Know Your Chinese Zodiac Animal – Part 1


Chinese Zodiac Animal

You might have noticed that many Chinese market or department stores hang the ornaments of chicken on their front doors or ceiling. That’s because Chinese people celebrate Chinese New Year during the 27th of January and the 1st of February 2017 and the Chinese zodiac animal of the upcoming year is a “Rooster”!


The Chinese Zodiac, known as 生肖 (Sheng Xiao), is based on a twelve-year cycle and calculated according to Chinese lunar calendar. Each year in the cycle relates to an animal sign! Just like Westerns believe that astrology signs affect the characters of people, Chinese people believe that different animal signs represent unique characters and fortune.


So, what are the animals and what do they represent? Find it out, by checking out your birthday here.

But what about the characteristics of the different animals? We collected some interesting informations. Check out if your personality matches with the description of the zodiac animal of the year that you were born.

The rat (the first order) 鼠 shǔ

While speaking about rats, you might have come up with negative impressions. It’s the same in Chinese culture: Rats have stolen the food from kitchens, so they are often used to describe people who are indecent and sly. However, the rat as a Chinese zodiac, indicates many positive meanings.


Years 1912, 1924, 1936, 1948, 1960, 1972, 1984, 1996, 2008, 2020, 2032 …
Attributes Wit, wisdom
Personality People born in the Year of the rat have characteristics like alertness, delicacy, flexibility and vitality. In other words, they are attractive, have positive skills like being social, influential, smart, and thrifty! This kind of people know how to control the situation and lead it to benefit themselves. They have big ambition, and are usually very successful.
On the other hand, even little things can distract a Rat. They might invest on something valiant and prospective, but end up in failure because they go too detailed. In conclusion, they are also prone to be wordy, gossip, cunning, and power desiring.


The ox (the second order) 牛 niú

Many older Chinese people don’t eat beef because they believe that oxen are their best friends. They are still used the living conditions as farmers, therefore oxen accompanied them through lifetime, from ploughing, sowing to harvesting. In the agricultural society, oxen used to be capable farming tools. With the helpful and hard working oxen, farmers could support their families. Therefore, these loyal animals are attached to the symbol of persistence and honesty.


Years 1913, 1925, 1937, 1949, 1961, 1973, 1985, 1997, 2009, 2021, 2033 …
Attributes Diligence, industrious
Personality People born in the year of ox are usually cautious, purposeful and stable. Most of them hold their faith firmly, stick to the belief that they trust in. They usually go forward to do things step by step and finish their tasks one by one. So, they might gain good results by their continuously efforts.
But on the flip side, they are tardy and slow in action as it take times for them to make a step. They are also very conservative, not decisive, indifferent, stubborn, prejudiced, and revengeful.


There are a lot more information available about Chinese Zodiac Animals, like tales and long reports about every single animal. The best articles are in Chinese, of course. So, how about starting to learn Chinese language and find out more about your personal Chinese Zodiac Animal? At TutorMandarin we offer full step-by-step Chinese courses for every language level. Download our app and sign up for a free trial to learn Chinese online and get to know our professional Chinese Tutors and a 50min language evaluation for free.


We haven’t talked about your Chinese Zodiac Animal yet? Don’t panic. The tiger will be the next one to talk about:

The tiger (third order) 虎 hǔ

Having an unique pattern on its forehead, which looks like 王 (wáng) “the king” in Chinese character, the tiger is being boasted as “the king of beast” in Chinese culture. This fearless creature symbols power, tremendousness, and nobleness. In the ancient period, tigers ate the boars which harm the fields and corps of the farmers. Therefore, Chinese people had great adoration and gratitude toward them. So, tigers are revered as the sign that wards off the main disasters of a household. People also believe that tigers are their protector which scares away ghosts and thieves.


Years 1914, 1926, 1938, 1950, 1962, 1974, 1986, 1998, 2010, 2022, 2034 …
Attributes Valor, bold
Personality In most cases, people who are born in the year of the tiger are independent, enthusiastic, trustworthy, brave, and kind-hearted. They are very straightforward and frank to the truth. Therefore, it’s easy for them to win other’s respect and trust, which leads them showing the demeanor of a great leader.
The weakness of these people is that they like to show off and boast about their accomplishment or contribution. Furthermore, they are very hasty and impulsive when making decision. It is also hard to cooperate with them sometime since they are dogmatic, and too confident of themselves.


The rabbit (the fourth order) 兔 tù

The rabbit is associated with the moon in Chinese culture. In a Chinese folk tale, there is a so called Jade Rabbit living on the moon. It is a companion of the moon goddess, who never grows old. Building from this tale, rabbits symbols long living. The ones with white hair, are especially a symbol of longevity in traditional Chinese culture.


Years 1915, 1927, 1939, 1951, 1963, 1975, 1987, 1999, 2011, 2023 …
Attributes Compassion, caution
Personality Just like the common impression on rabbits, they are ”most of the time docile, but when running, they act agilely and swiftly”. People born in the year of rabbit are usually lovely with no fighting force, but when moving, they are go-getters, and very vigorous. They are skillful, amiable and hopeful. Mostly family-type and righteous kind people!
However, they are somehow too pessimistic, and careful. When facing the situation to make a choice, they might be too timid, and this make them lose lots of good chances.


Do you want to know more about Chinese Zodiacs?

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