Happy Chinese New Year! May the celebrations begin. Chinese New Year begins on 12 February and marks the first day of the lunar year. This year is the year of the Ox, and a Metal Ox at that – an auspicious emblem of luck.
The Ox is the second out of the twelve zodiac signs: Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Goat, Monkey, Rooster, Dog, and Pig.
In addition, there are five elements of the Chinese zodiac – wood, fire, earth, metal and water. Read this for more on the elements.
So, what’s your Chinese zodiac animal sign – and does it match your personality? Let’s look at the personality for each to find out. But before that, a quick answer to this question…
Why does the Chinese New Year date change every year?
Well to answer this, have you ever wondered why the Gregorian (solar/Western) calendar has a leap year every four years? It’s because the calendar is sorted according to the duration of earth’s orbit around the sun. But the actual amount of time this takes flexes ever so slightly.
As a result, the calendar has the leap year to make room for not flexing. Same goes for measuring a month. A month is how long it takes the moon to orbit the earth. The Western calendar fixes the days of a month, so they stay the same each year. But in truth it’s an average.
The Chinese or Eastern or lunar calendar is actually a lunar-solar calendar. A full year is counted as the time it takes the earth to orbit the sun. This is the same as the Gregorian or Western calendar.
However, it incorporates the flexibility of the moon and tracks the current orbit of the moon and the earth around the sun. As a result, the duration of the months can change.
The start of each year is always within a similar time frame – just not the exact same day. In 2023 for instance, it will be 25 January.
So that’s why the date for Chinese New Year changes every year. Now, let’s usher in the 12 zodiac signs to see if yours matches your personality.
Year of the Rat ends this Chinese New Year
Rats are kind, energetic and optimistic. They’re sensitive to the feelings of others and, as a result, are likeable to all. That said, rats can also be stubborn. And unfortunately, they aren’t always the best communicators. As a result, they can occasionally come across as a bit rude, despite having good intentions.
Rats are financial hoarders. While this looks great on your bank statement, the hoarding instinct occasionally reverts to a sudden outburst of irrational spending. Given the nature of online shopping, many of us probably possess an inner rat.
Rats are highly adaptable and quick-witted, which helps them adjust well to most environments. They’re also blessed with foresight and intelligence which helps them navigate these new situations and make decisions for the best outcomes.
Given their sense of adaptation and independence, rats can be great freelancers.
They’re often more inclined to working individually in fairly innovative fields. Rats have a penchant and inclination for fields like service industries, agriculture and finance.
- Strengths: versatile, intuitive, resourceful, intelligent, quick-witted, positive
- Weaknesses: stubborn, cowardly, trivial
- Birth years: 1924, 1936, 1948, 1960, 1972, 1984, 1996, 2008, 2020
Year of the Ox this Chinese New Year
Oxen are honest, heartfelt and kind. They make great leaders and can manage people well, as they have natural stamina and are compassionate. Oxen enjoy routine and respect the process involved in achieving the outcome, plus they’re tireless and persistent.
Oxen never let others down – they’re accountable and self-made. They also never seek the limelight and are the diametric opposite of attention seeking. Despite this, their hard work can earn them great recognition.
Because of their sincerity and sense of justice, oxen gain the trust of people of all ranks in life. They carry their own weight and respect and believe that others can and should too.
Chinese New Year on February 12 marks the beginning of the Year of the Metal Ox. This year the Ox’s hard work will pay off with a bountiful “harvest”.
Career this Chinese New Year
Oxen have enormous capacity and can fulfil rational roles, for instance in law and politics and teaching. Oxen tend to have a highly personalised and conscientious approach to their work.
- Strengths: faithful, generous, responsible, hard-working, determined
- Weaknesses: reserved, moderate, stubborn, circumspect
- Birth years: 1925, 1937, 1949, 1961, 1973, 1985, 1997, 2009, 2021
Year of the Tiger
Tigers are benevolent, kind and enjoy pastimes which use their imagination. For a tiger, work is not a means to an end – it’s an integral and engaging part of existence. Tigers are natural leaders. As a result, they do well in management roles.
They’re vital, energetic and feel powerful emotion. As a result, they can make bold daring decisions which can sometimes be forceful or even cruel to others. They dare to love but also to hate, and if you do something wrong you can expect them to openly say so.
Don’t expect a tiger to give up – it’s not part of their nature. They will fearlessly brave and overcome any hurdle or obstacle that they encounter. In short, don’t try to cut the supermarket queue and take a tiger’s place.
Tigers thrive in adventurous work that challenges them, like politics or economics. Tigers should avoid repetitive work, instead seeking our roles which for them have meaning and put their best abilities to work.
