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Chinese Zodiac – 12 Animal Signs With Their Meanings

The Chinese Zodiac is based on a twelve-year cycle, each year in that cycle related to an animal sign.

The 12 animals in order are -Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Goat, Monkey, Rooster, Dog, and Pig.

Each Chinese zodiac animal has personality traits assigned to it by the ancient Chinese.

The Chinese zodiac is further divided into 5 elements of nature – wood, water, metal, fire, and earth. Also, each lunar year is governed by a different element.

To make matters more complicated, the hour of your birth can be more important than the year you were born in. The hour corresponding with your zodiac animal is as follows:

  • RAT – 11PM – 1AM (23.00 – 1.00)
  • OX – 1AM – 3AM (1.00 – 3.00)
  • TIGER – 3AM – 5AM (3.00 – 5.00)
  • RABBIT – 5AM – 7AM (5.00 – 7.00)
  • DRAGON – 7AM – 9AM (7.00 – 9.00)
  • SNAKE – 9AM – 11AM (9.00 – 11.00)
  • HORSE – 11AM – 1PM (11.00 – 13.00)
  • SHEEP – 1PM – 3PM (13.00 – 15.00)
  • MONKEY – 3PM – 5PM (15.00 – 17.00)
  • ROOSTER – 5PM – 7PM (17.00 – 19.00)
  • DOG – 7PM – 9PM (19.00 – 21.00)
  • PIG – 9PM – 11PM (21.00 – 23.00)

Important note – when determining the hour in which you were born, that hours are not based on local time, but in relation to the Sun’s location.

Meaning Of The Chinese Zodiac Signs

Rat (1924, 1936, 1948, 1960, 1972, 1984, 1996, 2008, 2020)Rat Chinese zodiac meaning facts

People born in the Year of the Rat are instinctive, alert, and acute in nature that makes them excellent businessmen. Also, they are good for jobs that require creativity such as painting or writing. 

Their personality is kind, however, due to weak communication skills, their words may seem rude and impolite. Also, they are sensitive to others’ emotions, however, they are stubborn with your opinion.

Personality traits: smart, quick-witted, persuasive, and harming
Partners well with: Monkey and Dragon
Element: Water

Ox (1925, 1937, 1949, 1961, 1973, 1985, 1997, 2009, 2021)Ox Chinese zodiac meaning facts

The Ox is an independent worker, plus, he is dedicated for the long haul. Oxes impress people with an image of honesty, endurance, and diligence. They make for great leaders and rarely blow a fuse.

Having an honest nature, Oxes have ambitions for life, are strongly patriotic, and attach importance to work and family.

Females born in the Ox year are gentle and calm. Males born in the Ox year are trustworthy and reliable.

Personality traits: patient,  stubborn, kind, and conservative
Partners well with: Rooster and Snake
Element: Earth

Tiger (1926, 1938, 1950, 1962, 1974, 1986, 1998, 2010, 2022)Tiger Chinese Zodiac meaning

People born in the Year of the Tiger are energetic and quite cautious. They need challenges to keep them healthy and happy. Occasionally, Tigers come into conflict easily with people in authority and seniors.

Females born in the Tiger year love the freedom to express themselves. Males born in the Tiger year are quite adventurous.

Personality traits: authoritative, courageous, emotional, and intense
Partners well with: Horse and Dog
Element: Wood

Rabbit (1927, 1939, 1951, 1963, 1975, 1987, 1999, 2011, 2023)Rabbit Chinese zodiac meaning

People born in the Year of the Rabbit typically have a tender personality. Their sensitive nature makes them shy away from competitive or aggressive situations.

Females born in the Rabbit year treat everyone politely. Males born in the Rabbit year do whatever they can to avoid conflicts and are extraordinarily polite.

Personality traits: compassionate, popular, and sincere
Partners well with: Boar and Sheep
Element: Wood

Dragon (1928, 1940, 1952, 1964, 1976, 1988, 2000, 2012, 2024)Dragon Chinese zodiac meaning

People with the Chinese zodiac Dragon are born with superb leadership skills. They prefer to live by their own rules and if left on their own, are typically very successful.

