What is Chinese Astrology?

China has its astrology, unlike the Western astrology that people worldwide follow. Chinese astrology has 12 zodiac signs, commonly known as Shēng xiào in China. Most of them are animals from different categories of the animal kingdom. These 12 signs are in order: Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Goat, Monkey, Rooster, Dog, and Pig. Each represents a person's characteristics, personality, and destiny.

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How to know your Chinese Zodiac Sign?

To determine a person's zodiac sign and element, one needs to consider the year of birth and the corresponding animal sign and element for that year. Chinese zodiac meanings provide insights into various aspects of life, including personality traits, career prospects, relationships, health, and compatibility between individuals.

Chinese astrology is deeply rooted in Chinese culture and is often consulted for important life decisions, such as choosing a career path, finding a compatible partner, or planning significant events. It also determines auspicious dates for weddings, business openings, and other important occasions.

Chinese zodiac signs are based on the birth year of a person. Chinese zodiac meanings come from the history of Chinese Astrology, where there are 12 Chinese zodiac animals signs. Lunar calendars have the list of years that comes under each zodiac sign. However, the lunar calendar is not simple, as Chinese new year dates change every year in January or February, probably between January 21st and February 20th. For example - 1977, 1989, 2001, and 2013 all come under the Snake zodiac sign. So if your birth year falls on one of these, your zodiac sign will be Snake.

The list of Zodiac signs followed by their birth years is given below:

  • Rat: 1924, 1936, 1948, 1960, 1972, 1984, 1996, 2008, 2020, 2032
  • Ox: 1925, 1937, 1949, 1961, 1973, 1985, 1997, 2009, 2021, 2033
  • Tiger: 1926, 1938, 1950, 1962, 1974, 1986, 1998, 2010, 2022, 2034
  • Rabbit: 1927, 1939, 1951, 1963, 1975, 1987, 1999, 2011, 2023, 2035
  • Dragon: 1928, 1940, 1952, 1964, 1976, 1988, 2000, 2012, 2024, 2036
  • Snake: 1929, 1941, 1953, 1965, 1977, 1989, 2001, 2013, 2025, 2037
  • Horse: 1930, 1942, 1954, 1966, 1978, 1990, 2002, 2014, 2026, 2038
  • Goat: 1931, 1943, 1955, 1967, 1979, 1991, 2003, 2015, 2027, 2039
  • Monkey: 1932, 1944, 1956, 1968, 1980, 1992, 2004, 2016, 2028, 2040
  • Rooster: 1933, 1945, 1957, 1969, 1981, 1993, 2005, 2017, 2029, 2041
  • Dog: 1934, 1946, 1958, 1970, 1982, 1994, 2006, 2018, 2030, 2042
  • Pig: 1935, 1947, 1959, 1971, 1983, 1995, 2007, 2019, 2031, 2043

What are the five elements of the Chinese zodiac animals signs?

There are five elements Metal, Wood, Water, Fire, and Earth. Each of these comes with zodiac signs, classified into five categories. The following list talks about the Chinese zodiac sign and element-

  • Metal:Monkey, Rooster
  • Wood:Tiger, Rabbit
  • Water:Rat, Pig
  • Fire:Snake, Horse
  • Earth:Ox, Dragon, Goat, Dog

History of Chinese Zodiac Signs

The Chinese zodiac comprises twelve animals, first appearing during the Zhou dynasty (1046-256 BC). All these 12 zodiac signs properly came into light during the Han Dynasty [206 B.C.-9 A.D.], over 2000 years ago.

The ranking of animals is said to be done by the Jade Emperor, a Chinese God, who held a race to see which animals were suited to be his palace guard. These 12 animals participated and were competitive over first place in the race. As a result, the Rat came first, leaving behind the Ox, while the Pig came last. Since then, this order of zodiac signs has been followed by Chinese astrologers.

Each animal sign in the Chinese zodiac is believed to have certain personality traits and characteristics, which are used to determine a person's destiny and compatibility with others. The zodiac signs are also associated with specific elements (wood, fire, earth, metal, and water) and yin or yang energies, creating a 60-year cycle (12 animals × 5 elements).

The circle of 12 zodiac animals represents the 12-year cycle, as every animal signifies a different year. For example, the Year 2023 zodiac sign is Rabbit, so those born in 2023 will have Rabbit as their Zodiac sign and inherit its qualities.

Characteristics of Chinese Zodiac Signs


According to Chinese Astrology, every animal zodiac sign has different meanings, characteristics, and personality traits.

