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Story of the Chinese Zodiac

十二生肖(Shí’èr shēngxiào, twelve Chinese Zodiac)
1、 (Shǔ, Rat)
2、(Niú, Ox)
3、(Hǔ, Tiger)
4、(Tù, Rabbit)
5、(Lóng, Dragon)
6、(Shé, Snake)
7、(Mǎ, Horse)
8、(Yáng, Sheep)
9、(Hóu, Monkey)
10、(Jī, Rooster)
11、(Gǒu, Dog)
12、(Zhū, BOAR)

The Chinese Zodiac Characteristics brief introduction

The Chinese Zodiac is known as 生肖 (shēngxiào) in Mandarin . The Chinese Zodiac is based on a 12 year cycle, with each year represented by an animal.

According to the traditional Chinese lunar calendar, the first day of the year usually falls on the second new moon after the winter solstice. On New Year’s day, we enter a new Chinese zodiac cycle, which follows this order:Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Sheep, Monkey, Rooster, Dog and Boar.

(If you want to know a chinese how old she/he is, you can also ask like this)

Q: What is your zodiac sign?
Nǐ shǔ shén me ?

(for example)
A:I was born in the year of the Horse / Mine is the Horse.
Wǒ shǔ mǎ

Here is a brief summary of qualities associated with each sign of the Chinese zodiac:

1. Shǔ鼠/Rat

(1900 1912 1924 1936 1948 1960 1972 1984 1996 2008 2020 )

  • Charming, innovative and intelligent
  • Forthright, inquisitive and intrusive but always in a disarmingly honest way
  • Excels in business, alert to opportunities
  • Easy to get along with, hardworking and thrifty
  • Generous to those you are fond of
  • Can be easily agitated but maintains self control, gaining many friends

2. Niú牛/Ox

(1901 1913 1925 1937 1949 1961 1973 1985 1997 2009 2021)

  • Symbolizes the attainment of prosperity through fortitude and hard work
  • Patient and tireless worker, sticks to routines and conventions
  • Generally fair-minded and a good listener but difficult to change his mind
  • With affairs of the heart, the Ox can be naïve, not fully comprehending the entrapments of love. Don’t expect poetry and romanticism. They will be inclined to long courtships.
  • Knows how to give orders as well as taking them

3. Hǔ虎/Tiger

(1902 1914 1926 1938 1950 1962 1974 1986 1998 2010 2022)

  • Symbolizes power, passion and daring
  • A rebellious, colorful and unpredictable character, commanding awe and respect from all quarters
  • Impulsive and vivacious, restless and reckless. Loves being the center of attention.
  • Has humanitarian instincts, loves babies, endangered species
  • Whatever the current object of adulation is, everything else will take second place
  • The tiger can be aspiring and adventurous, trusting their own luck and charisma to see them through tough times and eventually bring successes

4. Tù兔/Rabbit

(1903 1915 1927 1939 1951 1963 1975 1987 1999 2011 2023 )

  • Serves as a symbol of longevity, said to derive it’s essence from the moon
  • Soul of graciousness, good manners, sound counsel, kindness and sensitivity to beauty
  • Soft-spoken, graceful and elegant
  • Naturally reserved, artistic and likely to possess good judgment
  • Lucky in business, thorough and will shine in fields of law, government and research
  • Strong-willed and self-assure, pursuing objectives with methodical precision

5. Lóng龙/Dragon

(1904 1916 1928 1940 1952 1964 1976 1988 2000 2012 2024 )

  • Magnanimous and full of vitality and strength
  • Dragon children tend to assume the burdens and responsibilities of a family
  • Energetic and eager with the potential to accomplish great things. But, if not careful to contain enthusiasm, can burn up in smoke.
  • Despite his ways is loyal to friends and family
  • Don’t expect a Dragon to be overly sentimental or romantic
  • A super positive person
  • It is said that Dragons born during a storm will lead a tempestuous and hazardous life, while those born during calm seas and heavens will live a more protected and amiable life

6. Shé蛇/Snake

(1905 1917 1929 1941 1953 1965 1977 1989 2001 2013 2025 )

  • Philosopher, theologian, political wizard, wily fancier- the Snake is the deepest thinker and the enigma
  • Endowed with a personal wisdom
  • Graceful and soft-spoken, will gravitate naturally towards the finer things in life
  • Generally relies on their own judgment, not working well with others, trusting their own instincts rather than outside advice
  • By nature is skeptical, but will keep his suspicions to himself
  • One of the most tenacious signs, never stops plotting and can be viciously unrelenting. Can be possessive and demanding in relationships.

