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Chinese zodiac

Chinese zodiac
20100720 Fukuoka Kushida 3614 M.jpg
Chinese
Hanyu Pinyin shēngxiào
Alternative Chinese name
Chinese
Hanyu Pinyin shǔxiàng

The Chinese zodiac is a classification scheme that assigns an animal and its reputed attributes to each year in a repeating 12-year cycle. The 12-year cycle is an approximation to the 11.86-year orbital period of Jupiter, the largest planet of the solar system. It and its variations remain popular in several East Asian countries including China, Vietnam, Burma, Korea, Japan, Mongolia, Nepal, Bhutan, Sri Lanka, Cambodia, Laos and Thailand as well as the Buddhist calendar.

Identifying this scheme using the term "zodiac" reflects several superficial similarities to the Western zodiac: both have time cycles divided into 12 parts, each labels at least the majority of those parts with names of animals, and each is widely associated with a culture of ascribing a person's personality or events in his or her life to the supposed influence of the person's particular relationship to the cycle. Nevertheless, there are major differences: the Chinese 12-part cycle corresponds to years, rather than months. The Chinese zodiac is represented by 12 animals, whereas some of the signs in the Western zodiac are not animals, despite the implication of the Greek etymology of "zodiac". The animals of the Chinese zodiac are not associated with constellations spanned by the ecliptic plane.

The zodiac traditionally begins with the sign of the Rat. The following are the twelve zodiac signs (each with its associated Earthly Branch) in order and their characteristics.

In Chinese astrology the animal signs assigned by year represent what others perceive you as being or how you present yourself. It is a common misconception that the animals assigned by year are the only signs and many western descriptions of Chinese astrology draw solely on this system. In fact, there are also animal signs assigned by month (called inner animals), by day (called true animals) and hours (called secret animals).


