Imagine it’s sometime around 200 BC. There is no calendar as you know it today. No January, February, etc. You’ve just recognized the lunar patterns and have a concept of months and years.

This is what the Chinese found themselves pondering during the Han Dynasty (206 BC – 220 AD). They divided time based upon an observed significance with the number 12: one year has 12 full moons and one day has 12 time periods. To help count the years, they developed the Chinese Zodiac, and with it, 12 animals to represent years on a repeating cycle. As tradition has it, each year has an affect on those born during the year.

Chinese New Year Animals Significance

The affects of each year were recorded and are still celebrated today. During the Spring Festival, the Chinese New Year animals are the focus of celebrations, decorations and activities. They hold even more significance than just at holiday parties, though. Each animal has it’s own characteristics believed to hold the key to fortunes, health, love and success.

While each year traditionally holds specific fortunes for each animal, there are general characteristics held by each person based on their birth year and associated Chinese Zodiac sign.

The 12 Animals of the Chinese Zodiac

This is a list of all 12 animal signs with their unique characteristics. Find your birth year and see how you match up. Chinese Zodiac rat symbol

Rat

1912, 1924, 1936, 1948, 1960, 1972, 1984, 1996, 2008, 2020

Lucky Colors: blue, gold, green
Lucky Numbers: 2, 3
Lucky Flowers: lily, African violet, lily of the valley

Strengths:

  • Quick-witted
  • Resourceful
  • Versatile

Weaknesses:

  • Timid
  • Lack concentration
  • Need encouragement

Chinese Zodiac ox symbol

Ox

Year of Birth: 1913, 1925, 1937, 1949, 1961, 1973, 1985, 1997, 2009, 2021

Lucky Colors: blue, yellow, green
Lucky Numbers: 1, 4
Lucky Flowers: tulip, sacred lily

Strengths:

  • Diligence
  • Dependability
  • Strength

Weaknesses:

  • Communication
  • Stubborn
  • Rigid

Chinese Zodiac tiger symbol

Tiger

1914, 1926, 1938, 1950, 1962, 1974, 1986, 1998, 2010, 2022

Lucky Colors: blue, grey, white, orange
Lucky Numbers: 1, 3, 4
Lucky Flowers: cineraria

Strengths:

  • Bravery
  • Tolerant
  • Respected

Weaknesses:

  • Stubborn
  • Short-tempered
  • Over-confident

Chinese Zodiac rabbit symbol

Rabbit

1915, 1927, 1939, 1951, 1963, 1975, 1987, 1999, 2011, 2023

Lucky Colors: red, pink, purple, blue
Lucky Numbers: 3, 4, 9
Lucky Flowers: cyclamen, plantain lily, fittonia

Strengths:

  • Gentle
  • Compassionate
  • Humorous

Weaknesses:

  • Reserved
  • Likes to escape reality
  • Overly-cautious

 

Chinese Zodiac dragon symbol

Dragon

1916, 1928, 1940, 1952, 1964, 1976, 1988, 2000, 2012, 2024

Lucky Colors: gold, silver, grayish white
Lucky Numbers: 1, 6, 7
Lucky Flowers: bleeding glory-bower

Strengths:

  • Lively
  • Intellectual
  • Energetic

Weaknesses:

  • Impatient
  • Tactless at times
  • Unrealistic

 

Chinese Zodiac snake symbol

Snake

1917, 1929, 1941, 1953, 1965, 1977, 1989, 2001, 2013, 2025

Lucky Colors: red, pale yellow, black
Lucky Numbers: 2, 8, 9
Lucky Flowers: orchid, cactus

Strengths:

  • Communication
  • Wisdom
  • Financial habits

Weaknesses:

  • Jealous
  • Suspicious
  • Can be headstrong

 

Chinese Zodiac horse symbol

Horse

1918, 1930, 1042, 1954, 1966, 1978, 1990, 2002, 2014, 2026

Lucky Colors: green, red, purple
Lucky Numbers: 3, 4, 9
Lucky Flowers: giant taro, jasmine

Strengths:

  • Active
  • Energetic
  • Social

Weaknesses:

  • Superficial at times
  • Rejects advice
  • Bad temper

 

Chinese Zodiac goat symbol

Goat

1919, 1931, 1943, 1955, 1967, 1979, 1991, 2003, 2015, 2027

Lucky Colors: brown, red, purple
Lucky Numbers: 2, 7
Lucky Flowers: carnation, primrose

Strengths:

  • Clever
  • Tender
  • Polite

Weaknesses:

  • Indecisive
  • Overly sensitive
  • Reserved at times

 

Chinese Zodiac monkey symbol

Monkey

1920, 1932, 1944, 1956, 1968, 1980, 1992, 2004, 2016, 2028

Lucky Colors: white, gold, blue
Lucky Numbers: 1, 7, 8
Lucky Flowers: chrysanthemum

Strengths:

  • Witty
  • Intelligent
  • Clever

Weaknesses:

  • Easily discouraged
  • Suspicious
  • Selfish at times

 

Chinese Zodiac rooster symbol

Rooster

1921, 1933, 1945, 1957, 1969, 1981, 1993, 2005, 2017, 2029

Lucky Colors: gold, brown, yellow
Lucky Numbers: 5, 7, 8
Lucky Flowers: gladiola, balsamine, cockscomb

Strengths:

  • Hardworking
  • Talented
  • Courageous

Weaknesses:

  • Relating to others
  • Critical
  • Can be vain

 

Chinese Zodiac dog symbol

Dog

1922, 1934, 1946, 1958, 1970, 1982, 1994, 2006, 2018, 2030

Lucky Colors: green, red, purple
Lucky Numbers: 3, 4, 8
Lucky Flower: rose

Strengths:

  • Kind
  • Loyal
  • Honest

Weaknesses:

  • Unstable
  • Lack emotions at times
  • Anxious

 

Chinese Zodiac pig symbol

Pig

1923, 1935, 1947, 1959, 1971, 1983, 1995, 2007, 2019, 2031

Lucky Colors: yellow, gray, brown, gold
Lucky Numbers: 2, 5, 8
Lucky Flowers: hydrangea, daisy

Strengths:

  • Generous
  • Diligent
  • Driven

Weaknesses:

  • Naive
  • Impulsive
  • Communication

Learn more about Chinese New Year

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