The 12 Chinese New Year Animals

What is this year's Chinese New Year Animal? 2016 is the Year of the Monkey! What do these animals represent? How many are there?

There are twelve Chinese New Year Animals according to the Chinese Zodiac. Babies that are born under a particular Chinese New Year animal will adopt the characteristics of that animal. For example, children born in the year of the Dragon will inherit the energy, power and wisdom of the Dragon.

You can see in the table below which animal corresponds to which year. You will notice they rotate in 12-year cycles. You can look up the year you were born to find out which Chinese New Year animal is yours, and then click on your animal to find out what its qualities are!

Chinese New Year Animals: Rat
Rat

1948
1960
1972
1984
1996
2008
2020
Chinese New Year Animals: Ox
Ox

1949
1961
1973
1985
1997
2009
2021
Chinese New Year Animals: Tiger
Tiger

1950
1962
1974
1986
1998
2010
2022
Chinese New Year Animals: Rabbit
Rabbit

1951
1963
1975
1987
1999
2011
2023

Chinese New Year Animals: Dragon
Dragon

1952
1964
1976
1988
2000
2012
2024
Chinese New Year Animals: Snake
Snake

1953
1965
1977
1989
2001
2013
2025
Chinese New Year Animals: Horse
Horse

1954
1966
1978
1990
2002
2014
2026
Chinese New Year Animals: Goat
Goat/Sheep

1955
1967
1979
1991
2003
2015
2027

Chinese New Year Animals: Monkey
Monkey

1956
1968
1980
1992
2004
2016
2028
Chinese New Year Animals: Rooster
Rooster

1945
1957
1969
1981
1993
2005
2017
Chinese New Year Animals: Dog
Dog

1946
1958
1970
1982
1994
2006
2018
Chinese New Year Animals: Pig
Pig

1947
1959
1971
1983
1995
2007
2019

Because each Chinese New Year starts in late January or early February according to the lunar cycle, if your birthday falls into this period, your animal might be the previous year's animal. For example, if you were born in January 2010, even though 2010 is the Year of the Tiger, you are an Ox instead because the Year of the Tiger did not begin until February 14, 2010. You can check the exact dates for Chinese New Year here.

Each year we celebrate a different animal which according to the traditions, helps determine that year's fortune. That animal will be featured right and center in all the Chinese New Year celebrations for that year. You are likely to see displays around town in that animal's shape for example, like this Year of the Rooster lantern display in Shanghai:

Year of the Rooster Lantern Displays

...or these Year of the Pig decorations in Canton:

Year of the Pig Displays

Coins and stamps for collectors are issued with that year's lucky animal, as well as greeting cards and red envelopes.

Here's more on the Chinese Zodiac and how the 12 animals were selected.

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Next Chinese New Year is on February 8, 2016
The Year of the Monkey!

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