Figure Out Your Chinese Zodiac Sign—and What It May Reveal About You

Figure Out Your Chinese Zodiac Sign—and What It May Reveal About You
Figure Out Your Chinese Zodiac Sign—and What It May Reveal About You

The Lunar New Year is the most highly anticipated holiday in many Asian countries, including China, Vietnam, and Korea. Also known as the Spring Festival in China, it’s a celebration of family as well as the future, based on the cycle of the moon. Each Lunar New Year is assigned one of 12 zodiac animals, such as the rat, rabbit, or dog, and Chinese folklore links every creature with its own personality traits, which are then ascribed to anyone born in that year. On February 3, 2022, we rang in the Year of the Tiger, a sign identified with ambition and adventure. What might your animal reveal? Learn how to find your Chinese zodiac sign—and what it could say about your personality.

How to Celebrate Lunar New Year at Home

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A Beginner’s Guide to the Chinese Zodiac

Lunar New Year

The exact date of the Lunar New Year varies each year, landing sometime between January 21 and February 20, depending on when the first full moon occurs on the lunar calendar. Celebrated for thousands of years as a new beginning, this holiday is infused with an “out with the old, in with the new” spirit. To this day, the weeks around Lunar New Year remain full of religious, community, and family celebrations all over the world.

Popular Lunar New Year Traditions

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A Beginner’s Guide to the Chinese Zodiac

A few weeks before the first full moon of the year, families clean their homes from top to bottom. The goal? Scrubbing away any lingering bad luck. If anyone owes debts, they’re supposed to repay them, and if any friendships are estranged, the period preceding the Lunar New Year is said to be the time to rekindle them.

On the eve of the Lunar New Year, families gather to share the biggest meal of the year, traditionally leaving an empty place setting for those who couldn’t make it. Common dishes include whole fish, whole chicken, dumplings, noodles, glutinous rice cake, and fruit, each with celebratory significance, often related to luck.

The following day, relatives exchange money-filled red envelopes—the bright color symbolizes luck, while the money represents well wishes for the coming year. (Children are often the recipients of these monetary gifts.) Fireworks and biodegradable paper lanterns fill the skies of some towns. A feast of foods thought to bring good fortune, including date cake, peanuts, sticky rice balls, lotus seeds, and vegetable and raw fish salad, reminds celebrants to look hopefully ahead.

Chinese Zodiac Animals By Year

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A Beginner’s Guide to the Chinese Zodiac

Unlike astrological zodiac signs, which categorize people based on birth month, Chinese zodiac signs relate to lunar birth year. Figure out which spirit animal belongs to your year—and discover what it may say about your strengths.

Rat

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A Beginner’s Guide to the Chinese Zodiac

Chinese zodiac sign birth years: 2020, 2008, 1996, 1984, 1972, 1960, 1948, 1936, 1924, 1912, 1900

Much like their symbolic animal, those born under the rat sign can be cagey, but also relentlessly cheery, making them sharp in business and adaptable in large groups. They tend to be a bit picky, while excelling at creative pursuits, such as writing and art.

Ox

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A Beginner’s Guide to the Chinese Zodiac

Chinese zodiac sign birth years: 2021, 2009, 1997, 1985, 1973, 1961, 1949, 1937, 1925, 1913, 1901

Those born during the Year of the Ox stand out as natural leaders, devoting themselves to who (and what) they believe in. Since they often have strong views of right and wrong and value honesty, those with the ox sign may seem stubborn—a combination that bodes well for careers in law and consulting.

Tiger

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A Beginner’s Guide to the Chinese Zodiac

Chinese zodiac sign birth years: 2022, 2010, 1998, 1986, 1974, 1962, 1950, 1938, 1926, 1914, 1902

Tiger signs are known for their trustfulness. Brave, smart, and accepting, they’re solid leaders, willing to fight for the underdogs. Although those born during tiger years can have a short fuse, their traits are well-suited to careers in politics and management.

Rabbit

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A Beginner’s Guide to the Chinese Zodiac

Chinese zodiac sign birth years: 2011, 1999, 1987, 1975, 1963, 1951, 1939, 1927, 1915, 1903

Kind, sensitive, and thoughtful, rabbit signs aim to problem-solve and minimize difficulty, while also doing everything they can to avoid conflict. They like to reason and think things through, so rabbits can come off as unsure—but they’re just trying to find the best ways to livetheir lives. Their gentle nature makes them great team players and excellent caregivers.

