Chinese Zodiac Signs: History, Meaning, 12 Animals, Five Elements, Check Compatibility, Predictions for 2021
|Chinese Zodiac Signs: 12 Animals, Five Elements, Predictions for 2021 - Year of the Ox|
What is Chinese Zodiac Signs
The Chinese zodiac, known as Sheng Xiao or Shu Xiang, features 12 animal signs in this order: Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Sheep, Monkey, Rooster, Dog and Pig. Originated from ancient zoolatry and boasting a history of more than 2,000 years, it plays an essential role in Chinese culture. The 12 Chinese zodiac animals in a cycle are not only used to represent years in China, but also believed to influence people’s personalities, career, compatibility, marriage, and fortune.
According to Oprahmag, there wasn’t really a line between what we consider astrology and the scientific study that we know as astronomy. Back then, “astrology was only used in the divination of collective fortunes—those of the community, the state, or the agricultural year.” According to Thompson (authors Gerry Maguire Thompson and Shuen-Lian Hsaio write in The Guide to Chinese Horoscopes), personal horoscopes only became an idea in the years following the arrival of Buddhism in China during the Han Dynasty (ca. 150 CE), "which brought with it the idea that there are greater forces at work in the mapping of individual destiny.”
The massive popularity of Western astrology’s horoscopes has nurtured major public interest in what any zodiac sign means for people on an individual level.
History of Chinese Zodiac
The practice of Chinese astrology dates back thousands of years.
The records from the excavated ancient bamboo books have proved the existance of Chinese zodiac before the Qin Dyansty (221 – 207BC), and the complete 12 animals’ cycle had been set before or during the Eastern Han Dynasty (25 – 220AD). What’s the origin of this mysterious theory with more than 2,000 years’ history? There is actually no conclusion, but the various guesses and legends make it more intriguing, Travelchinaguide reported.
Some people believe that the 12 Chinese zodiac animals are simplified from the 28 animals which represent 28 constellations in ancient Chinese astronomy, while some insist the zodiac’s relationship with Jupiter’s revolution period just about 12 years. The most popular is the totem saying of the origin related to animal worship.
There is an interesting legend about the origin of Chinese zodiac. The Jade Emperor wanted to select 12 animals to be his palace guards. He prefered the Ox to be the first for its honesty and deligence, but out of everyone’s expectation, the smart Rat covertly hided on the Ox back and occupied the first place at the essential moment. The Tiger was crowned as the King of the Forest while the Dragon was titled the Lord of the Sea, and they ranked behind the Ox. The Rabbit won a race with the Dragon and gained No. 4. The Snake, Horse, Sheep, Monkey, and Rooster followed. The Dog was punished to be the last one for biting the Rabbit in a pet. Actually the Dog was the 11th, because there is one being late for the interview – the Pig finally took the last place.
*Read More: 2021 Chinese Horoscope - all 12 Zodiac Signs in Year of Ox for Love, Health, Career, Money
Meanings of 12 Chinese zodiac animals
People’s birth years determine their Chinese zodiac signs, but not easy! Each animal is associated with particular personality traits, making it fun to look up what your sign is according to the year of your birth date.
There is an animal representing each year, but the “year” is defined by Chinese lunar calendar, not the Gregorian year you are familiar with from Jan. 1st to Dec. 31st.
The dates of Chinese Lunar New Year vary every year, but will fall on a day in January or February. If you were born on a day during March to December, it won’t be difficult to figure out your zodiac animal sign, but for people with birthdays in January or February, there are bigger chances of mistaking their signs.
You can use our zodiac calculator to search for your animal sign. Select your Gregorian date of birth in the widget, and it will reveal your date of birth according to the lunar calendar, together with your sign.
The 12 zodiac animals are shown below, with recent years for you to directly find out your own birth year and animal sign, meaning.
