus the animals that influenced people's lives were chosen to symbolize the terrestrial branches: the rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, sheep, monkey, rooster, dog and pig.

Legend has it that one day the gods ordered that animals be designated as the signs of each year with the twelve who arrived first selected. At that time, the cat and mouse were good friends and neighbors. When they heard of this news, the cat said to mouse: 'We should arrive early to sign up, but I usually get up late.' The mouse then promised to awaken his friend and to go together. However, on the morning when he got up, he was too excited to recall his promise, and went directly to the gathering place. On the way, the mouse encountered the tiger, ox, horse, and other animals that ran much faster. In order not to fall behind them, he thought up a good idea. He made the straightforward ox carry him on condition that he sang for the ox. The ox and mouse arrived first. The ox was happy thinking that he would be the first sign of the years, but the mouse had already slid in front, and became the first lucky animal of the Chinese zodiac. Meanwhile his neighbor the cat was too late; when it finally arrived, the selections were over. That's why other animals appear behind the little mouse and why the cat hates mice so much that every time they meet, the cat will chase and kill the mouse.

It is also said that this order of the zodiac originated in the Han Dynasty (206 - 220) according to the 12 time periods of a day:

The first period is from 11 p.m. to 1 a.m., the time rats actively seek food;
The second one is from 1 to 3 a.m., a time that oxen regurgitate;
From 3 to 5 a.m. tigers hunt prey and display their fiercest nature;
From 5 to 7 a.m., based on tales, the jade rabbit on the moon was busy pounding medicinal herb with a pestle;
From 7 to 9 a.m. dragons were said to hover in the sky to give people rainfall;
From 9 to 11 a.m. snakes start to leave their burrows;
From 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. the day is flourishing, as vigorous as an unconstrained horse;
From 1 to 3 p.m. it was said that if sheep ate grass at this time, they would grow stronger;
From 3 to 5 p.m. monkeys become lively;
From 5 to 7 p.m. roosters return to their roost as it is dark;
From 7 to 9 p.m. dogs begin to carry out their duty to guard entrances;
From 9 to 11 p.m. all is quiet and pigs are sleeping soundly.

For a long time there has been a special relationship between humans and the 12 zodiacal animals. Humans admired them, took them as totems, and in the artistic field, those animal signs were among the features of those themes. This can be reflected in artisans' paper-cut works, New-Year pictures, pottery and bronze wares, especially on the bronze mirrors before the appearance of glass ones, on which elaborate forms showed creativity and passion as well as wishes for a good life.


 

Character of Persons under Each Sign

 

 

Paper-cut Chinese zodiac – rat

Year of the Rat –1912, 1924, 1936, 1948, 1960, 1972, 1984, 1996, 2008, 2020, 2032, 2044

Though in people's eyes, the rat is not adorable, and even some Chinese sayings that related to it have almost derogatory meanings, it ranged as the head of the Chinese zodiac. It was recognized as an animal with spirit, wit, alertness, delicacy, flexibility and vitality.

People under this rat sign are usually smart and willing to accumulate wealth and to take efforts to be successful. Throughout their life, there will be many other people who can bring great fortune to them. Thus despite timidity, most of them are happy and harmonious with others.

People under the rat sign are usually smart and willing to accumulate wealth and to make efforts to be successful. Throughout their lives, there will be many other people who can bring great fortune to them. Thus despite timidity, most of them are happy and harmonious with others.

Best match: dragon, monkey, ox; Avoid: sheep, horse, rabbit, rooster

 

 

Paper-cut Chinese zodiac – ox

Year of the Ox - 1913, 1925, 1937, 1949, 1961, 1973, 1985, 1997, 2009, 2021, 2033, 2045

Ranked as the second zodiac, the ox has a large volume. In the life, people often used the ox to indicate something big or large in number. The ox is sedulous, simple, honest, and straightforward. Fractious people are said to have an 'oxen temper'.

People born in this year are probably honest, laborious, patient, obstinate, and poor at communication. Leaders in their career may not discover their abilities. In their old age, they would be bestowed with happiness. Women are usually good wives who pay attention to children's education, but are likely to believe others' cajolery, so should be cautious.

Best match: rat, snake, rooster; Avoid: dragon, horse, sheep, dog, rabbit

 

 

Paper-cut Chinese zodiac – tiger

Year of the Tiger - 1914, 1926, 1938, 1950, 1962, 1974, 1986, 1998, 2010, 2022, 2034, 2046

Tigers, considered to be brave, cruel, forceful and terrifying, are the symbol of power and lordliness. In ancient times, people usually compared emperors or grandees with the tiger. Court officials often said that 'accompanying the emperor is just like being at the side of a tiger'. There are also many legends on hunting tigers dealing with struggling against evil might.

