The Chinese have named years after animals for thousands of years. In fact, the Chinese zodiac system is extremely complex, based on an ancient agricultural calendar. In addition to the twelve animals, there are the elements (Water, Wood, Fire, Earth and Metal), hours (12 two hour periods), directions, stones, months and seasons.
The Twelve Animals The origins of the twelve animals which are honored with a year each is rich in legends and myths. A commonly held belief is that the Buddha decided to invite all the animals of the earth to visit him on New Years Day. However, despite preparing for the biggest party since the disembarkation of Noah's Ark, only 12 animals arrived.
1924 1936 1948 1960 1972 1984 1996 Year of the Rat Rats are said to be imaginative, charming and very generous to those they love - although they do have a tendency to be quick-tempered and over-critical. They are supposed to make good writers, critics and publicists.
1925 1937 1949 1961 1973 1985 1997Year of the Ox Oxen are born leaders, inspiring confidence in everyone they come into contact with. However, they can be too demanding. Methodical and good with their hands, they make fine surgeons and hairdressers
1926 1938 1950 1962 1974 1986 1998Year of the Tiger Tigers are said to be bold and adventurous, and are bestowed with initiative and charm. However, they have a tendency to be risk takers, making them act before they think about the consequences. They tend to make good bosses, explorers or racing drivers.
1927 1939 1951 1963 1975 1987 1999Year of the Rabbit Rabbits are affectionate, co-operative and pleasant, with lots of friends. But they can get too sentimental andseem superficial. Ideal careers areas include law, diplomacy, stage. or the.
1928 1940 1952 1964 1976 1988 2000Year of the Dragon Dragons tend to be popular individuals who are always full of life and enthusiasm, with a reputation for being fun-loving. They make good priests, artists and politicians.
1929 1941 1953 1965 1977 1989 2001Year of the Snake People born in the year of the Snake are romantic and deep-thinking, wise and charming, although they tend to dismiss others too quickly and are a bit stingy with money. Ideal jobs include teaching or psychiatry.
1930 1942 1954 1966 1978 1990 2002Year of the Horse If you are born in the Year of the Horse then you are amazingly hard working and very independent. Although you are intelligent and friendly, you can sometimes be a bit selfish. Career wise you wouldmake a good scientist or poet.
1931 1943 1955 1967 1979 1991 2003Year of the Ram Those born in the Year of the Ram are said to be charming, elegant and artistic, who like material comforts. A bit of a worrier they also have a tendency to complain about things. Jobs as actors, gardeners or beachcombers would suit.
1932 1944 1956 1968 1980 1992 2004Year of the Monkey If you are born in the Year of the Monkey, you are very intelligent, well-liked by everyone, and will have success in any field you choose. Lucky old you.
1933 1945 1957 1969 1981 1993 2005Year of the Rooster The sign of the Rooster indicates a person who is hard-working and definite about their decisions. Roosters are not afraid to speak their minds and can therefore sometimes come across as boastful. They make good restaurant owners and world travelers.
1934 1946 1958 1970 1982 1994 2006Year of the Dog Dogs are honest and faithful to those they love but they tend to worry too much and find fault with others. They make ideal secret agents or business people
1935 1947 1959 1971 1983 1995Year of the Pig People born in the Year of the Pig are honest and tolerant and make good friends, but tend to expect the same from everyone else, and more often than not they end up disappointed. They thrive in the arts as entertainers.