7. Mǎ马/Horse

(1906 1918 1930 1942 1954 1966 1978 1990 2002 2014 2026 )

  • Cheerful, popular and quick-witted, although can be hot-tempered and headstrong at times
  • The unpredictable horse can fall in and out of love easily
  • Warmly appealing, has a love of sports, outdoor activities and animals
  • Natives of this sign are often called playboys or playgirls, but is just as skillful in business as in love
  • The intelligent horse is performance and success oriented

8. Yáng羊/Sheep

(1907 1919 1931 1943 1955 1967 1979 1991 2003 2015 2027)

  • Well mannered, even shy. Gentle and compassionate.
  • At his best, is artistic, fashionable and creative, worst, is easily overcome by emotions, depressed and withdrawn
  • Dislikes strict schedules and too much discipline and criticism.
  • Generous and containing fantastic luck and fortune
  • The Sheep is a worrier and tends to be a pessimist and expects others to cheer him up
  • Knack for turning weakness into strength
  • Would rather follow others than make decisions, may be criticized for not taking a firm stand when trying to avoid conflicts

9. Hóu猴/Monkey

(1908 1920 1932 1944 1956 1968 1980 1992 2004 2016 2028 )

  • Sign of the inventor, improviser and motivator, a charlatan capable of drawing everyone to him with guile and charm
  • Quick-witted genius, clever, flexible and innovative
  • Can solve intricate problems with ease and is a fast learner, no challenge is too great
  • Very sociable with the ability to get you on his side
  • Never lacking confidence, not matter how docile they appear
  • Not completely selfish though, more like a child with a delightful preoccupation in himself

10. Jī鸡/Rooster

(1909 1921 1933 1945 1957 1969 1981 1993 2005 2017 2029 )

  • The dauntless hero who must look to the earth to survive, he is the most misunderstood and eccentric of all the signs
  • The epitome of self-assurance and aggression, but at heart can be conservative and old-fashioned
  • Typically two rooster types, the rapid-firing, extremely talkative type, and the deadly somber observers- both equally hard to deal with
  • Outstanding performer that shines when they are the center of attention, could well pursue any career putting them in the public eye

11. Gǒu狗/Dog

(1910 1922 1934 1946 1958 1970 1982 1994 2006 2018 2030 )

  • Very likeable, honest, intelligent and straightforward
  • Deep sense of loyalty and passion for justice and fair play
  • Animated and attractive, amiable and unpretentious, can get along with others and is not too demanding
  • At times will protect the interests of others more than himself
  • Anger can come in bight flashes, but will die quickly too, it will always be justifiable though
  • Will work hard when he wants to, otherwise has a certain “lie by the fire” laziness
  • Can be practical, fearless and the owner of a sharp tongue, unrealistic and outspoken

12. zhū猪/BOAR

(1911 1923 1935 1947 1959 1971 1983 1995 2007 2019 2031 )

  • The sign of honesty, simplicity and great fortitude
  • Gallant, sturdy and courageous, will apply themselves to tasks with all their strength
  • May appear rough on the outside, but beyond the surface is different
  • A natural person, the original nice guy, popular and sought after
  • Seeks universal harmony, will have fights but will not hold grudges
  • Loyal and thoughtful, will make lasting and beneficial relationships
  • The boar will grow on you-you cannot do without him!
  • Will welcome a friend and their troubles with open arms

Check out your Chinese Zodiacand see if the characteristics are typical you.


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