Chinese Zodiac Signs Ultimate Guide

Are you interested in Chinese Zodiac Signs? Then this guide is for you! 

The practice of the Chinese horoscope is an ancient divination science that has been around for centuries. According to Chinese astrology, the year you were born has a profound effect on your life.

The Chinese zodiac signs are based on 12 animals. Your wealth, health, love, relationships, and career are largely influenced by the predominant animal at the time and year of your birth.

The Chinese horoscope animals appear in a certain order. The Rat is first, followed by Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Goat, Monkey, Rooster, Dog, and Pig/boar.

Your destiny and personality are influenced by the animal that controls your birth year. This means that you will exhibit the attributes of the animal that represents the year you were born.

This animal energizes, flavors, and boosts your character and destiny.

The word sheng xiao means zodiac signs in Chinese. Its literal meaning is ‘born resembling’. Each of the animals represents a year. Chinese astrology has a repeating cycle of 12 years.

For example, the year 1996 is the year of the Rat. Based on the 12-year repeating cycle, the next year of the Rat is 2008. After this, it recurs in 2020, and then 2032, and so forth and so on.

The cornerstone of Chinese astrology is wuxing, the science of divination. This includes the five elements (Wood, Metal, Water, Fire, and Earth), the cycles of time, Yin and Yang, and chi

This is a departure from Western astrology, which depends on the alignment of celestial bodies.

The zodiac sign for a certain year describes the personalities in general terms. It is a broad stroke that covers those born within the year.

However, a closer inspection of this stroke reveals finer details. Your zodiac sign does not only convey a general message, but also a message that is unique to you.

Sometimes, this message may contradict with your life’s circumstances. You may feel that the zodiac sign does not relate to you at all.

It’s for such reasons that you are advised not to overlook any aspect of your life. Horoscope readings are not cast in stone.

You need to examine the broader aspects of your life – even outside the zodiac signs – to determine the course of your life.

Your zodiac sign works best when you take care of all the other influences in your life.

Remember that you are unique. By taking all factors in your life into consideration, you can employ the Chinese zodiac sign to gain insight about yourself.

The Chinese horoscope will help you to understand the areas of your life that you could have otherwise just glossed over.


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What’s Your Zodiac Animal?

So, how can you tell your animal sign? Simple, just match the year you were born with the corresponding animal in the table given below.

In the procession of time, each year is associated with the zodiac animal and one of the five governing elements.

The table below indicated the ruling element and the most recent years corresponding to each Chinese zodiac sign:

  • Rat (Water): 1924 | 1936 | 1948 | 1960 | 1972 | 1984 | 1996 | 2008 | 2020
  • Ox (Earth): 1925 | 1937 | 1949 | 1961 | 1973 | 1985 | 1997 | 2009 | 2021
  • Tiger (Wood): 1926 | 1938 | 1950 | 1962 | 1974 | 1986 | 1998 | 2010 | 2022
  • Rabbit (Wood): 1927 | 1939 | 1951 | 1963 | 1975 | 1987 | 1999 | 2011 | 2023
  • Dragon (Earth): 1928 | 1940 | 1952 | 1964 | 1976 | 1988 | 2000 | 2012 | 2024
  • Snake (Fire): 1929 | 1941 | 1953 | 1965 | 1977 | 1989 | 2001 | 2013 | 2025
  • Horse (Fire): 1930 | 1942 | 1954 | 1966 | 1978 | 1990 | 2002 | 2014 | 2026
  • Goat (Earth): 1931 | 1943 | 1955 | 1967 | 1979 | 1991 | 2003 | 2015 | 2027
  • Monkey (Metal): 1932 | 1944 | 1956 | 1968 | 1980 | 1992 | 2004 | 2016 | 2028
  • Rooster (Metal): 1933 | 1945 | 1957 | 1969 | 1981 | 1993 | 2005 | 2017 | 2029
  • Dog (Earth): 1934 | 1946 | 1958 | 1970 | 1982 | 1994 | 2006 | 2018 | 2030
  • Pig (Water): 1935 | 1947 | 1959 | 1971 | 1983 | 1995 | 2007 | 2019 | 2031

What Does Your Zodiac Sign Say About You?

