What’s Your Chinese Zodiac Sign?
Chinese New Year is coming up on February 12, 2021, and we will enter the Year of the Metal Ox. If you’ve ever wondered which of the twelve animals you were born under, read on. Try to lose Western prejudices about these animals (e.g.: rats are creepy or snakes are unscrupulous creatures, etc.) and instead view them each in an Asian perspective.
We all know that our Gregorian calendar starts on January 1 and ends on December 31. The Chinese calendar is lunisolar, so is somewhat different than the Lunar Calendar, which begins on February 4 and ends on February 3 each year. A lunisolar calendar takes into consideration the moon phase AND the time of the solar year, which is either tropical or sidereal. If the solar year is a tropical year, then the lunisolar year will give an indication of the season. If it is a sidereal year, then the calendar will predict the constellation in which the full moon will occur. Most lunisolar years have 12 months, but 13 months occur every few years.
The Tale of the 12 Zodiac Animals
The Origin of the Zodiac
The tale begins with the Jade Emperor, or Buddha, who summoned all the animals of the universe for a race.
There are many variations of the story. Some say that the Jade Emperor summoned all the animals on his birthday for a race to create the Chinese Zodiac. Others say that it was in fact the Buddha who did. Both stories are essentially the same, nevertheless, excluding some minor details.
According to myths, the twelve animals of the Chinese zodiac were selected through a race. This race was meant to create a time measurement for the people. There could only be twelve winners and in order to win, the animals had to cross a rapid current river and reach the finish line on the shore.
The rat was the worst swimmer in the animal kingdom, but was smart. He discovered that the fastest way to the river is to hop on top of the ox. The generous ox agreed to carry him across the river and when they made it to shore, the rat jumped in front of the ox and came first in the race. The ox came in second and the tiger finished in third.
All of a sudden, a loud thumping sound came: it was the rabbit. It jumped from one stone to another across the river and the grabbed onto a log floating by and drifted to the finish line earning the fourth place in the race. In fifth place was the dragon, but everyone thought that it would come in first because it could fly. The dragon told Jade Emperor that it had to stop a couple of times to help some villagers. And on its way to the finish line, it saw a little rabbit on a log and decided to give a little puff of air to help it get to shore. After the dragon, the horse came galloping towards the finish line. The sneaky snake was hidden behind the horse’s foot. It suddenly appeared and the horse was scared. The snake took advantage of this and landed itself in sixth place, and the horse landed in seventh.
Soon after, the monkey, the rooster, and the sheep landed onto shore. Unlike some of the previous animals, these three actually helped each other to get to the finish line. The rooster found a raft, and the monkey and sheep hopped on. Working hard together through the water currents and the weeds, they reached shore: the sheep came in eighth place, the monkey in ninth place, and the rooster in tenth place. In eleventh place was the dog. Even though it was a great swimmer, it was late. It told the emperor that it needed a bath, and the fresh water from the river was too tempting. Right when the emperor was going to close the race, an “oink” sound was heard: it was the pig. The pig felt hungry in the middle of the race, so it stopped, ate something, and then fell asleep. After it awoke, it finished the race in twelfth place and became the last animal to arrive.
The order of the lunar calendar follows the outcome of the race, where the rat is the first animal to start the sequence, and the pig is the last. After the pig, the sequence starts over again.
Your Chinese Birth Year:
It can be pretty confusing to figure out your Chinese birth year and subsequent Zodiac animal, because it doesn’t always coincide with your (Gregorian) birth year. Because Chinese New Year begins in late January to mid-February, those born during that time can be considered to have been born in the previous year. For example, someone born on February 18, 1996 is considered to be born in the previous year as someone born on February 19, 1996!
Below is a graph of each of the animal’s representative years:
Years of the Rat
Years of the Ox
Years of the Tiger
Years of the Rabbit
Years of the Dragon
Years of the Snake
Years of the Horse
Years of the Goat/Ram/Sheep
Years of the Monkey
Years of the Rooster
Years of the Dog
Years of the Pig
We’ll tell more about the individual personality characteristics of each of the Zodiac animals and how they get along. Be sure to look up the animal of your partner, family and close friends this week as well as your own animal. It will help you understand and appreciate their personality attributes and the best ways to cope with your inherent differences.
We’re doing a whole series on Chinese New Year, starting with today’s entry. Future entries include:
- Your Chinese Zodiac Personality 12/20/2020
- Chinese New Year Celebration Ideas 01/03/2021
- Forecast for the Year of the Metal Ox 01/17/2021
- Predictions for You in 2021 01/31/2021
Most of us are looking forward to leaving 2020 behind (in the dust!) and moving into a fresh new year. If you’re thinking about remodeling a portion on your home, contact us through this website. We’ll figure out if this is a good year to remodel for you and your family.
May everything you wish go well and smoothly.