- Birth years: 1926, 1938, 1950, 1962, 1974, 1986, 1998, 2010, 2022
- Strengths: adventurous, ambitious, just, brave, passionate, optimistic
- Weaknesses: arrogant, impetuous, stubborn
Year of the Rabbit
Rabbits are elegant, gentle, and optimistic. Due to their gentle and calm outward temperament, they can surprise with their seemingly hidden strength and confidence.
Rabbits are highly self-disciplined and goal oriented. They can be hard on themselves but are gentle and tolerant of others.
Despite their mellow and courteous disposition, rabbits don’t trust easily. They aren’t gullible and they’re highly alert. Although very sociable, rabbits can struggle to share their emotions and can sometimes turn to escapism.
Rabbits have great insight and can enjoy innovative work like arts and culture.
They enjoy work where competition is not the guiding force, such as education, religion and agriculture.
- Birth years: 1927, 1939, 1951, 1963, 1975, 1987, 1999, 2011, 2023
- Strengths: amiable, gentle, elegant, self-disciplined, gracious, generous
- Weaknesses: self-absorbed, volatile, conformist
Year of the Dragon
Dragons have insight, power, and natural authority. Their capacity to achieve their goals seems almost charmed. They’re revered by all and are natural born leaders. What’s more, people have a natural inclination to follow dragons through a sense of desire rather than obligation.
Of the 12 signs, the dragon is the only one represented by a mythical creature.
Dragons are passionate and well-spoken. They understand their own mind and can express themselves eloquently. They have great stores of energy and charm.
In other words, they have relentless drive and little to no penchant for that feeling known as exhaustion.
Dragons need room for their talent and imagination in their work. They have a great sense of justice and aesthetics and can thrive in art, politics, religion and even sales.
- Birth years: 1928, 1940, 1952, 1964, 1976, 1988, 2000, 2012, 2024
- Strengths: confident, resolute, strong, authoritative, dignified, honourable
- Weaknesses: indomitable, defeatist, malleable
Year of the Snake
While snakes often have a bad rap, there’s more to them than meets the eye. The snake is loyal, humorous, sophisticated and has great acumen. On the flip side, you can also expect some cattiness from your snake friends.
Snakes are cool and considered. They’re able to think on their feet (even though they don’t have any). When chaos ensues, they can problem solve while those around them panic. They’re the veritable eye of the storm.
Avoid chit-chat with snakes – they’re all about the bigger picture. While they may appear to be calm, they have a super-fast internal processer. However they may appear, behind the scenes they’re alert, observant, taking note of everything.
Snakes are autonomous in their approach to work. They’re logical, insightful and innovative and as a result do well in fields of communication, psychological health, politics and art. They don’t do well in monotonous roles.
- Birth years: 1929, 1941, 1953, 1965, 1977, 1989, 2001, 2013, 2025
- Strengths: inspired, talented, calm, modest, perceptive, intelligent
- Weaknesses: obstinate, indifferent, sceptical, possessive
Year of the Horse
The horse is energetic and enthusiastic. They’re open about their feelings and, happily, this works well for them socially.
In addition to being brave, independent, and strong, they have a keen eye for the true meaning of things. This quality gives them an understanding and sensitivity to the emotions of those around them.
Horses believe in living for truth and value, rather than for gain. They’re highly energetic, studious and athletic.
Although horses have many strengths, one of their weaknesses is that they’re blind to their own flaws. They’re emotionally volatile and quick to anger, but also quick to make good.
Horses enjoy adventurous and explorative fields. They can amass great success due to their superb strength or suffer failure from being impulsive. Horses perform well in literary, arts and business and fields in general which allow freedom to explore their talent without restriction.
- Birth years: 1930, 1942, 1954, 1966, 1978, 1990, 2002, 2014, 2026
- Strengths: brave, strong, talented, energetic, enthusiastic and independent
- Weaknesses: overly ambitious, overconfident, and sometimes overly sophisticated
Year of the Goat
Goats are highly perseverant. Give them a difficult work project and, where others have given up, they’ll overcome the obstacles. They make well-considered choices and are resilient and motivated.
When things go wrong, goats can be passive and, as a result, wait too long to react – becoming defensive at the last minute. As a result of this inability to speak up, they can tend towards pessimism.
They’re empathetic and get along well with most people yet are cautious with strangers. They have a natural penchant for organising home and work
Goats are considered in their decisions and are good critical thinkers. This gives them natural leanings towards professions like health, education and editorial work. They don’t enjoy competition and prefer work which has a routine. They’re creative thinkers too and can enjoy fields like literature and art, which they pursue studiously.
