AIS News

You probably know there are 12 Chinese zodiac animals used to represent years, 2019 is the year of the Pig. Zodiac signs play an integral part in Chinese culture, and can be used to determine your fortune for the year, marriage compatability, career fit, best times to have a baby, and so much more.

What is the Chinese Zodiac?

The general consensus is that the zodiacs originally had something to do with the worship of animals. A zodiac system has existed in Chinese culture since the Qin dynasty, more than 2,000 years ago.

Over time the zodiacs became more and more integrated into everyday life, with different meanings and characteristics assigned to each animal. This in turn gave rise to various compatabilities (and incompatabilities) between each zodiac, and play a major role in marriage and career decisions, fortune-telling and more!

What’s your zodiac animal?

In order, they are: rat (鼠—shǔ), ox (牛—niú), tiger (虎—hǔ), rabbit (兔—tù), dragon (龙—lóng), snake (蛇—shé), horse (马—mǎ), goat (羊—yang), monkey (猴—hóu), rooster (鸡—jī), dog (狗—gǒu), and pig (猪—zhū).

The zodiac cycle repeats every 12 years, making it easy to figure out whether it’s your year- just check if your age is a multiple of 12! Here are the 12 zodiac animals in order with accompanying years:

Zodiac AnimalCharacterRecent Years
Rat鼠 (shǔ)1924, 1936, 1948, 1960, 1972, 1984, 1996, 2008, 2020
Ox牛 (niú)1925, 1937, 1949, 1961, 1973, 1985, 1997, 2009, 2021
Tiger虎 (hǔ)1926, 1938, 1950, 1962, 1974, 1986, 1998, 2010, 2022
Rabbit兔 (tù)1927, 1939, 1951, 1963, 1975, 1987, 1999, 2011, 2023
Dragon龙 (lóng)1928, 1940, 1952, 1964, 1976, 1988, 2000, 2012, 2024
Snake蛇 (shé)1929, 1941, 1953, 1965, 1977, 1989, 2001, 2013, 2025
Horse马 (mǎ)1930, 1942, 1954, 1966, 1978, 1990, 2002, 2014, 2026
Goat羊 (yang)1931, 1943, 1955, 1967, 1979, 1991, 2003, 2015, 2027
Monkey猴 (hóu)1932, 1944, 1956, 1968, 1980, 1992, 2004, 2016, 2028
Rooster鸡 (jī)1933, 1945, 1957, 1969, 1981, 1993, 2005, 2017, 2029
Dog狗 (gǒu)1934, 1946, 1958, 1970, 1982, 1994, 2006, 2018, 2030
Pig猪 (zhū)1935, 1947, 1959, 1971, 1983, 1995, 2007, 2019, 2031

Maybe you think your zodiac year (本命年—ben ming nian) will be lucky. It’s your year after all. However, it’s the total opposite.

It’s seen as a hurdle you have jump over. The way to protect yourself from evil spirits and bad fortune is to wear red underwear every day for the entire year. Even in modern times, it’s still treated as a real concern.

In some places, married men even have to be accompanied by their wives when they go out at night during their year!

(from https://chinesenewyear.net )