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Chinese New Year animals

5 min read
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Chinese New Year is just around the corner and in celebration of this exciting festival we’ve decided to learn all about the history of Chinese New Year including the Chinese New Year Animals – the animals of the Chinese Zodiac.  

Also known as Sheng Xiao, the Chinese Zodiac is based on a twelve-year cycle, with each year represented by its own animal sign. These animals are the rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, sheep (or goat, depending on your school of thought), monkey, rooster, dog and pig (or boar).   Each animal has its own corresponding element (water, earth, wood, fire or metal) and is characterised by different traits - traits which are said to translate to individuals born on the year of that animal. Do know what your Chinese Zodiac animal represents? Locate your birth year below and find out all about your Chinese New Year animal sign and what it symbolizes.

This year is the year of the Monkey. According to Chinese astrology, living a year in your own zodiac sign is seen as an offence to Tai Sui, the God of Age. As a consequence, Tai Sui punishes you with a year of terrible luck. Generally speaking, when it’s your Ben Ming Nian (your year of your zodiac sign) you can expect all aspects of your life, including love, health, career and finance, to suffer.   But there’s no need to despair as donning good luck charms, such as jade and red clothing, can help balance the scales and counter your bad luck.



Year of the Rat: 1912, 1924, 1936, 1948, 1960, 1972, 1984, 1996, 2008, 2020

Element: Water The rat is the first animal of the Chinese Zodiac. Despite the negative associations many make with this animal, being born on the year of the rat has many positive connotations. The characteristics of this animal sign are intelligence, adaptability, quick-wit, charm, artistic-ability and sociability.    


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Year of the Ox: 1913, 1925, 1937, 1949, 1961, 1973, 1985, 1997, 2009, 2021

Element: Earth The second sign of the zodiac is the Ox. Some of the most prominent characteristics of this animal sign are loyalty, reliability, strength, reason and determination.    


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Years of the Tiger: 1914, 1926, 1938, 1950, 1962, 1974, 1986, 1998, 2010, 2022

Element: Wood The tiger is the third sign of the zodiac. Courage and leadership are among some of its most well-recognised characteristics, alongside enthusiasm, ambition, confidence and charisma.    


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Years of the Rabbit: 1915, 1927, 1939, 1951, 1963, 1975, 1987, 1999, 2011, 2023

Element: Wood Those born under the fourth sign of the zodiac, the rabbit, are said to share its characteristics of trustworthiness, empathy, modesty, diplomacy, sincerity and sociability. There is also an association between the rabbit and being a natural caretaker.    


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Years of the Dragon: 1916, 1928, 1940, 1952, 1964, 1976, 1988, 2000, 2012, 2024

Element: Earth The dragon is a very important symbol in Chinese culture and being born in the year of the dragon brings associations of good luck. Some of the other characteristics of the dragon include flexibility, eccentricity, imagination, artistic-abilities, spirituality and charisma.    


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Years of the Snake: 1917, 1929, 1941, 1953, 1965, 1977, 1989, 2001, 2013, 2025

Element: Fire While many associations with snakes are negative, being born in the year of the snake actually carries some very positive associations. The people born on the year of the snake are said to have characteristics relating to philosophy, organisation, intelligence, intuition, elegance, attentiveness and decisiveness.    


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Years of the Horse: 1918, 1930, 1942, 1954, 1966, 1978, 1990, 2002, 2014, 2026

Element: Fire The seventh sign of the zodiac is the horse. The characteristics of this animal sign are adaptability, loyalty, courage, ambition, intelligence, adventure and strength.    

Sheep or Goat

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Years of the Sheep: 1919, 1931, 1943, 1955, 1967, 1979, 1991, 2003, 2015, 2027

Element: Earth If you’re born under the year of the sheep, you are naturally associated with this sign’s characteristics of tastefulness, craftiness, warmth, elegance, charm, intuition, sensitivity and calmness.    


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Years of the Monkey: 1920, 1932, 1944, 1956, 1968, 1980, 1992, 2004, 2016, 2028

Element: Metal The monkey is the eighth sign of the zodiac. Quick wit and charm are among some of its most well-known characteristics, as well as luck, adaptability, cleverness, versatility and liveliness.    


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Years of the Rooster: 1921, 1933, 1945, 1957, 1969, 1981, 1993, 2005, 2017, 2029

Element: Metal The rooster is closely associated with honesty and energy. Those born on the year of the rooster are also strongly associated with its characteristics of intelligence, flamboyance, flexibility, diversity and confidence.    


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Years of the Dog: 1922, 1934, 1946, 1958, 1970, 1982, 1994, 2006, 2018, 2030

Element: Earth As one might expect, some of the characteristics associated with the dog in the Chinese Zodiac are loyalty and sociability. This sign is also thought to present traits such as courageousness, diligence, liveliness, adaptability and smarts.    


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Years of the Pig: 1923, 1935, 1947, 1959, 1971, 1983, 1995, 2007, 2019, 2031

Element: Water The final animal sign of the Chinese Zodiac is the pig or boar. This animal sign is said to impart traits such as honour, philanthropy, determination, optimism, sincerity and sociability to those born in its year.

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