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By Adele Wong | January 30th, 2022

What does your Chinese zodiac animal say about you? A lot, actually! According to ancient Chinese wisdom, your basic personality traits are based on the year you were born — which is represented by one of 12 completely different signs. Which animal sign are you, and how accurate are the depictions? Find out for yourself below. 

1. The Rat

rat
It’s a Rat’s race

Born: 1924, 1936, 1948, 1960, 1972, 1984, 1996, 2008, 2020

So once upon a time there was this amazing race to meet the Jade Emperor, and the Rat came first, guaranteeing its prime spot in the zodiac. Those born in the Year of the Rat are supposed to be quick-witted, intelligent and extremely resourceful. And no wonder, given that the little rodent won the race by riding off other animals’ backs, even making a lifelong enemy in the process.

2. The Ox

ox
Strong and steady goes the Ox. Photo: Anand S [CC BY-SA 2.0]
Born: 1925, 1937, 1949, 1961, 1973, 1985, 1997, 2009, 2021

The sturdy Ox, who carried the Rat across the river during the race,  is said to possess boatloads of confidence and truckloads of calm. They are dependable, but also quite stubborn once they’ve made up their mind.

3. The Tiger

tiger
Tigers can be emo too. Photo: Monka Betley [CC-BY-SA-3.0]
Born: 1926, 1938, 1950, 1962, 1974, 1986, 1998, 2010, 2022

A well-respected figure in the animal kingdom, the mighty Tiger, no surprise, is a courageous soul, able to go forth on difficult decisions when others bury their heads in the sand. But don’t be mistaken by the brave facade: this fierce feline is also sensitive and very much in touch with its emotional side.

4. The Rabbit

rabbit
What a nice little Rabbit. Photo: PD-user-en/Mr. Rex CC BY-SA 4.0-3.0-2.5-2.0-1.0]

Born: 1927, 1939, 1951, 1963, 1975, 1987, 1999, 2011, 2023

Coming in fourth by hopping stone by stone across the river, the nifty Rabbit is the nice, friendly soul that everyone likes and wants to be friends with. The Rabbit is especially loquacious, and you’ll never run out of conversation topics with this one.

5. The Dragon

dragon
Luck follows the Dragon. Photo: GoShow [CC BY-SA 3.0]
Born: 1928, 1940, 1952, 1964, 1976, 1988, 2000, 2012, 2024

To be honest, the Dragon probably could’ve come first in the zodiac race, but it made some selfless sacrifices along the way (like, oh, making rain for the villagers and helping blow a little rabbit across the river with its powerful breath: no biggie). The Dragon is considered the luckiest sign of the zodiac, and is full of energy and decidedly demanding. It’s also the only fictitious animal on the zodiac.

6. The Snake

snake
Snakes make great financial planners. Photo: Steve Jurvetson [CC BY 2.0]
Born: 1929, 1941, 1953, 1965, 1977, 1989, 2001, 2013, 2025

Hiding under the Horse’s hoof until close to the finish line, the Snake slithered ahead to sixth, beating its host by a slippery inch. Snakes are charming creatures, and smart with money (read: stingy). They can also be quite the romantic when the right mood strikes.

7. The Horse

horse
Hardworking Horses. Photo: Dana Boomer [CC BY-SA 2.5-2.0-1.0]
Born: 1930, 1942, 1954,1966, 1978, 1990, 2002, 2014, 2026

Unlike the resourceful snake, Horses make their own destiny, through sheer hard work and effort. They are one of the more popular animals of the zodiac, although sometimes their ego can get in the way.

8. The Goat

goat
Watch out for a moody Goat. Photo: fir0002 from flagstaffotos.com.au (Own work)

Born: 1931, 1943, 1955, 1967, 1979, 1991, 2003, 2015, 2027

The Goat finished the race along with Monkey and Rooster, using teamwork to help each other across the finish line. Goats are meant to be artsy and moody, erring on the glass-half-empty side. In short: they are true creatives.

9. The Monkey

monkey
Monkey see, Monkey joke. Photo: Jim Ankan Deka (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0]
Born: 1920, 1932, 1944, 1956, 1968, 1980, 1992, 2004, 2016, 2028

Those born in the year of the Monkey are apparently blessed with humor, and can effortlessly make people laugh along with their jokes. They are, by consequence, also magnetic personalities — the life of the party. Be sure you get on their good side: Monkeys are distrustful and more paranoid than the other animals in the zodiac.

10. The Rooster

rooster
Roosters love to show off their goods. Photo: Andrzej Barabasz (Chepry) (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0]
Born: 1921, 1933, 1945, 1957, 1969, 1981, 1993, 2005, 2017, 2029

Roosters tend to be philosophers and daydreamers. They are also diligent, hardworking types — and aren’t afraid to show the rewards of their efforts through material extravagances. Although coming in towards the end of the pack in the zodiac race, Roosters are nevertheless multi-talented and versatile.

11. The Dog

dog
You can rely on this Dog. Photo: Craig Pemberton [CC BY-SA 3.0]
Born: 1922, 1934, 1946, 1958, 1970, 1982, 1994, 2006, 2018, 2030

The Dog had a very real chance in the race, being an excellent swimmer, but ended up frolicking in the water instead of heading straight towards the finish line. Its playfulness cost it dearly, landing it in 11th place. Dog signs are loyal and reliable, although they also tend to be worrywarts.

12. The Pig

pig
Don’t lie to the Pig: It just might believe you! Photo: Joshua Lutz

Born: 1923, 1935, 1947, 1959, 1971, 1983, 1995, 2007, 2019, 2031

The hungry Pig fell asleep after a particularly big meal during the race, and by the time it woke up it was all over. Oh well. Pigs are honest and sincere, and have probably been the Teacher’s Pet at some point in their lives. On the flip side, they are also naive and gullible.

 

[Updated Jan 2022]