Female Dragons are mesmerizing and strong. Males born in the Dragon year will never slack off on responsibilities.

Personality traits: energetic, warm-hearted, fearless, and charismatic
Partners well with: Monkey and Rat
Element: Earth

Snake (1929, 1941, 1953, 1965, 1977, 1989, 2001, 2013, 2025)

People born in a year of the Snake are intuitive. In addition, Snakes are usually decent, smart, well-educated, and humorous.

Females born in the Snake year are beautiful, both outside and inside. Males born in the Snake year know how to say the right things and are gentle.

Personality traits: charming, introverted, generous, gregarious, and smart
Partners well with: Ox and Rooster
Element: Fire

Horse (1930, 1942, 1954, 1966, 1978, 1990, 2002, 2014, 2026)

People born in the Year of the Horse are enthusiastic, warm-hearted, and positive. Females born in the Horse year are typically gentle ponies. Males born in the Horse year treat everyone sincerely and are easygoing.

The shortcomings of Horses is that they are deaf to advice, hot-headed, and short of motivation and patience despite being ambitious.

Personality traits: independent, impatient, energetic, and travel enthusiast
Partners well with: Tiger and Dog
Element: Fire

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Goat (1931, 1943, 1955, 1967, 1979, 1991, 2003, 2015, 2027)Goat Chonese zodiac meaning

The Goat (or Sheep) is a Yin Sign associated with the Fire element and is the 8th Sign of the Chinese Zodiac. They’re very tidy and are commonly seen organizing the home. Also, Goats love animals, children, and nature. Sometimes, they are stubborn but they will accept suggestions.

Although they prefer to be in groups, they do not want to be the center of attention. Home and alone is where Goats feel most comfortable.

Personality traits: shy, kind, mild-mannered, and peace-loving
Partners well with: Rabbit and Boar
Element: Earth

READ MORE: Zodiac Sign Love Compatibility – Detailed Guide

Monkey (1932, 1944, 1956, 1968, 1980, 1992, 2004, 2016, 2028)

People born in a Year of the Monkey have agile, smart, and active personality traits.

They need partners who are capable of stimulating them since they have many interests.

Females born in the Monkey year connect with others easily. Male Monkeys can make anyone laugh.

Personality Traits: energetic, fun, and active
Partners well with: Rat and Dragon
Element: Metal

READ MORE: The Tree of Life – Meaning & Symbolism

Rooster (1933, 1945, 1957, 1969, 1981, 1993, 2005, 2017, 2029)

Roosters are decisive and straightforward in their actions. They are happiest when in the company of a crowd and are often extravagant in their sartorial choices.

A woman born in the Year of the Rooster is simple, practical, delicate, unadorned, considerate, and caring. Males Roosters are capable, clever, frank, decisive, and serious, featuring remarkable organizational skills.

Personality traits: practical, hard-working, independent, and observant
Partners well with: Snake and Ox
Element: Metal


Dog (1934, 1946, 1958, 1970, 1982, 1994, 2006, 2018, 2030)Dog Chinese zodiac meaning

The Dog is the symbol of frankness, honesty, and extreme loyalty in all groups. Dogs can be cold emotionally and occasionally distant at parties.

They care little for financial wealth, nevertheless, they always seem to have money.

Personality traits: patient, generous, faithful, diligent, and kind
Partners well with: Horse and Tiger
Element: Earth

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Pig (1935, 1947, 1959, 1971, 1983, 1995, 2007, 2019, 2031)Pig Chinese zodiac meaning

People with Chinese zodiac Pig sign are responsible, independent, considerate, and optimistic.

Also, Pigs are well known for their generosity and kindness.

Female Pigs treat everyone genuinely and love to attend social events whenever possible. Males born in the Pig year are gentle and optimistic.

Personality traits: honest, tolerant, and appreciative of luxury
Partners well with: Rabbit and Sheep
Element: Water

Images credit – Shutterstock

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