Travel Preparation

Chinese Zodiac

The Chinese zodiac is a 12-year cycle, with an animal representing each year. Although it shares some similarities with the Western zodiac – for example, both are divided into 12 parts and both believe a person’s life and personality are influenced by their sign – the main difference is that the Chinese zodiac is divided into years, while the Western zodiac is divided into months.

Find your Chinese Zodiac Animal:

Rat: 2008, 1996, 1984, 1972, 1960, 1948, 1936, 1924

Ox: 2009, 1997, 1985, 1973, 1961, 1949, 1937, 1925

Tiger: 2010, 1998, 1986, 1974, 1962, 1950, 1938, 1926

Rabbit: 2011, 1999, 1987, 1975, 1963, 1951, 1939, 1927

Dragon: 2012, 2000, 1988, 1976, 1964, 1952, 1940, 1928

Snake: 2013, 2011, 1989, 1977, 1965, 1953, 1941, 1929

Horse: 2014, 2002, 1990, 1978, 1966, 1954, 1942, 1930

Goat: 2015, 2003, 1991, 1979, 1967, 1955, 1943, 1931

Monkey: 2016, 2004, 1992, 1980, 1968, 1956, 1944, 1932

Rooster: 2017, 2005, 1993, 1981, 1969, 1957, 1945, 1933

Dog: 2018, 2006, 1994, 1982, 1970, 1958, 1946, 1934

Pig: 2019, 2007, 1995, 1983, 1971, 1959, 1947, 1935

According to Chinese folklore, the order of the Chinese zodiac was decided by a race to cross a river – whichever animals arrived first would have a designated place in the calendar. During the race, the clever rat hitched a ride on the back of the ox and made it across the river first, followed by the ox, the tiger, and so forth.

The results of this race and the manner in which each animal crossed the river is also said to influence the personality traits associated with each sign. For example, rats are considered to be quick-witted and instinctive, since the rat seized the opportunity to cross the river by jumping on the ox’s back. Find your animal in the chart above and then see if you agree with the description below!

Paper cuttings of Chinese Zodiac

Quick-witted, resourceful, and charming, people born under the sign of the rat are often motivated by money and do well in entrepreneurial endeavours.

People born under the sign of the ox are loyal and straightforward, however, they can be stubborn (one might say “bull-headed…”) and may not be very good at communicating their point of view to others.

People born under the sign of the tiger are thought to be brave and confident, and at their best when fighting ferociously for a cause they believe in.

People born under the sign of the rabbit are often popular because they are caring and sincere and do their best to compromise and avoid conflict. However, they are prone to hesitation, which causes them to miss out on opportunities.

Everyone wants to be a dragon! People born under the sign of the dragon are confident and energetic, and live life to the fullest. They are known to dislike hypocrisy and gossip.

People born under the sign of the snake are possessed of instinctive wisdom and are highly engaged with all their senses. However, they can be prone to suspicion, which makes them paranoid.

Independence is one of the greatest strengths of people born under the sign of the horse, and they do not easily give up, but this independence can also make them self-centered. They may also be overly frank with others.

People born under the sign of the goat are quiet and thoughtful but should not be underestimated. They appreciate surrounding themselves with beautiful things but are not shallow or snobbish.

Monkeys are the comedians of the Chinese zodiac. Their minds move fast and they love to make people laugh, but they can be impetuous and lack self control.

Hardworking, talented roosters enjoy the spotlight and like to share their accomplishments. Their constant need to be in the spotlight means they expect people to listen to them and they can become impatient when they don’t.

People born under the sign of the dog are loyal and trustworthy, and go out of their way to protect the people they care about. They can be pessimistic and tend to worry, especially if their worldview is called into question.

Pigs are the most altruistic of the zodiac signs, often giving themselves over to humanitarian endeavours. However, their kindness and openness can make them a little gullible or naive.

Chinese Zodiac Gifts

Trinkets decorated with the recipient's zodiac animal make great gifts for people back home. Popular zodiac-emblazoned gifts include jade pendants and statuettes, soap stone stamps, paper cuttings, and t-shirts. If you don’t know which animal corresponds to the recipient’s birth year (or you haven’t consulted our handy chart!) then vendors in most touristy areas should be able to help.

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