- Birth years: 1931, 1943, 1955, 1967, 1979, 1991, 2003, 2015, 2027
- Strengths: gentle, calm, creative, social, considerate, resilient
- Weaknesses: negative, passive, impractical, stubborn
Year of the Monkey
Monkeys are intelligent, sociable, and well regarded throughout life. In their younger years, they’re appreciated by their teachers and parents and as adults by their colleagues.
Monkeys do well in the workplace as they’re willing to take initiative and face challenges.
On the flipside, monkeys don’t like seeing others perform better than them – they’re highly competitive with leanings of arrogance. Jealousy can sometimes result in monkeys showing disrespect.
Happily, monkeys are open to hearing other people’s critiques of them and happy to learn from them. They’re willing to learn from their mistakes and triumph through calm and logical thinking.
Highly energetic, monkeys can do well in jobs which require physical stamina, like sports. Monkeys are logical thinkers who enjoy a challenge and therefore can enjoy roles in business, law, finance or politics.
- Birth years: 1932, 1944, 1956, 1968, 1980, 1992, 2004, 2016, 2028
- Strengths: intelligent, brave, rebellious, talented, smart, humorous, sociable
- Weaknesses: boastful, manipulative, opportunistic, impatient, conceited
Year of the Rooster
Roosters are great communicators, and as a result manage teams well. They’re honest, intelligent, and ambitious. They enjoy their work and are decisive and direct in their approach.
They’re perfectionists and if they disapprove of something, will tell you right away.
They can have unexpectedly savage tempers if someone tries to obstruct them and regardless of the short-term outcome, will usually get everyone on side in the end.
Roosters love their families – to them, family is a wonderful sanctuary. If you’re a rooster, your feelings about family are ‘the bigger the better.
Roosters understand other people’s aesthetics and because of this, they make great curators and facilitators. Their ability to lead means they make good entrepreneurs and business partners.
- Birth years: 1933, 1945, 1957, 1969, 1981, 1993, 2005, 2017, 2029
- Strengths: independent, capable, loving, dignified, decisive
- Weaknesses: impatient, critical, conservative, selfish
Year of the Dog
Dogs are our BFF’s, so it’s no surprise that the leading quality of the dog is loyalty. Dogs are honest and will stay by your side, giving a helping paw and good advice.
They’re popular in social circles. In other words – everyone needs a friend who’s a dog (don’t we know it)! That said, dogs are cautious about giving themselves over to friendship and do so slowly. However, once your friend, they will be forever.
Dogs can sometimes blame their foibles on others. They can be too quick to criticise without fully grasping the full measure of a situation.
Although they won’t show it, they can feel worried and anxious. When they decide on something, they will pursue it doggedly.
Not only are dogs loyal to those they love most, they’re also loyal to their work.
Dogs have a natural sense of justice and can do well in the fields of law, education and planning. A dog natural perseverance gives them the tenacity to handle competitive environments, like sales, marketing and blogging.
- Birth years: 1934, 1946, 1958, 1970, 1982, 1994, 2006, 2018, 2030
- Strengths: honest, loyal, brave, responsible, intelligent
- Weaknesses: conservative, stubborn
Year of the Pig
The pig is not a big spender but knows how to spend just enough to pamper themselves. They’re highly realistic and you can depend on them to follow through with what they promise.
If pigs had an anthem it would have to be Madonna’s Material Girl. For example, they appreciate their worldly possessions, and the sense of security these bring (who could blame them). As a result, a pig will often use this material-girl-ethic to motivate themselves to work hard.
Pigs are unpretentious, sincere and generous with lending a helping hand. And they’re enthusiastic, even if the task at hand seems laborious.
However, pigs aren’t always able to tell when someone is being insincere and, as a result, they can end up being deceived.
Pigs have innovative ideas and the capacity for entrepreneurship. They benefit from sharing their workload and do well with the right business partners. Pigs are great planners and coordinators and have a flair for interpersonal relationships. They have the tendency to do well in fields of education, charity, hospitality.
- Birth years: 1935, 1947, 1959, 1971, 1983, 1995, 2007, 2019, 2031
- Strengths: diligent, sincere, positive, responsible, compassionate, generous
- Weaknesses: easily influenced, self-indulgent
Your pet’s sign this Chinese New Year
Whether your fur kid’s sign is a cat or a dog, their main strength is probably unconditional love for you 😊. Their weaknesses could range from accidents, illness to diabetes in dogs and cats. Luckily, you can get them a cat insurance plan or dog insurance plan to protect them against these and more.
Chinese New Year & your animal sign – over to you?
Chinese New Year marks the end of the Year of the Rat and the start of the Year of the Metal Ox. But did you know that in addition to your year sign, you also have an inner, true and secret sign in the Chinese zodiac? These relate to the month, day and time you were born.
Does your zodiac animal sign for the year match your personality? Let us know in the comments.