Birth years: 1936, 1948, 1960, 1972, 1984, 1996, 2008, 2020
Personality traits:Ambitious, charming, talkative, resourceful, private, frugal, critical
Birth years: 1937, 1949, 1961, 1973, 1985, 1997, 2009, 2021
Personality traits:Diligent, gentle, hardworking, reliable, patient, materialistic, stubborn
Birth years: 1938, 1950, 1962, 1974, 1986, 1998, 2010
Personality traits: Confident, brave, magnetic, idealistic, thrill-seeking, arrogant, selfis
Birth years: 1939, 1951, 1963, 1975, 1987, 1999, 2011, 2023
Personality traits: Kind, sensitive, artistic, romantic, judgmental, timid, refined
Birth years: 1940, 1952, 1964, 1976, 1988, 2000, 2012, 2024
Personality traits: Outspoken, energetic, generous, intelligent, perfectionistic, egocentric, impatient
Birth years: 1941, 1953, 1965, 1977, 1989, 2001, 2013, 2025
Personality traits: Clever, curious, alluring, wise, anxious, calculating, jealous
Birth years: 1942, 1954, 1966, 1978, 1990, 2002, 2014, 2026
Personality traits: Amusing, enthusiastic, independent, persuasive, irresponsible, moody, opportunistic
Birth years: 1943, 1955, 1967, 1979, 1991, 2003, 2015, 2027
Personality traits: Easygoing, empathetic, creative, cheerful, disorganized, impulsive lazy
Birth years: 1944, 1956, 1968, 1980, 1992, 2004, 2016, 2028
Personality traits: Entertaining, intelligent, optimistic, sociable, fickle, secretive, unpredictable
Birth years: 1945, 1957, 1969, 1981, 1993, 2005, 2017, 2029
Personality traits: Adventurous, charitable, funny, loyal, argumentative, boastful, self-involved
Birth years: 1946, 1958, 1970, 1982, 1994, 2006, 2018, 2030
Personality traits: Helpful, honest, trustworthy, unselfish, pessimistic, anxious, timid
Birth years: 1947, 1959, 1971, 1983, 1995, 2007, 2019, 2031
Personality traits: Caring, generous, smart, outgoing, fearful, impatient, materialistic
*Read More: Chinese Zodiac Time - Hours a Day
The Five Elements
The animal corresponding to the year you were born is only one part of your Chinese zodiac profile; the philosophy of the Five Elements is another.
The traditional Chinese astrology indicates that the Five Elements are in a balanced generating cycle: Fire burns things to ash and Earth; Earth bears Metal inside; Metal turns into liquid (Water) in high temperature; Water nourishes Wood; Wood feeds Fire. Therefore some zodiac animals with agreeable elements can perfectly support and promote each other when they stay together, while some would stay in peace and tacit agreement; however some restrict or even harm each other when they meet.
While Western astrology incorporates beliefs about the four elements of earth, air, fire, and water, the Five Elements of the Chinese zodiac are metal, water, wood, fire, and earth, Oprahmag reportes.
The Five Elements impact the Chinese zodiac in several ways. After you've located your Chinese zodiac animal, finding the element for your birth year will tell you more. Each zodiac animal also has a “fixed,” or permanently rooted, element that they’re governed by no matter what the year. For example, while 2021 is the Year of the Metal Ox because it’s affected by the “mutable,” or varying, element of Metal, the Ox’s fixed element is always Earth.
|An illustration of how the Five Elements interconnect with each other. THOTH_ADANGETTY IMAGES|
Here are the Five Elements’ basic meanings:
Birth years: Last number of your birth is 0 or 1
Associated with: “solidity and willpower"
Birth years: Last number of your birth is 2 or 3
Associated with: “responsiveness and persuasion”
Birth years: Last number of your birth is 4 or 5
Associated with: “imagination and creativity”
Birth years: Last number of your birth is 6 or 7
Associated with: “passion, and bursts of dynamic energy”
Birth years: Last number of your birth is 6 or 7
Associated with: “down-to-earth qualities that encourage focus and commitment to achieving goals.”
*Read More: 2021 Horoscopes and Predictions for all 12 Zodiac Signs - Our expert astrologers are here to make your life simpler by suggesting detailed remedies for your problems along with your 2021 astrology forecasts.
Check Compatibility for you and your partner
Use our testing tool to check the compatibility for you and your partner with Top 3 Matches:
Rat + Ox = 95%
- Perfect match!
- mutual loyalty & intimacy
- peaceful & harmonious marriage life
Rabbit + Sheep = 90%
- talents in common
- sympathetic opinions on art
- perfect especially for male Rabbit & female Sheep
Snake + Rooster = 90%
- mutual appreciation
- happy marriage
- natural agreement, with less conflict
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