2007 Year of
Chinese Zodiac Background and Concept
Chinese animal signs (Chinese Zodiac) are a 12-year cycle used for dating the years. They represent a cyclical concept of
rather than the Western linear concept of time. The
Lunar Calendar is based on the cycles of the moon, and
constructed in a different fashion than the Western
calendar. In the Chinese calendar, the beginning of the
year falls somewhere between late January and early
The Chinese have adopted the Western calendar since
but the lunar calendar is still used for festive
such as the Chinese New Year. Many Chinese calendars
print both the solar dates and the Chinese lunar dates.
Chinese Zodiac Sign Background
In the United States, the years are dated from the birth
of Jesus Christ, for example, 1977 means 1,977 years
the birth of Christ. This represents a linear perception
of time, with time proceeding in a straight line from
past to the present and the future. In traditional
dating methods were cyclical, cyclical meaning something
that is repeated time after time according to a pattern.
A popular folk method which reflected this cyclical
of recording years are the Twelve Animal Signs. Every
is assigned an animal name or "sign" according to a
cycle: Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse,
Monkey, Rooster, Dog, and Boar. Therefore, every twelve
years the same animal name or "sign" would reappear.
A cultural sidelight of the animal signs
in Chinese folklore is that horoscopes
have developed around the animal signs, much like
horoscopes in the West have been developed for the
moon signs, Pisces, Aries, etc. For example, a Chinese
may predict that a person born in the Year of the Horse
would be, "cheerful, popular, and loves to compliment
These horoscopes are amusing, but not regarded seriously
by the Chinese people.
The animal signs also serve a useful
social function for finding out peopleís
ages. Instead of asking directly how old a person is,
often ask what is his or her animal sign. This would
that personís age within a cycle of 12 years, and with a
bit of common sense, we can deduce the exact age. More
though, people ask for animal signs not to compute a
exact numerical age, but to simply know who is older
friends and acquaintances.
According to Chinese legend, the twelve animals
one day as to who was to head the cycle of years. The
were asked to decide and they held a contest: whoever
to reach the opposite bank of the river would be first,
and the rest of the animals would receive their years
to their finish.
All the twelve animals gathered at the
river bank and jumped in.
Unknown to the ox, the rat had jumped upon his back. As
the ox was about
to jump ashore, the rat jumped off the ox's back, and
the race. The pig, who was very lazy, ended up last.
is why the rat is the first year of the animal cycle,
ox second, and the pig last.
Chinese Zodiac Chart
The rotating cycle of twelve animal signs was a folk
method for naming the
years in traditional China. The animal signs for one
in an established order, and are repeated every twelve
1976 was the year of the Dragon, and 1977 was the year
the Snake. 2005 is the year of the Rooster.
Born in 1912, 1924, 1936, 1948, 1960, 1972, 1984, 1996,
Rat was the first animal in the Chinese zodiac cycle. It
is usually considered aggressive, ambitious, suspicious,
power-hungry, honest, generous, quick to anger and prone
to spend freely. Those born under the sign of Rat are
imaginative, charming, and truly generous to the one
they love. However, they have a tendency to be
hot-tempered and overly critical. They are usually
suitable for sales work or work as a writer, critic, or
publicist. Rats will get well along with Dragons and
Monkeys, however should avoid Horses.
- Born in 1913, 1925, 1937, 1949, 1961, 1973, 1985,
Ox is a symbol of powerful individuals with unyielding
and stubborn personalities. Those born under the sign
are natural born leaders who typically succeed when
given the chance and will also make outstanding parents.
They are upright, inspiring, easy-going and
conservative. The Ox would be successful as a skilled
surgeon, general, or hairdresser. Ox gets along with
Snakes and Roosters but not sheep.
Tiger - Born in 1914, 1926, 1938, 1950, 1962, 1974, 1986,
As the fighting animal, those born under tiger's sign
are sensitive, aggressive, unpredictable, charming,
emotional, courageous and capable of great love. Often
risking themselves, they have a carefree life. Tigers
usually will be outstanding as a boss, explorer, racecar
driver, or matador. A happy marriage can take place with
a Horse or a Dog but never a Monkey.