  Year Associated
Element
Heavenly
Stem
Earthly
Branch
Associated
Animal
Year
1924–1983 1984–2043
1 Feb 05 1924–Jan 23 1925 Yang Wood Rat Feb 02 1984–Jan 21 1985
2 Jan 24 1925–Feb 12 1926 Yin Wood Ox Jan 22 1985–Feb 08 1986
3 Feb 13 1926–Feb 01 1927 Yang Fire Tiger Feb 09 1986–Jan 28 1987
4 Feb 02 1927–Jan 22 1928 Yin Fire Rabbit Jan 29 1987–Feb 16 1988
5 Jan 23 1928–Feb 09 1929 Yang Earth Dragon Feb 17 1988–Feb 05 1989
6 Feb 10 1929–Jan 29 1930 Yin Earth Snake Feb 06 1989–Jan 26 1990
7 Jan 30 1930–Feb 16 1931 Yang Metal Horse Jan 27 1990–Feb 14 1991
8 Feb 17 1931–Feb 05 1932 Yin Metal Goat Feb 15 1991–Feb 03 1992
9 Feb 06 1932–Jan 25 1933 Yang Water Monkey Feb 04 1992–Jan 22 1993
10 Jan 26 1933–Feb 13 1934 Yin Water Rooster Jan 23 1993– Feb 09 1994
11 Feb 14 1934–Feb 03 1935 Yang Wood Dog Feb 10 1994–Jan 30 1995
12 Feb 04 1935–Jan 23 1936 Yin Wood Pig Jan 31 1995–Feb 18 1996
13 Jan 24 1936–Feb 10 1937 Yang Fire Rat Feb 19 1996–Feb 06 1997
14 Feb 11 1937–Jan 30 1938 Yin Fire Ox Feb 07 1997–Jan 27 1998
15 Jan 31 1938–Feb 18 1939 Yang Earth Tiger Jan 28 1998–Feb 15 1999
16 Feb 19 1939–Feb 07 1940 Yin Earth Rabbit Feb 16 1999–Feb 04 2000
17 Feb 08 1940–Jan 26 1941 Yang Metal Dragon Feb 05 2000–Jan 23 2001
18 Jan 27 1941–Feb 14 1942 Yin Metal Snake Jan 24 2001–Feb 11 2002
19 Feb 15 1942–Feb 04 1943 Yang Water Horse Feb 12 2002–Jan 31 2003
20 Feb 05 1943–Jan 24 1944 Yin Water Goat Feb 01 2003–Jan 21 2004
21 Jan 25 1944–Feb 12 1945 Yang Wood Monkey Jan 22 2004–Feb 08 2005
22 Feb 13 1945–Feb 01 1946 Yin Wood Rooster Feb 09 2005–Jan 28 2006
23 Feb 02 1946–Jan 21 1947 Yang Fire Dog Jan 29 2006–Feb 17 2007
24 Jan 22 1947–Feb 09 1948 Yin Fire Pig Feb 18 2007–Feb 06 2008
25 Feb 10 1948–Jan 28 1949 Yang Earth Rat Feb 07 2008–Jan 25 2009
26 Jan 29 1949–Feb 16 1950 Yin Earth Ox Jan 26 2009–Feb 13 2010
27 Feb 17 1950–Feb 05 1951 Yang Metal Tiger Feb 14 2010–Feb 02 2011
28 Feb 06 1951–Jan 26 1952 Yin Metal Rabbit Feb 03 2011–Jan 22 2012
29 Jan 27 1952–Feb 13 1953 Yang Water Dragon Jan 23 2012–Feb 09 2013
30 Feb 14 1953–Feb 02 1954 Yin Water Snake Feb 10 2013–Jan 30 2014
31 Feb 03 1954–Jan 23 1955 Yang Wood Horse Jan 31 2014–Feb 18 2015
32 Jan 24 1955–Feb 11 1956 Yin Wood Goat Feb 19 2015–Feb 07 2016
33 Feb 12 1956–Jan 30 1957 Yang Fire Monkey Feb 08 2016–Jan 27 2017
34 Jan 31 1957–Feb 17 1958 Yin Fire Rooster Jan 28 2017–Feb 15 2018
35 Feb 18 1958–Feb 07 1959 Yang Earth Dog Feb 16 2018–Feb 04 2019
36 Feb 08 1959–Jan 27 1960 Yin Earth Pig Feb 05 2019–Jan 24 2020
37 Jan 28 1960–Feb 14 1961 Yang Metal Rat Jan 25 2020–Feb. 11 2021
38 Feb 15 1961–Feb 04 1962 Yin Metal Ox Feb 12 2021–Jan 31 2022
39 Feb 05 1962–Jan 24 1963 Yang Water Tiger Feb 01 2022–Jan 21 2023
40 Jan 25 1963–Feb 12 1964 Yin Water Rabbit Jan 22 2023–Feb 09 2024
41 Feb 13 1964–Feb 01 1965 Yang Wood Dragon Feb 10 2024–Jan 28 2025
42 Feb 02 1965–Jan 20 1966 Yin Wood Snake Jan 29 2025–Feb 16 2026
43 Jan 21 1966–Feb 08 1967 Yang Fire Horse Feb 17 2026–Feb 05 2027
44 Feb 09 1967–Jan 29 1968 Yin Fire Goat Feb 06 2027–Jan 25 2028
45 Jan 30 1968–Feb 16 1969 Yang Earth Monkey Jan 26 2028–Feb 12 2029
46 Feb 17 1969–Feb 05 1970 Yin Earth Rooster Feb 13 2029–Feb 02 2030