#1 – The Rat Chinese zodiac sign – 鼠 shǔ

The Rat appears first in the Chinese horoscope. Those born during the year of the Rat are greatly influenced by this animal.

Rats are perceptive animals. They are good leaders because of their propensity to make fair judgments.

Most people born under the Rat zodiac sign are successful and wealthy. They are smart, intelligent, and knowledgeable.

Rats are highly flexible and this can be seen in these people’s ability to fit in a variety of situations.

Their main weakness is that there are driven by the need to make loads of money. Their pursuit of more and more material acquisitions makes then seem intolerant and uncaring.

#2 – The Ox Chinese zodiac sign – 牛 niú

Bulls are industrious. They work hard to fulfill their promises. They make good leaders because of their ability to guide others.

Under their watch, targets and deadlines are met.

The main weakness of the Ox zodiac people is that they tend to over-work themselves. This may lead to issues of stress, anxiety, and depression.

#3 – The Tiger Chinese zodiac sign – 虎 hǔ

Those born under the Tiger zodiac sign are friendly. They have an irresistible charm. Also, they are confident and determined to achieve their goals.

The Tiger represents ambition. These people make great leaders and good life partners. They are driven by the need to protect the interests of their homes and those of their communities.

Their main drawback arises from their stubbornness. They are not ready to admit it when they are wrong.

They tend to create conflict with their loved ones and business partners due to their huge egos.

#4 – The Rabbit Chinese zodiac sign – 兔 tù

If you are a Rabbit, it means that you can make a great companion. People born under this sign are courteous.

They treat others with respect and dignity. Their friends can attest to their sincerity and honesty.

Their main shortcoming is that they are too conservative. This means that they are likely to miss many opportunities because of their unwillingness to change with the times.

#5 – The Dragon Chinese zodiac sign – 龙 long

Many Chinese consider giving birth to a boy child under the Dragon sign as a blessing from the gods. The Dragon zodiac sign is an indicator of good luck and prosperity.

Dragons are known for their energy. They are wise, confident, and smart. They are risk-takers. People born under this sign climb the ladder of success very fast.

They thrive in challenging environments.

However, this person needs to watch out lest they are perceived to be too arrogant and aggressive. They have a low threshold for tolerance.

#6 – The Snake Chinese zodiac sign – 蛇 shé

Snakes are known for their cunning nature. They are intelligent and shrewd. Those born under the Snake zodiac sign are good thinkers.

They are the problem-solvers in their communities.

These people can philosophically analyze any problem they are facing. In most cases, this problem happens to be a community issue.

They are adaptable. You see; snakes shed their skins when circumstances call for it. They renew and rejuvenate their looks in this manner.

The biggest weakness of these people is that they struggle with trust issues. They are prone to disappointing those who look up to them.

#7 – The Horse Chinese zodiac sign – 马 mǎ

Horses are performers. They naturally take to the stage. People born under the Horse zodiac sign are stars in the various fields.

You can’t fail to notice their robust energy. They are everywhere doing things that draw attention to themselves.

They have a great sense of humor. It’s no wonder that Horse zodiac people attract so many friends. But, herein lays their greatest weakness.

They come across as being immature and self-centered. They are driven by the need to attract more attention to themselves.

#8 – The Sheep / Goat Chinese zodiac sign – 羊 yang

The 8th zodiac sign is can be referred to as the Sheep or Goat, or Ram. People born under this sign are very sensitive.

They have razor-sharp instincts. They are quick to smell out danger.

Sheep people are calm. They prefer teamwork to doing things alone. They are good at achieving goals that call for teamwork.

Most of these natives are trendy. They like to spend money on the latest fashion items.

