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What is the Chinese Zodiac?

The Chinese zodiac comprises 12 animal signs: Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Sheep, Monkey, Rooster, Dog and Pig. It originates from ancient zoolatry and boasts a history of more than 2,000 years, it plays an essential role in Chinese culture. The 12 Chinese zodiac animals in a cycle are not only used to represent years in China, but are also believed to influence people’s personalities, career, compatibility, marriage, and fortune.

The mythology of the Chinese Zodiac

There are a couple of retellings of the Chinese zodiac story.

In one story, the Jade Emperor announces a race across a river. He proclaims that the calendar years would be named after the order of the animals that reach him at the heavenly gates.

In another story, Buddha invites the animals to a banquet. Thus the calendar years are named after the first twelve animals that reached him.

Year of the Tiger

Years: 1926, 1938, 1950, 1962, 1974, 1986, 1998, 2010, 2022, 2034

People born in the years of the Tiger are fiercely independent and possess strong self-esteem. They like to act alone and are not very gregarious. They are most likely optimistic and enthusiastic by nature, and always seem to have endless energy, especially at work. Their energetic presence and intense eyes are the greatest charms of Tiger natives. Their vitality is apparent to anyone at a glance, and people are instinctively drawn to this larger-than-life quality in them.

Year of the Rat

Years: 1924, 1936, 1948, 1960, 1972, 1984, 1996, 2008, 2020

Optimistic and energetic, people born in the Rat year are likeable by all. They are sensitive to others’ emotions. Their personality is bright and optimistic, which makes them adapt to changes in any environment and easily get help from others. The qualities of the people born in the Rat year also include savvy, quick-wit, positivity, intelligence and versatility.

Year of the Pig

Years: 1935, 1947, 1959, 1971, 1983, 1995, 2007, 2019, 2031

Pigs might not stand out in a crowd. But they are very realistic. They love entertainment and will occasionally treat themselves. They are a bit materialistic, but this is their motivation for them to work hard. Being able to hold solid objects in their hands gives them security. They are energetic and are always enthusiastic, even for boring jobs. If given the chance, they will take positions of power and status.