Here are the Chinese zodiac signs and their meanings and characteristics:

  • Rat: The natives of this sign are wise, clever, intelligent, ambitious, and friendly, and they love to organise things. These people do their best to explore new opportunities which will allow them to grow and advance their careers.
  • Ox: Like an Ox, people born under this sign are hardworking, helpful, patient, loyal, and highly dependable. These people love their relationships and are always ready to support their loved ones. You never have to worry if an Ox native has your back or not because they do!
  • Tiger: People born in the year of the Tiger are aggressive, emotional, creative, intelligent, and independent. These people like to be alone or in small groups and are effective at being friendly with different types of people.
  • Rabbit: People with the Rabbit zodiac sign are social, insightful, sensitive, compassionate, and like to be surrounded by beauty and order. These individuals have a keen eye for everything beautiful and are excellent keepers of old and aesthetic items.
  • Dragon: Individuals born in the years of the Dragon are known to be quite charismatic, social butterflies, leaders, energetic, fierce, and kind. These people gel with people easily and are often the life of the party.
  • Snake: Natives of the Snake zodiac sign are knowledgeable, good listeners, secret keepers, introverted, good at managing, and generous. These individuals are always ready to help people out and do things for others.
  • Horse: The people born in the years of the Horse are pretty courageous, energetic, independent, responsible, and full of life. Natives born in these years enjoy life and engage in things which make them happy and lively.
  • Goat: Goat natives are peaceful, introverted, kind, trustworthy, warm-hearted, and have social anxiety at large social gatherings. While they seem unfriendly, they're homebodies who don't enjoy extroverted interactions. They prioritise their "me time" a lot.
  • Monkey: Monkey sign people are intelligent, witty, good communicators, extroverts, short-tempered, outgoing, energetic, and funny. These people possess several qualities that make them likeable and funny. They know how to make people happy and are great friends.
  • Rooster: Natives born in the year of the Rooster are hardworking, honest, trustworthy, loyal, responsible, and observant. These people are wise with their words and always think twice before saying anything. They don't do anything to hurt people's feelings.
  • Dog: People born in the year of the Dog are dependable and strong-minded. These people don't fear change and are willing to be the support systems of others. For them, their friendships matter a lot.
  • Pig: Pig signs are known for their wit, charm, intelligence, and kindness. These signs know how to be generous, hardworking, and helpful. Every task is a new adventure for them, and they enjoy helping others too.

Compatibility of Chinese Zodiac Signs

Chinese zodiac compatibility is based on the interactions and relationships between the different animal signs of the Chinese zodiac. Each zodiac sign is believed to have distinct personality traits and characteristics, and when two signs come together, their compatibility is determined by how well these traits harmonise or clash.

The compatibility of Chinese zodiac signs is often analysed through two main factors: the natural compatibility between signs and the compatibility based on complementary elements.

  • Natural Compatibility: Some zodiac signs naturally get along well and have a harmonious relationship. These signs share similar values, interests, and approaches to life. For example, the Rat, Dragon, and Monkey are considered to have good compatibility as they are energetic, ambitious, and enjoy an active lifestyle. Similarly, the Ox, Snake, and Rooster are compatible due to their shared traits of being practical, hardworking, and detail-oriented.
  • Complementary Elements: In Chinese astrology, each zodiac sign is associated with one of the five elements: wood, fire, earth, metal, and water. The elements interact with each other creatively or destructively, influencing compatibility. Generally, signs that share complementary elements tend to have better compatibility. For example, the Rat (water) is compatible with the Ox (earth) and the Dragon (earth). The Tiger (wood) is compatible with the Horse (fire) and the Dog (earth).

To help you find your best match, given below the list of zodiac signs and their best compatibility with other signs:

Animal SignMost compatible signs
RatOx, Dragon, Monkey
OxRat, Snake, Rooster
TigerDog, Horse, Pig
RabbitDog, Horse, Pig
DragonRat, Rooster, Monkey
SnakeOx, Dragon, Rooster
HorseTiger, Goat, Dog, Rabbit
GoatGoat, Rabbit, Pig, Horse
MonkeyRat, Dragon, Ox, Horse
RoosterOx, Snake, Dragon
DogRabbit, Tiger, Monkey, Horse
PigTiger, Rabbit, Goat

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Frequently Asked Questions

Chinese Astrology is the form of astrology followed in China. Chinese Astrology consists of 12 Chinese zodiac animals signs designated for each particular year. For example, 2022 is the year of the Tiger, 2023 is the year of the Rabbit, and 2024 is the year of the Dragon.
The year of the Ox is the name of the years designated under the Ox Chinese zodiac sign. You can know the years of the Ox on this page, where the recent year of the Ox was 2021, and the next year of the Ox is 2033.
The luckiest Chinese zodiac sign and element in 2023 are Oxes, Tigers, Snakes, and Pigs. These signs will see prosperity, abundance, and happiness in 2023.
One can calculate their Chinese zodiac sign by determining the year of their birth. However, if you’re someone who likes making no mistakes, then make sure to check out the InstaAstro Chinese Zodiac Calculator, which will give you accurate results.
The Chinese zodiac for 2023 is Rabbit, and the Chinese zodiac for 2024 is Dragon. Signs like Tigers, Pigs, Snakes, Dragons, Rabbits, and Oxes will see growth, happiness, prosperity, abundance, fortune, and wealth in these years.
Chinese zodiac meanings are important so as to understand the impact, role, and influence of the animal zodiac signs and the personality traits of people born under particular Chinese zodiac animals signs.
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