47 Feb 06 1970–Jan 26 1971 Yang Metal Dog Feb 03 2030–Jan 22 2031
48 Jan 27 1971–Feb 14 1972 Yin Metal Pig Jan 23 2031–Feb 10 2032
49 Feb 15 1972–Feb 02 1973 Yang Water Rat Feb 11 2032–Jan 30 2033
50 Feb 03 1973–Jan 22 1974 Yin Water Ox Jan 31 2033–Feb 18 2034
51 Jan 23 1974–Feb 10 1975 Yang Wood Tiger Feb 19 2034–Feb 07 2035
52 Feb 11 1975–Jan 30 1976 Yin Wood Rabbit Feb 08 2035–Jan 27 2036
53 Jan 31 1976–Feb 17 1977 Yang Fire Dragon Jan 28 2036–Feb 14 2037
54 Feb 18 1977–Feb 06 1978 Yin Fire Snake Feb 15 2037–Feb 03 2038
55 Feb 07 1978–Jan 27 1979 Yang Earth Horse Feb 04 2038–Jan 23 2039
56 Jan 28 1979–Feb 15 1980 Yin Earth Goat Jan 24 2039–Feb 11 2040
57 Feb 16 1980–Feb 04 1981 Yang Metal Monkey Feb 12 2040–Jan 31 2041
58 Feb 05 1981–Jan 24 1982 Yin Metal Rooster Feb 01 2041–Jan 21 2042
59 Jan 25 1982–Feb 12 1983 Yang Water Dog Jan 22 2042–Feb 09 2043
60 Feb 13 1983–Feb 01 1984 Yin Water Pig Feb 10 2043–Jan 29 2044
Season Lunar month Fixed element Solar longitude Solar term Gregorian date Approx. Western zodiac
Spring 1st – 寅 (yin) Tiger Wood 314° 立春 lìchūn Feb 4 – Feb 18 Aquarius
329° 雨水 yǔshuǐ Feb 19 – Mar 5 Pisces
2nd – 卯 (mao) Rabbit Wood 344° 啓蟄 qǐzhé (驚蟄 jīngzhé) Mar 6 – Mar 20
359° 春分 chūnfēn Mar 21 – Apr 4 Aries
3rd – 辰 (chen) Dragon Earth 14° 清明 qīngmíng Apr 5 – Apr 19
29° 穀雨 gǔyǔ Apr 20 – May 4 Taurus
Summer 4th – 巳 (si) Snake Fire 44° 立夏 lìxià May 5 – May 20
59° 小滿 xiǎomǎn May 21 – Jun 5 Gemini
5th – 午 (wu) Horse Fire 74° 芒種 mángzhòng Jun 6 – Jun 20
89° 夏至 xiàzhì Jun 21 – Jul 6 Cancer
6th – 未 (wei) Goat Earth 104° 小暑 xiǎoshǔ Jul 7 – Jul 22
119° 大暑 dàshǔ Jul 23 – Aug 6 Leo
Autumn 7th – 申 (shen) Monkey Metal 134° 立秋 lìqiū Aug 7 – Aug 22
149° 處暑 chùshǔ Aug 23 – Sep 7 Virgo
8th – 酉 (you) Rooster Metal 164° 白露 báilù Sep 8 – Sep 22
181° 秋分 qiūfēn Sep 23 – Oct 7 Libra
9th – 戌 (xu) Dog Earth 194° 寒露 hánlù Oct 8 – Oct 22
211° 霜降 shuāngjiàng Oct 23 – Nov 6 Scorpio
Winter 10th – 亥 (hai) Pig Water 224° 立冬 lìdōng Nov 7 – Nov 21
244° 小雪 xiǎoxuě Nov 22 – Dec 6 Sagittarius
11th – 子 (zi) Rat Water 251° 大雪 dàxuě Dec 7 – Dec 21
271° 冬至 dōngzhì Dec 22 – Jan 5 Capricorn
12th – 丑 (chou) Ox Earth 284° 小寒 xiǎohán Jan 6 – Jan 19
299° 大寒 dàhán Jan 20 – Feb 3 Aquarius
Sign Best Match Match No Match
Rat Ox, Dragon, Monkey Rat, Snake, Rooster, Pig, Rabbit, Goat, Dog, Tiger Horse
Ox Rat, Snake, Rooster Ox, Dragon, Monkey, Dog, Tiger, Horse, Pig, Rabbit Goat
Tiger Pig, Dog, Horse Tiger, Rabbit, Goat, Snake, Rooster, Ox, Dragon, Rat Monkey
Rabbit Dog, Pig, Goat Rabbit, Tiger, Horse, Dragon, Monkey, Rat, Snake, Ox Rooster
Dragon Rooster, Monkey, Rat Dragon, Snake, Ox, Pig, Rabbit, Goat, Tiger, Horse Dog
Snake Monkey, Rooster, Ox Snake, Dragon, Rat, Dog, Tiger, Horse, Rabbit, Goat Pig
Horse Goat, Dog, Tiger Horse, Pig, Rabbit, Snake, Rooster, Ox, Dragon, Monkey Rat
Goat Horse, Pig, Rabbit Goat, Dog, Tiger, Dragon, Monkey, Rat, Snake, Rooster Ox
Monkey Snake, Dragon, Rat Monkey, Rooster, Ox, Pig, Rabbit, Goat, Dog, Horse Tiger
Rooster Dragon, Snake, Ox Rooster, Monkey, Rat, Dog, Tiger, Horse, Pig, Goat Rabbit
Dog Rabbit, Tiger, Horse Dog, Pig, Goat, Snake, Rooster, Ox, Monkey, Rat Dragon
Pig Tiger, Rabbit, Goat Pig, Dog, Horse, Dragon, Monkey, Rat, Rooster, Ox Snake

