The Chinese New Year officially begins Friday, February 16th. This year, we’re entering into the Year of the Dog — an animal which traditionally represents things like loyalty, perseverance, and determination.
There are 12 animals in the over 2,000-year-old Chinese zodiac calendar, each with their own special meaning and backstory. As legend goes, the Jade Emperor chose the 12 animals to serve as palace guards. The order in which they appear in the calendar is supposedly the order in which they arrived to the palace.
In modern times, many still use the zodiac system to predict fortunes, compatibility between two people, success in career, and fertility. The animal signs have picked up personality traits, lucky times of days, and other unique features throughout the centuries.
So what does your Chinese zodiac animal say about you? We’ve listed their meanings below so you can learn more about yourself and the other personalities in your life.
Recent years: 1924, 1936, 1948, 1960, 1972, 1984, 1996, 2008
Those born in a year of the Rat are well-liked, energetic, and sympathetic to others. They are often quick with their thoughts and intelligent, yet sometimes their communication skills are lacking and their words can seem harsh. Rats are often good with money, yet can sometimes hoard too much.
Recent years: 1925, 1937, 1949, 1961, 1973, 1985, 1997, 2009
Those born under the Ox are hard-working and reliable people. Although they do much, they never request praise and are always humble. They stay out of the limelight, always remain calm, and maintain responsibility for those around them. Ox people may also have a stubborn streak and may show prejudice toward others.
Recent years: 1926, 1938, 1950, 1962, 1974, 1986, 1998, 2010
Bravery and adventurism are two shining qualities of those born in a year of the Tiger. They are always up for a challenge and approach competitors with confidence. Tigers may be a bit too boastful and their pride may get them into trouble sometimes. Luckily, those under the Tiger are not likely to give up on their ambitions.
Recent years: 1927, 1939, 1951, 1963, 1975, 1987, 1999, 2011
Their overwhelming kindness and gentleness may make them seem meek, but Rabbits are confident and strong under their exterior. They are not easily deterred from their goals and their studious nature make them scholarly people. Rabbits may have a problem opening up to others and often harbor insecurities.
Recent years: 1928, 1940, 1952, 1964, 1976, 1988, 2000, 2012
Those born under the Dragon are honest, headstrong, and confident in themselves. Many Dragons are comfortable with being alone and retain independence; however, friendships and love are important to Dragons and they desire to be surrounded by supportive people. Dragons often reach success in whatever field they choose.
Recent years: 1929, 1941, 1953, 1965, 1977, 1989, 2001, 2013
Snakes are calm, intellectual, and have a good sense of humor. They’re not afraid to enter into deep conversations about life and future plans. On the outside they seem cool and collected, but on the inside they’re always alert.
Recent years: 1930, 1942, 1954, 1966, 1978, 1990, 2002, 2014
Like wild stallions, those born under the Horse need wide open spaces and freedom. They’re social, athletic, and full of energy. But sometimes, too much energy can cause them to give up on a task at hand. They may also anger more quickly than others, but are also often quick to move on from the issue.
Recent years: 1931, 1943, 1955, 1967, 1979, 1991, 2003, 2015
Those born under the Goat focus solely on others. They retain strength through difficult times and help ease others through trauma. Goats take time to make decisions and are always there to lend a helping hand to their numerous friends.
Recent years: 1932, 1944, 1956, 1968, 1980, 1992, 2004, 2016
Monkeys love a good laugh and their lightheartedness helps them achieve success in life. They may sometimes come off as arrogant and careless, but those born under the Monkey are always willing to listen to critique. Monkeys often end up at the top.
Recent years: 1933, 1945, 1957, 1969, 1981, 1993, 2005, 2017
Those born under the Rooster are serious and devoted to their work. They often seek validation from those around them and take time to think things through. They proudly show off through their appearance and can sometimes come off as standoffish.
Recent years: 1934, 1946, 1958, 1970, 1982, 1994, 2006, 2018
Dog people are honest friends and always willing to tell the truth. Loyalty is one of the most important things to a person born under the Dog. Dogs are often anxiety-stricken, but they don’t let their worries stand in the way of a decision.
Recent years: 1935, 1947, 1959, 1971, 1983, 1995, 2007, 2019
People born under the Pig will lead a life filled with good fortune. They are practical people who like to treat themselves after working hard for what they want. They like material things and success, and attain those though hard work and earnestness.
We hope the Year of the Dog brings you good fortune.