Rabbit - Born in 1915, 1927, 1939, 1951, 1963, 1975,
1987, 1999, 2011
Those born under this sign are affectionate, talented,
obliging, always pleasant, valuing security and
tranquility. They have a tendency to get too sentimental
and superficial and to avoid conflict and emotional
involvement. Being cautious and conservative, they
usually take no risk and are successful in business.
They would also make a good lawyer, diplomat, or actor.
Their best life partners are Sheep or Pigs instead of
Dragon - Born in 1916, 1928, 1940, 1952, 1964, 1976,
1988, 2000, 2012
Those born under the sign are considered intelligent,
gifted, bossy, loud, garish, and unfaithful, but also
popular and successful, full of vitality and enthusiasm.
They usually look stubborn on the outside, but
softhearted inside. They are born to be an artist,
priest, politician, or leader. A dragon will be
compatible with a Snake or Rooster. However, a sheep
will not be a good choice.
- Born in 1917, 1929, 1941, 1953, 1965, 1977, 1989,
Those born under this sign are usually considered
clever, passionate, determined, romantic, intense, rich
in wisdom and charm, but vain. Women born under Snake
are often beautiful. Snakes will be strongly guided by
their intuition. They certainly will win a lot of money,
but have to avoid procrastination and stingy attitude
towards money. The Snake would be most content as a
teacher, philosopher, writer, psychiatrist, or fortune
teller. Marriage with a Rooster or Ox not a Pig will be
- Born in 1918, 1930, 1942, 1954,1966, 1978, 1990, 2002,
They are hardworking, intelligent and friendly, cheerful
and popular, but impatient. Usually they consider
themselves superior to others. They have a strong streak
of selfishness and sharp cunning and should guard
against being egotistical. Adventurer, scientist, poet,
or politician will be suitable occupations for them.
Horses get well along with Tigers and Dogs instead of
- Born in 1919, 1931, 1943, 1955, 1967, 1979, 1991,
The sign suggests a person who is creative, artistic,
passionate, elegant, warmhearted, honest, charming but
pessimistic, timid, disorganized and vulnerable. Too
dependent on material comforts, they are easy to
complain and do not respond well to pressure, but will
find their own natural solution to a problem when given
space. Best occupation for a Sheep is an actor or a
gardener. They are compatible with Rabbits or Pigs in
marriage, but not Ox.
Monkey - Born in 1920, 1932, 1944, 1956, 1968, 1980,
1992, 2004, 2016
Monkeys are intelligent, inventive, clever, entertaining
but also dangerous and easily discouraged. Because of
their extraordinary nature and magnetic personality,
they are always well liked and make close friends.
However, they can't be trusted. They should guard
against being an opportunist and distrusting other
people. The sign suggests success in any field they try.
The best matches are Dragons or Rats while the worst are
Rooster - Born in 1921, 1933, 1945, 1957, 1969,
1981, 1993, 2005, 2017
Roosters are courageous, hardworking, shrewd, arrogant,
reckless, selfish and eccentric. They are thirsty for
knowledge, devoted to work and definite involved in
decision-making. They are skilled at what they do and
attentive to details. However, they tend to seem
boastful to others. Roosters will be happy as a
restaurant owner, publicist, soldier or world traveler.
The sign promises harmony with Snakes and Ox and trouble
- Born in 1922, 1934, 1946, 1958, 1970, 1982, 1994,
Those born under this sign are honest, quiet,
intelligent, generous, stubborn, loyal and faithful to
those they love. They are introverted listeners,
dedicated but also cynical and prone to letting their
external anxieties get the better of them. Constant
worry, a sharp tongue, and a tendency to be a
faultfinder will always plague them. However, they are
born to be successful. Dogs will be excellent
businessmen, activists, teachers, or secret agents.
Tigers and Horses are deemed as best matches, and
Dragons need to be handled with care.
- Born in 1923, 1935, 1947, 1959, 1971, 1983, 1995,
Pigs are honest, reliable, sincere, tolerant, shy,
affectionate, kind, impulsive and short tempered. They
are splendid companions, intellectuals with a very
strong need to set difficult goals and carry them out.
In addition they are extraordinarily naive. Their
unquenchable thirst for knowledge will facilitate their
success whereas their quest for material comfort will
frustrate it. Pigs also will sacrifice their lives for
good causes. The Pig will be successful in financial
affairs, or as an entertainer, or possibly a lawyer.
Pigs should be aware of other Pigs and compatible with
Sheep and Rabbits.