People born in the year of the tiger are tolerant, staunch, valiant, and respected. In their middle age, their fate may be uneven, but afterwards will enjoy a bright prospect. Their shortcoming is to project themselves before others. But most women under the tiger sign are intelligent, faithful and virtuous.

Best match: horse, dog; avoid: snake, monkey

 

 

Paper-cut Chinese zodiac – rabbit

Year of the Rabbit - 1915, 1927, 1939, 1951, 1963, 1975, 1987, 1999, 2011, 2023, 2036, 2047

The rabbit has represented hope of the Chinese people for a long time. It is tender and lovely. The moon goddess Chang'e in Chinese legend had a rabbit as her pet, which stimulated the thought that only the rabbit was amiable enough to match her noble beauty. The Chinese character 'Tu' (rabbit) is part of 'Yi' (escape or leisure) indicating speed and distance. The Han people have a custom that a pregnant woman is not allowed to eat rabbit meat for fear that the child will be born with a harelip. The newborn is given paintings of children and rabbits representing that the child will have a peaceful and happy life.

People born under the sign of the rabbit are gentle, sensitive, modest, and merciful and have strong memory. They like to communicate with others in a humorous manner. They cannot bear dull life, so they are good at creating romantic or interesting spice. But they lack meditative abilities and often sink money into ideas that may cause failures in their career.

Best match: sheep, dog, pig; avoid: rat, ox, dragon, rooster, horse

 

 

Paper-cut Chinese zodiac –dragon

Year of the Dragon - 1916, 1928, 1940, 1952, 1964, 1976, 1988, 2000, 2012, 2024, 2036, 2048

The dragon enjoys a very high reputation in Chinese culture. It is the token of authority, dignity, honor, success, luck, and capacity. In ancient China, a dragon was thought to speed across the sky with divine power. Emperors entitled themselves exclusively as 'dragon'; their thrones were called 'dragon thrones', their clothes 'dragon gowns'.

People under the sign of the dragon are lively, energetic and fortunate. They often can be leaders and try to go for perfection. When they meet with difficulties, they are not discouraged. But they are a little arrogant, and impatient, and women are over- confident. If they overcome these defects, they can have a brighter future.

Best match: rat, monkey, rooster; avoid: dog, ox, dragon, rabbit

 

 

Paper-cut Chinese zodiac – snake

Year of the Snake - 1917, 1929, 1941, 1953, 1965, 1977, 1989, 2001, 2013, 2015, 2037, 2049

In the Chinese zodiac, snake is listed after the dragon, but its place and the significance as the symbol of worship is far behind the dragon's. The snake carries the meanings of malevolence, cattiness and mystery, as well as acumen, divination and the ability to distinguish herbs. In some places, people believe that a snake found in their court can bring delight. In Spring Festival, people like to paste onto their doors and windows the paper-cut 'Fu' character (happiness), combined with the snake twisting around a rabbit as a popular pattern indicating wealth.

People born in the year of the snake often have a good temper, a skill of communicating, and a gracious morality, but they are likely to be jealous and suspicious. They should be cautious about discussion with others, as that might cause them to lose friendship and opportunities. Women under the sign of the snake do well in housework but are irritable. They might gradually enjoy happiness in their old age.

Best match: ox, rooster; avoid: tiger, monkey, pig

 

 

Paper-cut Chinese zodiac – horse

Year of Horse - 1918, 1930, 1942, 1954,1966, 1978, 1990, 2002, 2014, 2026, 2038, 2050

The spirit of the horse is recognized to be the Chinese people's ethos – making unremitting efforts to improve themselves. It is energetic, bright, warm-hearted, intelligent and able. Ancient people liked to designate an able person as 'Qianli Ma' (a horse that covers a thousand li a day).

People born in the year of the horse have ingenious communicating techniques and in their community they always want to be in the limelight. They are active, clever, kind to others, and like to join in a venture career. They cannot bear too much constraint. However they are interested in only the superficial level of an object, neglecting the essence. Once they suffer from failure, they become pessimistic.

Best match: tiger, sheep, dog; Avoid: rat, ox, rabbit, horse

 

 

Paper-cut Chinese zodiac – sheep

Year of the Sheep - 1919, 1931, 1943, 1955, 1967, 1979, 1991, 2003, 2015, 2027, 2039, 2051

The sheep is among the animals that people like most. It is gentle and calm. Since ancient times, people have learned to use its fleece to make writing brushes and skin to keep warm. As it is white, people describe delicate and precious white jade to be 'suet jade'. Thus it is close to the meaning of good things.

People under the sign of the sheep are tender, polite, filial, clever, and kind-hearted. They have special sensitivity to art and beauty, faith in a certain religion and a special fondness for quiet living. They cope with business cautiously and circumspectly. In their daily life, they try to be economical. Women born in this year are willing to take good care of others, but they should avoid pessimism and hesitation.

