Chinese New Year: the animals of the zodiac

Today, 12 February, marks the beginning of Chinese New Year (2021), which celebrates the Year of the Ox – an animal that symbolises strength, loyalty, and determination.

The Chinese zodiac is divided into 12 blocks (also known as houses), each representing one year. Each Chinese New Year is assigned one of 12 animals, which have their own traits and characteristics. Your Chinese zodiac sign depends on when you were born according to the Chinese lunar calendar, which may differ if you were born between 21 January and 20 February (as the new year moves between these dates).


Rat – This is the first animal in the zodiac since, according to an ancient Chinese folk story, the rat won the race set by the Jade Emperor to determine the order of the zodiac animals. Anyone born in the Year of the Rat (2020, 2008, 1996, 1984, 1972) is said to possess intelligence, quick-wit, artistry, adaptability, charm, and gregariousness.


Ox – In the Jade Emperor’s The Great Race, it is said that the rat was travelling on the ox’s back and jumped ahead across the finish line to steal first place, which is why we see this large hoofed mammal as the second animal in the zodiac. If you were born in the Year of the Ox (2021, 2009, 1997, 1985, 1973), the characteristics associated with this animal is reliability, strength, reasonability, determination, loyalty, thoroughness, and steadiness.


Tiger – When this Chinese New Year ends on 1 February 2022, next will be the Year of the Tiger. This zodiac animal (2010, 1998, 1986, 1974, 1962) signifies courage, enthusiasm, leadership, ambition, charisma, and confidence.


Rabbit – Just like it’s fluffy and cute appearance, anyone born during the Year of the Rabbit (2011, 1999, 1987, 1975, 1963) is said to possess the traits of sincerity, empathy, diplomacy, sociability, modesty, and trustworthiness.


Dragon – When you think of dragons, you may automatically think fierce and ferocious. But, characteristics associated with the Year of the Dragon (2012, 2000, 1988, 1976, 1964) include eccentricity, imagination, charisma, luckiness, flexibility, artistry, and spirituality.


Snake – Although many people have a fear of snakes, the traits of individuals born in the Year of the Snake (2013, 2001, 1989, 1977, 1965) are that they are intuitive, attentive, elegant, decisive, philosophical, organised, and intelligent.


Horse – Individuals born in the Year of the Horse (2014, 2002, 1990, 1978, 1966), similar to their animal counterpart, are believed to be loyal, adventurous, strong, courageous, adaptable, loyal, and ambitious. Despite being hard-working as well as popular, is believed that these people can be reckless with their money.

Sheep – If you were born in the Year of the Sheep (2015, 2003, 1991, 1979, 1967) you are said to be warm, crafty, charming, sensitive, calm, tasteful, elegant, and intuitive.


Monkey – Individuals born in the Year of the Monkey (2016, 2004, 1992, 1980, 1968) really can be called cheeky little monkeys! Their characteristics include playful, smart, quick-witted, bright, charming, lucky, versatile, adaptable, and lively.


Rooster – Just like the colours of this magnificent bird, people born in the Year of the Rooster (2017, 2005, 1993, 1981, 1969) are said to be flamboyant, confident, diverse, energetic, intelligent, honest, and flexible.


Dog – In my opinion, the best four-legged friend any human could ask for (not that I have anything against cat people, of course). Individual’s born in the Year of the Dog (2018, 2006, 1994, 1982, 1970) are said to be sociable, courageous, lively, smart, adaptable, loyal, diligent, and steady.


Pig – The last animal in the zodiac, is the pig. It’s said that, during The Great Race, the pig actually stopped for a snack and a nap, which landed it in final position. People born in the Year of the Pig (2019, 2007, 1995, 1983, 1971) are said to be sincere, sociable, honourable, determined, philanthropic, and optimistic.

All of the images used in this post were supplied by Pexels Free Photos.

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