Dragon

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A Beginner’s Guide to the Chinese Zodiac

Chinese zodiac sign birth years: 2012, 2000, 1988, 1976, 1964, 1952, 1940, 1928, 1916, 1904

Dragon signs are ambitious, confident, and charismatic. They tend to leave a lasting impression and have a natural ability to lead. Dragons are not afraid to take risks and pursue their dreams, making them well-suited for entrepreneurial ventures and creative pursuits.

Snake

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A Beginner’s Guide to the Chinese Zodiac

Chinese zodiac sign birth years: 2013, 2001, 1989, 1977, 1965, 1953, 1941, 1929, 1917, 1905

Those born under the snake sign are often wise, mysterious, and intuitive. They have a deep understanding of human nature and can be excellent problem solvers. Snakes are known for their charm and grace, which can make them successful in fields like psychology, counseling, and research.

Horse

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A Beginner’s Guide to the Chinese Zodiac

Chinese zodiac sign birth years: 2014, 2002, 1990, 1978, 1966, 1954, 1942, 1930, 1918, 1906

Horse signs are known for their independence, energy, and adventure-seeking spirit. They have a strong drive for success and are often seen as hardworking individuals. Horse people can excel in careers that allow them to be active and pursue their passions, such as sports, travel, and sales.

Goat/Sheep

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A Beginner’s Guide to the Chinese Zodiac

Chinese zodiac sign birth years: 2015, 2003, 1991, 1979, 1967, 1955, 1943, 1931, 1919, 1907

Goat (or Sheep) signs are gentle, compassionate, and artistic. They have a natural appreciation for beauty and often possess a strong sense of creativity. Goat people are nurturing and empathetic, making them well-suited for careers in the arts, counseling, and social work.

Monkey

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A Beginner’s Guide to the Chinese Zodiac

Chinese zodiac sign birth years: 2016, 2004, 1992, 1980, 1968, 1956, 1944, 1932, 1920, 1908

Monkey signs are known for their intelligence, wit, and curiosity. They have a playful nature and are quick learners. Monkeys excel in fields that require problem-solving and adaptability, such as technology, research, and communications.

Rooster

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A Beginner’s Guide to the Chinese Zodiac

Chinese zodiac sign birth years: 2017, 2005, 1993, 1981, 1969, 1957, 1945, 1933, 1921, 1909

Rooster signs are confident, hardworking, and detail-oriented. They have a strong sense of responsibility and are often seen as perfectionists. Roosters thrive in fields that require precision and organization, such as finance, engineering, and project management.

Dog

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A Beginner’s Guide to the Chinese Zodiac

Chinese zodiac sign birth years: 2018, 2006, 1994, 1982, 1970, 1958, 1946, 1934, 1922, 1910

Dog signs are loyal, honest, and protective. They are known for their strong sense of justice and willingness to help others. Dogs make great team players and are often valued for their reliability and dedication in careers such as law enforcement, counseling, and social services.

Pig

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A Beginner’s Guide to the Chinese Zodiac

Chinese zodiac sign birth years: 2019, 2007, 1995, 1983, 1971, 1959, 1947, 1935, 1923, 1911

The 12 Chinese Zodiac Signs | Which Chinese Animal Sign Are You \u0026 What It Reveals About You

The 12 Chinese Zodiac Signs | Which Chinese Animal Sign Are You \u0026 What It Reveals About You
The 12 Chinese Zodiac Signs | Which Chinese Animal Sign Are You \u0026 What It Reveals About You

Pig signs are kind-hearted, generous, and diligent. They have a strong work ethic and are often willing to go the extra mile to achieve their goals. Pigs are well-suited for careers that involve helping others, such as healthcare, education, and charity work.

Discover Your Chinese Zodiac Sign

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A Beginner’s Guide to the Chinese Zodiac

To determine your Chinese zodiac sign, you need to know your birth year according to the Chinese lunar calendar. If you were born in January or February, you might need to check the exact date of the Lunar New Year for that year to be sure.

Once you have your birth year, you can find your Chinese zodiac sign by matching it with the corresponding animal from the list above.

Knowing your Chinese zodiac sign can provide insights into your personality traits and strengths. However, keep in mind that these are generalizations and that individual experiences may vary. It’s always fun to explore the cultural traditions and symbolism associated with the Chinese zodiac and see how they align with your own experiences and characteristics.

So, what’s your Chinese zodiac sign?

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