However, they need to watch out that they are not taken advantage of because of their innocence. They often come across as being too naïve.

At the same time, Sheep zodiac people tend to be extravagant. They spend too much on fashion items at the expense of other aspects of their lives.

#9 – The Monkey Chinese zodiac sign – 猴 hóu

Monkeys are very intelligent. They are witty, smart, and sharp. They are quick to learn new things. People born under this sign display many skills that they have acquired over time.

Also, these fellows pursue man hobbies and interests. Their lives are filled with exciting anecdotes and experiences.

They are very playful and naughty. This is their main weakness. They can’t seem to focus on any one thing for long.

They engage in practical pranks a lot. Although this does backfire at times, it creates fun in dull situations.

#10 – The Rooster Chinese zodiac sign – 鸡 jī

People born under the Rooster zodiac sign are good communicators. They are fond of telling narratives based on their experiences and encounters in life.

These people are great writers and renowned public speakers. If you were born under this sign, you just need to look deep within you to discover your hidden skills.

Apart from being an effective communicator, you are sincere, trustworthy, and faithful. It’s no wonder that you retain the friends you have made along the way.

As with all other signs, Rooster has its weaknesses. For example, they are egocentric. They want all the glory for themselves.

#11 – The Dog Chinese zodiac sign – 狗 gǒu

Dogs are good-natured. They are generous and kind. If you were born under this sign, you may have discovered that certain people never want to leave your side.

This is because you have a positive aura. You emit positive vibes, and people would like to be associated with you.

Dog people strive to create peace, calmness, and happiness in their lives.

Their main weakness is that they have poor communication skills. This arises from the fact that they are stubborn.

They want to feel in charge. They believe that they can never go wrong. This means that they are not ready to accept correction.

#12 – The Boar/Pig Chinese zodiac sign – 猪 zhū

The Boar or the Pig zodiac is the last sign in the Chinese horoscope. This does not make it any less important or influential.

People born under this sign seek peace. They are good negotiators, and they always try to settle for a win-win situation in any conflict.

They keep friends for long. This is mainly because they are faithful and honest. Pig people are much beloved because of their natural innocence.

However, these natives must take care that they are not taken advantage of. They are easily fooled.

Also, they need to tame their gluttonous nature. They need to understand that success is in moderation.

The Chinese Zodiac Rankings

Each of the 12 Chinese zodiac signs is named after an animal. These are Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Goat, Monkey, Rooster, Dog, and Boar.

Each of the animals has its prominent characteristics.

There are many legends about the origin of the Chinese zodiac signs.

Some of these legends have gained more traction than others. One of the more widely accepted versions relates to Buddha.

Legend has it that when Buddha was about to depart the earth, he asked all the animals to come and see him off.

However, not all animals made it. Only twelve arrived to bid him farewell. In a show of gratitude, he gave these animals a place of honor.

He honored them in the order of their appearance. This means that the Rat was the first animal to honor the summons, while the pig was the last.

Another legend that has gained traction is referred to as the Heavenly Gate Race. It has it that the Chinese Jade Emperor was at one time looking for animals to guard his heavenly palace.

He sent out word that he needed 12 of the best animals. Their competence would determine their ranking.

This would be based on how fast the animal got to the Heavenly Gate.

All the animals tried to outdo each other on this. The Rat managed to beat the others to the first position, while the Boar took the 12th position.

The animals that didn’t make it in the first 12 positions did not get ranked.

In this legend, special mention is given to the Cat. Why didn’t it make amongst the 12 honored guards?

The story has it that the Cat was duped by the Rat. For a long time, the Cat had been persecuting the Rat. When the race was announced, the Rat took it as an opportunity to get back at his adversary.

He duped the Cat into oversleeping on the day of the race. The cat couldn’t participate and was therefore amongst the animals that were not ranked.

According to the legend, this further explains why the Cat and the Rat are sworn enemies to date.

