What's Your Chinese Zodiac Sign?

January 21, 2018

        The Origin of the Twelve Zodiac Animals

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 this 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. Nevertheless, both stories are essentially the same, excluding some minor details.

According to myth, the twelve animals of the Chinese zodiac were selected through a race. This race is 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, there was a loud thumping sound: 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, yet everyone thought that it would come in first because only it could fly. It 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 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. Although the dog 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 does not always coincide with your (Gregorian) birth year.  Because Chinese New Year begins in late January to mid-February, those born between January 1 and that day 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.  (This is just like someone born on December 31, 1987 is considered is considered to be born in the previous year as someone born on January 1, 1988, even though they are just one day apart.)
 

Below is a graph of each of the animal’s representative years:
 

                                  Years of the Rat

 

02/18/1912-02/05/1913
02/05/1924-01/23/1925
01/24/1936-02/10/1937
02/10/1948-01/28/1949
01/28/1960-02/14/1961
02/15/1972-02/02/1973
02/02/1984-02/19/1985
02/19/1996-02/06/1997
02/06/2008-01/25/2009

 

                                  Years of the Ox

 

02/06/1913-01/25/1914
01/24/1925-02/12/1926
02/11/1937-01/30/1938
01/29/1949-02/16/1950
02/15/1961-02/04/1962
02/03/1973-01/22/1974
02/20/1985-02/08/1986
02/07/1997-01/27/1998
01/26/2009-02/13/2010

 

                                Years of the Tiger

01/26/1914-02/13/1915
02/13/1926-02/01/1927
01/31/1938-02/18/1939
02/17/1950-02/05/1951
02/05/1962-01/24/1963
01/23/1974-02/10/1975
02/09/1986-01/28/1987
01/28/1998-02/15/1999
02/14/2010-02/02/2011

 

                              Years of the Rabbit

02/14/1915-02/02/1916
02/02/1927-01/22/1928
02/19/1939-02/08/1940
02/06/1951-01/26/1952
01/25/1963-02/12/1964
02/11/1975-01/30/1976
01/29/1987-02/16/1988
02/16/1999-02/04/2000
02/03/2011-01/22/2012

 

                              Years of the Dragon



 
02/03/1916-01/22/1917
01/23/1928-02/09/1929
02/09/1940-01/26/1941
01/27/1952-02/13/1953
02/13/1964-02/01/1965
01/31/1976-02/17/1977
02/17/1988-02/05/1989
02/05/2000-01/23/2001
01/23/2012-02/09/2013

 

                               Years of the Snake

01/23/1917-02/10/1918
02/10/1929-01/29/1930
01/27/1941-02/14/1942
02/14/1953-02/02/1954
02/02/1965-01/20/1966
02/18/1977-02/06/1978
02/06/1989-01/26/1990
01/24/2001-02/11/2002
02/10/2013-01/30/2014
 
 
 

 

                                Years of the Horse

02/11/1918-01/31/1919
01/30/1930-02/16/1931
02/15/1942-02/04/1943
02/03/1954-01/23/1955
01/21/1966-02/08/1967
02/07/1978-01/27/1979
01/27/1990-02/14/1991
02/12/2002-01/31/2003
01/31/2014-02/18/2015

 

                          Years of the Sheep/Ram

02/01/1919-02/19/1920
02/17/1931-02/05/1932
02/05/1943-01/24/1944
01/24/1955-02/11/1956
02/09/1967-01/29/1968
01/28/1979-02/15/1980
02/15/1991-02/03/1992
02/01/2003-01/21/2004
02/19/2015-02/07/2016

 

                              Years of the Monkey

02/20/1920-02/07/1921
02/06/1932-01/25/1933
01/25/1944-02/12/1945
02/12/1956-01/30/1957
01/30/1968-02/16/1969
02/16/1980-02/04/1981
02/04/1992-01/22/1993
01/22/2004-02/08/2005
02/08/2016-01/27/2017

 

                                Years of the Rooster

02/08/1921-01/27/1922
01/26/1933-02/13/1934
02/13/1945-02/01/1946
01/31/1957-02/17/1958
02/17/1969-02/05/1970
02/05/1981-01/24/1982
01/23/1993-02/09/1994
02/09/2005-01/28/2006
01/28/2017-02/15/2018

 

                                 Years of the Dog

01/28/1922-02/15/1923
02/14/1934-02/03/1935
02/02/1946-01/21/1947
02/18/1958-02/07/1959
02/06/1970-01/26/1971
01/25/1982-02/12/1983
02/10/1994-01/30/1995
01/29/2006-02/17/2007
02/16/2018-02/04/2019

 

                                  Years of the Pig

02/16/1923-02/04/1924
02/04/1935-01/23/1936
01/22/1947-02/09/1948
02/08/1959-01/27/1960
01/27/1971-02/24/1972
02/13/1983-02/01/1984
01/31/1995-02/18/1996
02/18/2007-02/06/2008
02/05/2019-01/24/2020

 

 

In conclusion

We will  be sharing  each sign's characteristics, and more about ways in which this new year might affect you, whether it’s concerning your finances, your health, your career or your love life!  Return next week for insights into your Zodiac Sign's characteristics and predictions for the upcoming Year of the Earth Dog, the second in a four part series on the Chinese Zodiac.
 

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