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Chinese Custom--024: What Is Your Chinese Shenxiao --Zodiac?   -- Feb 16, 2018
According to Chinese traditional calendar, 2018 is the Year of Dog.

That means the children who will be born since today -- Chinese New Year's Day (Feb 16, 2018) until next Eve of Chinese New Year, their Chinese Shengxiao / Zodiac is "Dog".

There are 12 Shengxiao / Zodiac in our Chinese cultures. It is a way to record year in China.

Since Eastern Han Dynasty (206 BC to 221), we have been using 12 animals to represent 12 Earthly Branches while to symbolize the years.

The 12 Earthly Branches and the 12 animals are:

Zi --Rat, Chou --Ox, Yin --Tiger, Mou---Rabbit, Chen --Dragon, Si --Snake,Wu --Horse,Wei -- Sheep, Shen --Monke,You --Rooster, Xu --Dog, Hai ---Pig

Our tradition suggests that a person born in some year resembles some animal. For example, Philip was born in Chen year, his symbolization is Dragon. Migs was born in Yin year, his symbolization is Tiger. Every 12 years, there is another dragon year and another tiger year...

Since 1911, we have also used the Gregorian calendar to record the time, so we correspond the Shenxiao with the Gregorian calendar. For example, the Chen year may be the year 2000, and the Yin year may be 1974.

People's personality characteristics are linked to the year they were born.

1. Rat Year:

...1924 1936 1948 1960 1972 1984 1996 2008...

Basic characteristics: Emotional and Opportunistic

The rat is clever, sensitive and always cares for his lover. He is ready to face challenges. Whenever there is difficulty, he will try to do his best to work it out.

2. Ox Year:

... 1913 1925 1937 1949 1961 1973 1985 1997...

Basic Characteristics: Powerful and Faithful

Ox is a man of good leadership who always believe in the saying, “Look before you leap.” He also has a positive attitude towards his work and cares about his family.

3. Tiger Year:

... 1914 1926 1938 1950 1962 1974 1986 1998 ...

Basic Characteristic: Independent and Optimistic

He is well organized and often works alone. He is lucky and will enjoy success but refrain from being too self-centred.

4. Rabbit Year:

... 1915 1927 1939 1951 1963 1975 1987 1999...

Basic Characteristics: Honest and Elegant

Rabbit is well received by others but may at times cause envy. He is particularly able in design and creative work.

5. Dragon Year:

...1916 1928 1940 1952 1964 1976 1988 2000...

Basic Characteristics: Confident and Idealistic

The Dragon is a symbol of luck, virtue, peace and long-life. He will do everything to make his dreams come true. He is also passionate, brave and generous.

6. Snake Year:

... 1917 1929 1941 1953 1965 1977 1989 2001 ...

Basic Characteristics: Attractive and romantic

He is equipped with exceptional judgement and is conscientious. He is always well groomed.

7. Horse Year:

... 1918 1930 1942 1954 1966 1978 1990 2002....

Basic Characteristics: Optimistic and A Good Leader

The Horse is kind-hearted and liked by others. He always works in his way and seldom accepts the opinion of others. He is good at managing his money but not his love affairs.

8. Sheep Year:

...1919 1931 1943 1955 1967 1979 1991 2003...

Basic Characteristics: Kind-hearted and Artistic

The Goat is elegant and charming. He loves nature. He is much stronger than he looks. He loves his family. He needs to try to be more creative and responsible.

9. Monkey Year:

...1920 1932 1944 1956 1968 1980 1922 2004 …

Basic Characteristics: Naughty but Clever

The Monkey is an intelligent person with good memory. He acts like a politician in a way that he can avoid falling into traps. He takes every opportunity to show off his ability. He can also perform is duties.

10. Rooster Year:

...1921 1933 1945 1957 1969 1981 1993 2005 ...

Basic Characteristics: Outspoken and High Profile

The Rooster does not trust anyone, but he is ready to give advice and support others. He pays much attention to his appearance. He is born to be lucky and his life is full of resources. As a woman, she has some original ideas about colors.

11. Dog Year:

...1922 1934 1946 1958 1970 1982 1994 2006 ...

Basic Characteristics: Frank but Pessimistic

The dog is eager to find out the truth. He is faithful and ready to serve others. That is why he can easily gain their respect.

12. Pig Year:

...1923 1935 1947 1959 1971 1983 1995 2007 ...

Basic Characteristics: Fair but Materialistic

The pig is brave, thoughtful, polite, considerate and ready to help. He is also reliable and thus makes a lot of friends from different areas. His diligence and hard work pave the way for his great success.

In other countries, there are similar ways of recording the year. In India, there are mouse, ox, lion, rabbit, viper, horse, goat, macaque, rooster, dog and pig. In Greece and Egypt there are bull, goat, lion, donkey, crab, snake, dog, rat (in Egypt is cat), crocodile, flamingo, ape and eagle.

What is your Shenxiao / Zodiac? What is your luck in 2013 according to your Chinese Shenxiao?

Could you please let me know about recording years in your country?

If you have any questions, comments or suggestions, you are welcome to write to or leave your message on Message Board.

Shirley Yinping Zhang
Feb 16,2018(Beijing Time)