What Your Chinese Zodiac Animal Says About Your Personality

According to astrologers, this ancient practice can say a lot about a person.

Based on the Lunar calendar, the Chinese zodiac (also known as Sheng Xiao) assigns an animal to each birth year on a 12-year cycle. Though Western astrology uses a separate calendar and different symbolic signs, both philosophies attribute distinct traits to each zodiac sign. To learn more about what your Chinese zodiac animal says about your personality, we consulted professional astrologers. Keep reading to find out what your sign means.

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Rat

Man Working Alone at Home
Jelena Zelen / Shutterstock

Years: 1924, 1936, 1948, 1960, 1972, 1984, 1996, 2008, 2020

As the first zodiac animal, Rats are intelligent, resourceful, and adaptable, says Matthias Dettmann, a psychologist, tarot reader, and astrologer.

"They are quick thinkers, problem solvers, and have a natural charm that helps them navigate social situations," he explains.

When times get tough, people born in the Year of the Rat "can endure a great deal and adapt to their surroundings," adds Kerry Ward, astrologer and tarot and spirituality expert.

Ox

A young woman comforting her sad friend while sitting on the couch.
nensuria / iStock

Years: 1925, 1937, 1949, 1961, 1973, 1985, 1997, 2009, 2021

Unsurprisingly, those born in the Year of the Ox are hardworking and determined. Ward notes that they have a great deal in common with Western astrology's Taurus sign—"stoic, analytical, steady, resolute, stubborn, and reliable."

"They are a 'rock' for others because nothing fazes them," she adds, which is why they make good leaders and loyal friends.

Tiger

man singing karaoke in group of friends
Drazen Zigic / iStock

Years: 1926, 1938, 1950, 1962, 1974, 1986, 1998, 2010, 2022

"Tigers are born with a charismatic and fearless nature," says Dettmann. Ward adds that this magnetic energy means they're likely to "light up a room when they walk through the door."

As such, Tigers are also confident and competitive go-getters who will have no problem taking the lead in the boardroom or at a round of karaoke.

Rabbit

Smiling young man greeting a group of friends with hugs at the front door for a get-together at his house
Giselleflissak / iStock

Years: 1927, 1939, 1951, 1963, 1975, 1987, 1999, 2011, 2023

People born in the Year of the Rabbit are "caretakers and nurturers," says Ward. Adjectives used to describe this sign are wise, trustworthy, empathetic, gentle, and compassionate.

For these reasons, Ward considers them "people people." They understand how others feel and why, and they have the intuition to "manage even the most complex personalities."

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Dragon

group of friends playing a prank on each other
iStock / John Howard

Years: 1928, 1940, 1952, 1964, 1976, 1988, 2000, 2012

You may associate Dragons with fiery personalities, but in this case, that fire translates to passion, not anger. "Dragons are often admired for their energy, creativity, and ability to inspire others," explains Dettmann.

This sign is also considered naturally lucky, points out Ward, which may explain why they're so eccentric and visionary.

Snake

Shot of an attractive young woman hugging her boyfriend while bonding with him at home
iStock

Years: 1929, 1941, 1953, 1965, 1977, 1989, 2001, 2013

Those born in the Year of the Snake may be mysterious, but they're "nobody's fool," says Ward, who describes them as "strong, intelligent, sophisticated, perceptive, and deep-thinking."

Snakes are great at keeping secrets as they "possess a deep understanding of human nature," adds Dettmann. No matter what you tell them, they'll remain calm and collected.

Horse

Happy woman on vacation
iStock / PeopleImages

Years: 1930, 1942, 1954, 1966, 1978, 1990, 2002, 2014

The phrase "wild horses" doesn't come from nowhere.

"Horses are energetic, independent, and have a strong desire for freedom," explains Dettmann. "They are natural adventurers and are known for their perseverance and determination."

But despite these traits, when a Horse is close to someone, they'll be unfailingly loyal.

Goat

Two Friends Hugging
Prostock-studio/Shutterstock

Years: 1931, 1943, 1955, 1967, 1979, 1991, 2003, 2015

Similar to Rabbits, Goats are nurturing and empathetic—"the kind of folk you want as friends and family," notes Ward. She also describes them as warm and soothing.

Much like a Western Cancer sign, Goats are also homebodies. Dettmann says they value beauty, as well as peace and harmony, so expect their homes to be stylishly serene.

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Monkey

A group of friends sitting around a table at a dinner party while their host begins to serve food
iStock / Goodboy Picture Company

Years: 1932, 1944, 1956, 1968, 1980, 1992, 2004, 2016

Monkeys are, of course, playful and energetic.

"They have a quick sense of humor, are natural problem solvers, and possess a great deal of curiosity," says Dettmann.

Someone born in the Year of the Monkey would make a great addition to any dinner party as they're "always lively, ready with a quip, fast to react, and smart about everything going on," adds Ward.

Rooster

man looking concerned while paying bills
Shutterstock/WAYHOME studio

Years: 1933, 1945, 1957, 1969, 1981, 1993, 2005, 2017

Cock-a-doodle-doo! Known for their wakeup calls, Roosters are punctual, have a strong sense of responsibility, and are very organized. You might call them the perfectionists of the Chinese zodiac.

However, they want to be noticed for these traits.

"Attention-attracting Rooster people are flamboyant and confident, always getting noticed and playing to the crowd," points out Ward.

Dog

Young smiling man affectionate with his dog
iStock / AleksandarNakic

Years: 1934, 1946, 1958, 1970, 1982, 1994, 2006, 2018

Man's best friend is certainly true in this case.

"People born in the Year of the Dog are loyal, reliable, and possess a strong sense of justice," shares Dettmann. "They are sincere in their relationships, have a deep sense of compassion, and are often protective of their loved ones."

Dogs are also adaptable and "quick to fit into new environments," adds Ward.

Pig

group of mature women laughing over dumb blonde jokes
Shutterstock / digitalskillet

Years: 1935, 1947, 1959, 1971, 1983, 1995, 2007, 2019

"Pigs are often associated with good fortune and enjoy the simple joys in life," says Dettmann.

They love to socialize and don't take things too seriously, remaining calm in almost all situations. "They want the best for everyone, are generous, kind, optimistic, and uplifting," Ward explains.

Dana Schulz
Dana Schulz is the Deputy Lifestyle Editor at Best Life. She was previously the managing editor of 6sqft, where she oversaw all content related to real estate, apartment living, and the best local things to do. Read more
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