Best match: rabbit, horse, pig; avoid: rat, ox, dog

 

 

Paper-cut Chinese zodiac - monkey

Year of the Monkey - 1920, 1932, 1944, 1956, 1968, 1980, 1992, 2004, 2016, 2028, 2040, 2052

The monkey is a clever animal. People used to compare it to a smart person. During the Spring and Autumn Period (770 BC – 476 BC), the dignified official title, marquis with the pronunciation 'Hou', was the same as the monkey's. The monkey was thereby bestowed with auspicious meaning. It appeared on pictures pasted on the walls and doors to predict good fortune in officialdom.

Most people born in the Year of the Monkey are lively, flexible, and versatile. They love moving and sports. To help others they put their own business aside. When communicating, they do not like to be controlled and have a strong desire to present themselves. In their work, they will show amazing creativity. If they are not impatient and mouthy, they can gain more achievement.

Best match: rat, dragon; avoid: tiger, snake, pig

 

 

Paper-cut Chinese zodiac – rooster

Year of the Rooster - 1921, 1933, 1945, 1957, 1969, 1981, 1993, 2006, 2017, 2029, 2041, 2053

The rooster is almost the epitome of fidelity and punctuality. For ancestors who had no alarm clocks, the rooster's crowing was significant, as it could awaken people to get up and start to work. Another symbolic meaning the rooster carries is exorcising evil spirits. People used to worship ancestors and believed in fortune telling for a long time.

Roosters are considered to be honest, bright, communicative, ambitious and warm-hearted. They might be enthusiastic about something quickly, but soon might be impassive. They have strong self-respect and seldom rely on others. As most roosters are born pretty or handsome, they might have several loves in their lives, treating each lover seriously. If they can overcome their arrogance, they will make more progress.

Best match: ox, dragon, snake; avoid: rooster, dog, rabbit

 

 

Paper-cut Chinese zodiac – dog

Year of the Dog - 1922, 1934, 1946, 1958, 1970, 1982, 1994, 2006, 2018, 2030, 2042, 2054

The dog is the human's friend who can understand the human's spirit and obey its master, whether he is wealthy or not. The Chinese regard the dog as an auspicious animal. If a dog happens to come to a house, usually the host will be very glad to adopt it, for it symbolizes the coming of fortune. Poodles, especially black poodles, bring more luck. The masters of dogs are not only humans, but the immortal in legends as well. The invincible God Erlang used a wolf-dog mix to help him capture monsters.

One born in the Year of Dog has a straightforward character. In their career and love, they are faithful, courageous, dexterous, smart and warm-hearted. Most women under this sign are appealing but lack stability. Correct this defect and good fortune will come to them.

Best match: tiger, rabbit, horse; avoid: ox, dragon, sheep, rooster

 

 

Paper-cut Chinese zodiac – pig

Year of the Pig - 1923, 1935, 1947, 1959, 1971, 1983, 1995, 2007, 2019, 2020, 2031, 2043

A pig is not as smart as a dog in understanding human thought. It likes sleeping and eating and becomes fat. Thus it usually features laziness and clumsiness. On the positive side, it behaves itself, has no calculation to harm others, and can bring affluence to people. Consequently, pigs were once regarded as wealth.

People born in the Year of the Pig are honest and frank. They have a calm appearance and strong heart, but they lack patience and independence. As they do not like to talk in a roundabout way, they are thought to be unsociable. Luckily, they are tolerant and optimistic, so not until they become your friends can their virtue, advantages and fidelity to friendship be found.

Best match: sheep, rabbit; avoid: snake, pig, monkey

 


 

Year of Birth (Benming Nian)

The distinctive zodiacal way of calculating years decides that every 12 years is a circulation. People will meet the year of their birth (Benming Nian) considered in relation to the 12 Terrestrial Branches which starts with the Chinese lunar New Year.

It is said that in one's year of birth, he will offend 'Taisui', a mysterious power or celestial body that could control people's fortune. That is, he will meet either exultation or misery during that year. The best way to avoid miserable events is to wear clothes, a waistband, or decorations such as a red bracelet and necklace as a talisman that must be purchased by others. If the person himself buys them, the function is greatly lessened.

This may be from Chinese people's special affection for red since the Han Dynasty (206 BC - 220). In the Han people's wedding ceremony, the bride was picked up by her bridegroom's red sedan, the new couple wore red clothes, and their rooms were decorated with red candles, red carpet and red lanterns. When an army won a battle, victory would be reported with a red flag; and when a candidate passed the imperial examination, he would wear red flowered clothes. Thus redness has become the token of festivities, success, bravery, rightness, and exorcism.

Currently there are new viewpoints about one's birth year and offending 'Taisui': there are just more and greater changes in the birth year than in other years, which are not always ominous. If he makes an effort, holds his belief firmly, and does not harm others, he will change his fate to predominance, so there is no need to be anxious.

 


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