Discover China

The 12 Chinese Zodiac Signs

For more than 2,000 years, the Chinese zodiac, also known as “Shengxiao” (生肖), is a repeating cycle of 12 years. Each year is represented by a different animal. The 12 animals include the Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Goat, Monkey, Rooster, Dog, and Pig. The order of the Chinese astrology signs is related to the legend of the Chinese zodiac called “The Jade Emperor’s Race”. In this story, the Chinese emperor holds a race to determine which lucky animals would have the honor of being added to the calendar. The first-place winner was the rat, which would claim the first year of this 12-year cycle.

The Chinese zodiac has played an integral role in Chinese culture over the years. Each animal is bestowed with a different set of characteristics and these influence a person’s personality, success, and the road to happiness. 2022 is the Year of the Tiger which holds significance for Chinese New Year and the Chinese zodiac system. While Western astrology is detailed, Chinese astrology is arguably even more complex and nuanced. It incorporates not just the 12 Chinese astrology signs, but also the five Chinese zodiac elements—earth, metal, water, wood, and fire which relates to the yin and yang energy.

Learn more about the myth behind the Chinese zodiac system, as well as your own Zodiac Animal.



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