See: Astrological aspect#Trine
  • 23:00 – 00:59: 子 Rat
  • 01:00 – 02:59: 丑 Ox
  • 03:00 – 04:59: 寅 Tiger
  • 05:00 – 06:59: 卯 Rabbit
  • 07:00 – 08:59: 辰 Dragon
  • 09:00 – 10:59: 巳 Snake
  • 11:00 – 12:59: 午 Horse
  • 13:00 – 14:59: 未 Goat
  • 15:00 – 16:59: 申 Monkey
  • 17:00 – 18:59: 酉 Rooster
  • 19:00 – 20:59: 戌 Dog
  • 21:00 – 22:59: 亥 Pig
  • Rat (Zishi): 23:00 to 00:59. This is the time when Rats are most active in seeking food. Rats also have a different number of digits on front and hind legs, thus earning Rat the symbol of "turn over" or "new start".
  • Ox (Choushi): 01:00 to 02:59. This is the time when Oxen begin to chew the cud slowly and comfortably.
  • Tiger (Yinshi): 03:00 to 04:59. This is the time when Tigers hunt their prey more and show their ferocity.
  • Rabbit (Maoshi): 05:00 to 06:59. This is the time when the Jade Rabbit is busy pounding herbal medicine on the Moon according to the tale.
  • Dragon (Chenshi): 07:00 to 08:59. This is the time when Dragons are hovering in the sky to give rain.
  • Snake (Sishi): 09:00 to 10:59. This is the time when Snakes are leaving their caves.
  • Horse (Wushi): 11:00 to 12:59. This is the time when the sun is high overhead and while other animals are lying down for a rest, Horses are still standing.
  • Goat (Weishi): 13:00 to 14:59. This is the time when Goats eat grass and urinate frequently.
  • Monkey (Shenshi): 15:00 to 16:59. This is the time when Monkeys are lively.
  • Rooster (Youshi): 17:00 to 18:59. This is the time when Roosters begin to get back to their coops.
  • Dog (Xushi): 19:00 to 20:59. This is the time when Dogs carry out their duty of guarding the houses.
  • Pig (Haishi): 21:00 to 22:59. This is the time when Pigs are sleeping sweetly.
  • Shelly H. Wu. (2005). Chinese Astrology. Publisher: The Career Press, Inc.
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