The Chinese horoscope features a cycle of 12 years, and each animal has a place of honor in this cycle.

The final version of the zodiac signs became universally accepted after many revisions by the ancient Chinese.

Each zodiac sign is based on the principle of yin and yang. This means that for every zodiac sign, there is another that complements it.

This, combined with the influence of the elements at play in your year of birth, determines the quality and wholeness of your life.

Over the ages, the practice of the Chinese horoscope has offered a unique insight into the mind, behavior, personality, and fate of humans.

It opens up our own understanding of what motivates us. By aligning your thinking, intentions, and actions with your zodiac reading, you can make extraordinary improvements in your life.


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What are the Five Chinese Zodiac Elements?

The word wuxing or Wu Xing is used in reference to the five elements. These are Wood (Mu), Earth (Tu), Fire (Huo), Water (Shui), and Metal (Jin).

These elements are also known as Five States of Change, Five Movements, Five Phrases or Five Steps. The notion behind the five elements is that everything in the world is made up of these elements.

They are responsible for cycles of time and the destiny of humans. This theory is deeply ingrained in traditional Chinese culture.

The five elements permeate the fields of Chinese traditional medicine, fortune-telling, and philosophy.

They have a strong influence on the Generating (Sheng) and the Controlling (ke) Cycles.

The Generating Cycle is also known as the Enhancing, Mothering, Endangering, Begetting, and Inter-promoting Cycle.

In this cycle, Wood burns to make Fire, which in turn creates Earth. Earth is the bearer of Metal, which controls the flow of water. Water is responsible for the growth of Wood.

The Controlling Cycle is also known as the Weakening, Inter-restraining, Overcoming, or Destructing Cycle.

In this cycle, Fire burns metal, which in turn chops wood. Wood splits Earth, which blocks or soaks up Water. In turn, Water controls Fire.

The Five elements have a major influence on people’s personalities. Your character and behavior are largely determined by the predominant element in the year of your birth.

The Wood element is associated with planners, idealists, sharp thinkers, and talented sportspeople. People under the influence of the Water element are flexible, sympathetic, and thorough.

The metal element infuses the qualities of organization, industriousness, persistence, and determination. The Earth element is associated with leadership, honesty, tolerance, and kindness.

The Fire element is the bringer of courage, resilience, passion, courage, and ambition.

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Chinese Zodiac Compatibility

Horoscope compatibility is of course of high interest to all of us. So without losing any time, let’s dig below right into the details, for each sign.

Rat Woman Compatibility

Ox Woman Compatibility

Tiger Woman Compatibility

Rabbit Woman Compatibility

Dragon Woman Compatibility

Snake Woman Compatibility

Horse Woman Compatibility

Goat Woman Compatibility

Monkey Woman Compatibility

Rooster Woman Compatibility

Dog Woman Compatibility

Pig Woman Compatibility


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The Chinese zodiac year may start on one of two dates. The first is the Chinese New Year – the first day of the lunar year.

This occurs in the period of 21st January and 20th February.

The second is the start of spring, which is day 1 of the Chinese solar year. This occurs somewhere in the period of 3rd and 5th February.

The ordinary Chinese starts the zodiac year in line with the lunar New Year.

However, Chinese astrologers and other such experts use the solar New Year (start of spring) as the start of the zodiac year.

The Chinese astrologers use this as their basis for predicting people’s fortune. Many factors are considered to make a good prediction.

For example, you have to consider palmistry, face characteristics, date of birth (month, day, and year), gender, and hour of birth.

In this way, you can get a good prediction of your relationships, love, money, health, wealth, and career.

Each of the 12 zodiac animals is assigned to hours, days of the week, and months. These factors are equally important in making a good prediction.

It reinforces the destiny and character analysis made using the year of birth and ruling element. By including as many elements as you can in making a prediction, the astrologer gets a better analysis.

If you want to uncover what has been encoded in your destiny when you were born, there’s a free, personalized numerology report you can grab here.