Personalities of the twelve Chinese zodiac animals can be just as diverse as our own Western zodiac, but if you are really interested, more research will be required as true Chinese astrology can get quite complicated (there are also animal signs assigned by month and hours of the day).
The Chinese Lunar Calendar is a system in which each year relates to certain animals and their particular characteristics over a 12-year cycle. The animal years work in a continuous cycle, starting with the Rat and ending with the Pig. Each zodiac animal rules once every twelve years, and each has their own personality.
The animal signs given by year (which is what is below) are supposed to represent the animal spirit others view you as having or how you present yourself. Just match up what year you were born in to the Chinese Lunar Calendar find out your animal. For example, if you were born in October 1976 then your animal is the dragon.
Note that the Chinese Lunar Calendar follows the cycles of the moon, and do not start until late January or middle February. Anyone born in those two months needs to consult more detailed charts and carefully check the dates of the Chinese year they were born in. Listed below are the zodiac animals that many people base their lives on; I hope you enjoy them.
Year of the Rat (1924, 1936, 1948, 1960, 1972, 1984, 1996, 2008, 2020, 2032)
You are intelligent and industrious, quick to spot potential and skilled at putting your ideas into effect. In your determination to see projects up and running you can appear to be over ambitious or even selfish. The Rat is very charismatic and usually a welcome addition to any party. You are fair in any dealings with others and expect the same in return, and are deeply hurt when you feel your trust has been abused. A frustrated Rat can become manipulative, ruthless, vindictive, and obstinate.
Year of the Ox (1925, 1937, 1949, 1961, 1973, 1985, 1997, 2009, 2021, 2033)
You have a quiet strength, sober intelligence, and can be trusted. The Ox is calm, hard working, and methodical and its fidelity can withstand any test. Some call you a born leader. You are impartial, but do not change your mind easily. Your ideas are built on firm ground and unlikely to be changed by fascinating but unrealistic schemes. You are well measured in your judgements and your logical approach often pays off. You are not extravagant and debt makes you nervous. When you are secure in your environment you are sociable and relaxed and well liked because of your patience and honesty. If betrayed, the Ox can play dirty.
Year of the Tiger (1926, 1938, 1950, 1962, 1974, 1986, 1998, 2010, 2022, 2034)
The Tiger enthusiastically seizes life with unpredictability and daring. It dislikes monotony and as a result can be reckless and impatient. Loves to lead, but hates to be led. The Tiger is definitely one of the most rebellious and quick tempered of the zodiac animals, but also sincere and affectionate. Very passionate, which often leads to a need to pour out its heart.
Year of the Rabbit (1927, 1939, 1951, 1963, 1975, 1987, 1999, 2011, 2023, 2035)
The Rabbit is loved for its elegant, calm, kindly, and good mannered nature. As a result, it can make a wonderful friend. You want to live in a calm, comfortable, and peaceful environment and as a result can be detached and indifferent. When faced with problems you tend to keep your thoughts to yourself, as you do not want to make demands or force your ideas on others. You are shy and have no desire to be in the spotlight.
Year of the Dragon (1928, 1940, 1952, 1964, 1976, 1988, 2000, 2012, 2024, 2036)
The Dragon is a flamboyant and eccentric person and it is unlikely you would escape unnoticed at a party. You are very energetic and self-assured and enjoy being the center of attention. You often step forward to solve problems with authority and dignity. You can become frustrated with others because they are not as skilled as you and are surprised when they cannot keep up. You give good criticism and suggestions but are sometimes arrogant when doing so.
Year of the Snake (1929, 1941, 1952, 1965, 1977, 1989, 2001, 2013, 2025, 2037)
The Snake is a deep thinker and stimulated by thoughtful debate and interesting conversation. You are sensual and elegant, but can also be possessive, cold, and suffocating. You are soft-spoken, secretive, and trust only your own judgments. You demand fidelity, but are not always faithful yourself.
Year of the Horse (1930, 1942, 1953, 1966, 1978, 1990, 2002, 2014, 2026, 2038)
You are energetic and lively both mentally and physically. The Horse is always on the move, but sociable and popular. You are a very articulate talker, but sometimes you talk too much and can't keep a secret. You thrive in a supporting environment and are easily flattered. The Horse can also be childish, rude, and stubborn.
Year of the Ram (1931, 1943, 1954, 1967, 1979, 1991, 2003, 2015, 2027, 2039)
The Ram is a considerate and understanding person and is troubled if it thinks it has hurt another. It is this gentle and compassionate side of your character that friends love. You like to wander and will happily set off on journeys to see the world. The simple things in life often give you the most pleasure. You are a peaceful person who tries to avoid conflict and often shuts down when confronted by it. Can be indecisive, pessimistic, and weak willed.
Year of the Monkey (1932, 1944, 1955, 1968, 1980, 1992, 2004, 2016, 2028, 2040)
The Monkey can solve problems easily and seems to be good at everything. It has a thirst for knowledge and an excellent memory. You are generally trustworthy and not likely to hurt others out of spite, but you won't let others get away with damaging your reputation. You can be competitive, vain, and egotistical.
Year of the Rooster (1933, 1945, 1956, 1969, 1981, 1993, 2005, 2017, 2029, 2041)
If you're searching for zodiac animals that take great interest in their appearance then the Rooster is who you are looking for, as it keeps itself very well groomed and well dressed. It is acute, organized, and decisive and can at times be brutally honest in its criticisms. This brutal honesty does not come from vindictiveness, however, as the Rooster believes honesty is the best policy. The Rooster has a strong independent spirit which makes it hard to accept advice, and tends to protect itself through humor and lively conversation.
Year of the Dog (1934, 1946, 1957, 1970, 1982, 1994, 2006, 2018, 2030, 2042)
The Dog has a loyal and honest nature and always willing to defend friends in trouble or fight for a just cause. Friends know that they can trust the Dog to keep a promise or stay calm in a crisis. The Dog has a strong sense of justice and fair play and as a result hates hypocrisy. Can be cynical, cold, and judgmental, especially if it feels cheated.
Year of the Pig (1935, 1947, 1958, 1971, 1983, 1995, 2007, 2019, 2031, 2042)
The Pig is honest, sociable, and peace-loving. It is a good person that can be trusted and sometimes be too trusting to the point of gullibility. Pig allows others their freedom of expression as he does not like arguments. Pig is not weak, however, and can become very defensive if necessary. Pig is generous to friends and is very sharing, but also pursues its own pleasures diligently
As you can see, the zodiac animals of the Chinese Lunar Calendar have a wide range of distinct personalities and traits. I hope this article has allowed you to peek into the world of Chinese astrology, if only a little, and you came away with a better understanding of the Chinese culture.
Photo by: JAKUB HALUN / Wikimedia Commons