Chinese Zodiac for Kids
Are you a tiger, a horse, a dragon?...
The Chinese Zodiac consists of twelve signs and is determined by the Chinese Lunar Calendar. It is based on the cycles of the moon, unlike our western or Gregorian calendar which is based on the solar cycle.
In Chinese astrology, there are 12 Chinese Zodiac signs. Because the moon's cycle repeats itself every 12 years, there are 12 animals in the Chinese Horoscope - one for each year of the lunar cycle. The 12 animals in the Western Zodiac in contrast, are assigned to each solar month.
The Legend of the Chinese HoroscopeThe origins of the Chinese Zodiac go back a few thousand years. According to the myths, long time ago, Buddha decided to call all the animals on earth. But only twelve came:
In recompense, he assigned each of these animals a year on the cycle affirming that children born in that year would acquire the personality traits of the animal assigned to that year.
In order to decide their order in the Chinese Zodiac cycle, the animals held a very exciting race. The first one to cross the river would be granted the first year, the second to come in would be the second animal in the cycle, and so on.
The Twelve Animals... which one is yours?
In China, individual birth dates are not as important as the year in which a person is born. And if you want to know a person's age, you don't ask how old they are, you ask for their Chinese Zodiac animal.
To know which one is yours, look up the year of your birth below and look at the qualities of that animal to see how much of it agrees with you:
If you were born in 1960, 1972, 1984, 1996, 2008 then you are a Rat.
If you were born in 1961, 1973, 1985, 1997, 2009 you are an Ox.
If you were born in 1962, 1974, 1986, 1998, 2010 you are a Tiger.
If you were born in 1963, 1975, 1987, 1999, 2011 you are a Rabbit.
If you were born in 1964, 1976, 1988, 2000, 2012 you are a Dragon.
If you were born in 1965, 1977, 1989, 2001, 2013 you are a Snake.
If you were born in 1966, 1978, 1990, 2002, 2014 you are a Horse.
If you were born in 1967, 1979, 1991, 2003, 2015 you are a Sheep/Goat.
If you were born in 1968, 1980, 1992, 2004, 2016 you are a Monkey.
If you were born in 1969, 1981, 1993, 2005, 2017 you are a Rooster.
If you were born in 1958, 1970, 1982, 1994, 2006, 2018 you are a Dog.
If you were born in 1959, 1971, 1983, 1995, 2007, 2019 you are a Pig.
The Five Elements and the Twelve Animals, what do they mean?In addition to the Twelve Animals in the Chinese Zodiac that determine a person's destiny, there is also the "Five Elements" which are associated with a certain "life force" or "qi/chi" and also have a bearing in determining your luck.
These are the Five Elements in Chinese Culture, each is associated with a certain direction, season, color and energy:
Your birth date and time determine your lucky element. You will often see one of the five elements associated with a Chinese Zodiac animal. For example, 2016 was the year of the Monkey and the element was Fire. So it was referred as the Year of the Fire Monkey, or the Year of the Red Monkey, because fire is associated with the redness of the flames.
2017 is the Year of the Rooster, the element is Fire, the Year of the Red Rooster!
The Five Elements together with the Twelve Animals in the Chinese Zodiac form a 60 year cycle.
More on Chinese Zodiac and Astrology
More on Chinese Dragons
Let's learn more about Dragons!!!
2017 is the Year of the Rooster!
The Year of the Rooster: Tales from the Chinese Zodiac
Great Reads for KidsLearn more about China, China's Culture and History
Here are some more of our favorite China Books and Resources for Children.
Got a tip?Got something to share? Let us know!
Affiliate Disclosure: Some links on this page are affiliate links. We receive a small commission when you book travel or buy products from our affiliates.
This helps us with our running costs of maintaining the site and helps us sponsor children in need through SaveTheChildren.org Thank you for your support!