The Chinese lunar calendar begins every year around the start of February, and one of 12 significant animals steps up to rule the roost for the next 12 months. The year you were born in dictates which animal represents you, and the differences are nothing short of fascinating.
The Chinese believe that your zodiac animal “hides in your heart,” so there’s much to be learned from the animal that rules your year of birth. Are you a rat, tiger, dragon, or something else entirely?
Inspired by Personality Buzz, the following list of 12 incredible critters will tell you everything you need to know. So scroll down, find your year of birth, and discover more!
Years: 1936, 1948, 1960, 1972, 1984, 1996, 2008
Oh, rats are charming and no mistake. People born in the year of the rat are loyal to their chosen favorite people, and they’re generous, but not to a fault. People outside of the circle of trust can spark a rat’s short temper, but their bark is worse than their bite.
Highly intellectual and socially gregarious, rats are passionate in both love and vocational pursuits.
Years: 1937, 1949, 1961, 1973, 1985, 1997, 2009
People born in the year of the ox are bold and tenacious (no surprises there!). Responsible and methodical, oxen are also great at getting themselves out of sticky situations.
The ox’s fierce determination can sometimes be misconstrued as arrogance. But the ox is faithful to the people they love, and has a strong, deeply ingrained sense of duty.
Years: 1938, 1950, 1962, 1974, 1986, 1998, 2010
Tigers are emotional and sensitive. They fight passionately, and they love even more fiercely than that.
People born in the year of the tiger are often dominant types and thrive when competing. They expect reciprocity, however, so be prepared to rise to the challenge if you know a strong-willed tiger! If they are able to harness their impatience, tigers can make excellent, effective leaders.
Years: 1939, 1951, 1963, 1975, 1987, 1999, 2011
Much like the gentle rabbit, people born in the year of the rabbit are meek, polite, and popular. Rabbits are excellent at keeping the peace, but don’t mistake their placid temperament for a lack of caring; rabbits are highly sensitive.
A rabbit in their worst moments can be flighty and distracted. However, rabbits thrive on security, so if you have a rabbit in your life, then trust that they will be loyal to the end.
Years: 1940, 1952, 1964, 1976, 1988, 2000, 2012
Can you guess? Of course you can! Dragons are feisty, boisterous, and highly ambitious. Talent meets perfectionism in this awesome creature, and people born in the year of the dragon have the capacity to become extremely successful.
Dragons are rule breakers, renegades, and free spirits of the highest order.
Years: 1941, 1953, 1965, 1977, 1989, 2001, 2013
Snakes are tremendously deep thinkers who have the capacity to drift off into complex intellectual realms. People born in the year of the snake are likely to be very charming, a little secretive, and often prefer to be alone.
Snakes, if left to their own devices, can easily fade into the background. But don’t be fooled; they are working harder than most others and will often achieve their goals gradually and gracefully.
Years: 1942, 1954, 1966, 1978, 1990, 2002, 2014
Horses pull carts for a reason; they are strong, hardworking, and immensely driven. People born in the year of the horse have excellent negotiating skills and will always perform well socially.
Warm, loving horses adore a challenge. They can also be a little impulsive and will always snort at work, tasks, or social events that they think are beneath them.
Years: 1943, 1955, 1967, 1979, 1991, 2003, 2015
People born in the year of the sheep are perhaps the most immediately likeable of all. They can be a little grumpy and have a tendency to complain, but sheep are kind and empathic; if you know a sheep, then you’ll know that they are excellent listeners!
Sheep people are modest, cultured people. Creative pursuits come naturally, and some may even become successful artists.
Years: 1944, 1956, 1968, 1980, 1992, 2004, 2016
The phrase “monkeying around” rings true for good reason! People born in the year of the monkey are lively attention seekers with magnetic personalities; everybody loves a monkey.
With a quick wit and a natural tendency toward optimism, monkeys can be hugely uplifting at their best but tiresome at their worst. Monkeys thrive in changeable circumstances because it keeps them on their (ever-moving) toes.
Years: 1945, 1957, 1969, 1981, 1993, 2005, 2017
People born in the year of the rooster are industrious and hardworking. Great communicators, these people can sometimes adopt too lofty a view of their own ideas, and occasionally it can do them good to be brought down a peg or two.
Roosters can be flamboyant dressers and have high standards for themselves and for others, but they will always be true to the people they love.
Years: 1946, 1958, 1970, 1982, 1994, 2006, 2018
Dog people, much like their faithful animal counterparts, make for wonderful friends and companions. Enthusiastic to a fault, dogs put their all into everything they do.
People born in the year of the dog can, however, be impulsive and quick to criticize others. But they preference justice over almost everything else, and this is one of their most redeeming features.
Years: 1947, 1959, 1971, 1983, 1995, 2007, 2019
Gentle, intelligent, and very industrious, pigs are the unsung heroes of the animal kingdom. People born in the year of the pig are fascinating, witty intellectuals who set the bar high for their own achievements.
Pigs can be idealists, and because harmony is so important to the pig, they can occasionally neglect to account for the bigger picture. Still, their naiveté is quite charming!
Did you find anything out about yourself that you didn’t know before? Celebrate the diversity of the Chinese zodiac by matching your friends and family to their zodiac animal allies!