Do You Know Chinese Zodiac Animals?

The Chinese zodiac is called shēngxiào (生肖)  or shǔ xiàng (属相) in Mandarin. Chinese zodiac is a repeating cycle of 12 years and each year is represented by a specific animal with its related traits.

According to the Chinese zodiac, 2020 is the year of the Rat. As it is a recurring cycle, if you were born in 2008, 1996, 1984, 1972, 1960, 1948, etc., it is very likely that you are also a Rat! Definitely, it does not mean you are a betrayer or foolish. On the contrary, Rats are often believed to be smart, have a keen mind and active imagination.

The 12 Chinese zodiac animals are rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, goat, monkey, rooster, dog, and pig in order. However, as Chinese zodiac follows the Chinese lunar calendar, being born in 2020 does not necessarily mean you are a Rat. You might be a blessed Pig instead.

Many parents even would take Chinese zodiac into consideration when they decide the time to have their baby. It is because Chinese believe the zodiac animal of the year will affect their baby’s personality and even destiny.

See below for the personality traits of each of the zodiac animals:

Zodiac Animal Recent Years Traits
Rat
(鼠shǔ)
1924, 1936, 1948, 1960, 1972, 1984, 1996, 2008, 2020 Intelligent, charming
Ox
(牛niú)
1925, 1937, 1949, 1961, 1973, 1985, 1997, 2009, 2021 Persistent, endurable
Tiger
(虎hǔ)
1926, 1938, 1950, 1962, 1974, 1986, 1998, 2010, 2022 Courageous, confident, independent
Rabbit
(兔tù)
1927, 1939, 1951, 1963, 1975, 1987, 1999, 2011, 2023 Sincere, responsible
Dragon
(龙lóng)
1928, 1940, 1952, 1964, 1976, 1988, 2000, 2012, 2024 Energetic, intelligent
Snake
(蛇shé)
1929, 1941, 1953, 1965, 1977, 1989, 2001, 2013, 2025 Mysterious, wise
Horse
(马mǎ)
1930, 1942, 1954, 1966, 1978, 1990, 2002, 2014, 2026 Adaptable, warm-hearted
Goat
(羊yáng)
1931, 1943, 1955, 1967, 1979, 1991, 2003, 2015, 2027 Calm, tasteful, sympathetic
Monkey (猴hóu) 1932, 1944, 1956, 1968, 1980, 1992, 2004, 2016, 2028 Sharp, curious, quick to learn
Rooster
(鸡jī)
1933, 1945, 1957, 1969, 1981, 1993, 2005, 2017, 2029 Hardworking, courageous
Dog
(狗gǒu)
1934, 1946, 1958, 1970, 1982, 1994, 2006, 2018, 2030 Honest, prudent, intelligent
Pig

(猪zhū)

1935, 1947, 1959, 1971, 1983, 1995, 2007, 2019, 2031 Compassionate, generous

Next time, when your Chinese friends or colleagues ask you “你属什么 (nǐ shǔ shén me)”, they are asking your zodiac animal. You can reply, for exmple, “我属鼠 wǒ shǔ shǔ (I am a Rat)” or  “我属兔 wǒ shǔ tù (I am a Rabbit)”.

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