Reputedly the oldest chronological record in history, the ancient Chinese Lunar Calendar dates back beyond 2,600 BC. Based on the appearance of the new moon, it associates a different animal with each year in the 12 year lunar cycle.
Traditionally, the first year of the lunar cycle is ‘ruled’ by the mouse. According to legend, the order of the animals in Chinese astrology was determined by their race across a river. Unknown to the ox, the mouse hitched a ride on its back, leaping to victory at the very last second. The tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, goat, monkey, rooster, dog and pig followed the quick thinking mouse and the flabbergasted ox to dry land.
In Chinese culture, each animal is believed to influence the personality of the people born under its ‘rule’. The following table makes it easy to determine your most likely lunar animal. The exact dates of the current lunar year, which are dictated by the appearance of the new moon, are included below.
Year of the Pig – 5 February 2019 to 24 January 2020
The pig is the twelfth and final animal of the Chinese zodiac. People born under this sign are said to be diligent, generous and compassionate.
The mild mannered, easy-going pig is calm in the face of danger, and represents good fortune and wealth.
Famous people born in the Year of the Pig include Elvis Presley (1935), David Bowie (1947), Alfred Hitchcock (1899), Henry Ford (1863), and Humphrey Bogart (1899).
Year of the Dog – 16 February 2018 to 4 February 2019
The dog is the eleventh animal in the 12-year cycle of the Chinese zodiac. People born under the influence of the dog are said to be good-natured, loyal, kind, and sincere.
Fiercely loyal to those that they love, the dog will do anything for friends and family. They value honour, respect tradition and enjoy helping people.
Famous people born in the Year of the Dog include Vince Vaughan (1970), Madonna (1958), Bill Clinton (1946), and Winston Churchill (1874).
Year of the Rooster– 28 January 2017 to 16 February 2018
The rooster is the tenth animal in the 12-year cycle of the Chinese zodiac. People born under the influence of this sign are said to be highly motivated, hardworking and multi-talented.
The talkative Rooster can be quite social and enjoys being in a group setting or crowd, where they can display their many talents and skills.
Famous people born in the Year of the Rooster include Beyoncé Knowles (1981), Steffi Graf (1969), Goldie Hawn (1945), Groucho Marx (1890) and Eric Clapton (1945).
Year of the Monkey– 8 February 2016 to 27 January 2017
The Monkey ranks as the ninth animal in the 12-year cycle of the Chinese zodiac. The Monkey is a symbol of health and wealth and those born under the influence of this sign are said to be intelligent, quick-witted and adventurous.
People born in the Year of the Monkey are always interested in learning and new experiences. They are ambitious, optimistic and can be seen as impulsive. Monkeys are smart with their money and opportunities, pictures of monkeys are often placed on doors and walls to bring good fortune and wealth.
Famous people born in the Year of the Monkey include Leonardo da Vinci (1452), Tom Hanks (1956), Will Smith (1968), and Elizabeth Taylor (1932).
Year of the Goat– 8 February 2015 to 7 February 2016
The goat is the eighth sign of the Chinese zodiac. The goat is a symbol of independence and curiosity and those born under the influence of the sign are said to be elegant, charming, artistic, gifted and calm.
People born in the Year of the Goat are artistic, kind, inspired, very empathetic, and naturally creative. They appreciate beauty in all its forms and have a tendency to be introspective.
Famous people born in the Year of the Goat include Julia Roberts (1967), Mick Jagger (1943) and Bill Gates (1955).
Year of the Horse– 31 January 2014 to 18 February 2015
The horse is the seventh sign of the Chinese zodiac. The horse is a symbol of happiness and liberty and those born under the influence of the sign are said to be fiercely independent, hardworking, energetic, optimistic and animated.
Always the life of the party, people born in the Year of the Horse are popular with a passion for entertainment and large crowds. Quick-witted and clever, the horse is a master of repartee, amusing and delighting his audience wherever he goes.
Famous people born in the Year of the Horse include James Dean (1931), Frederic Chopin (1810), Jerry Seinfeld (1954), Barbara Streisand (1942), President Teddy Roosevelt (1858) and Oprah Winfrey (1954).
Year of the Snake– 10 February 2013 to 30 January 2014
The snake is the sixth sign of the Chinese zodiac. The snake is a symbol of wisdom and is believed to bring good luck and prosperity.
Those born under the influence of this sign are said to be wise, independent, analytical, graceful and charming. They are natural leaders, known for their courage and determination.
Famous people born in the year of the snake include Abraham Lincoln (1809), Mohandas Gandhi (1869), John F Kennedy (1917), and Martin Luther King (1929).
Year of the Dragon – 23 January 2012 to 9 February 2013
The Dragon is the fifth sign of the Chinese Zodiac. The Dragon is a symbol of power and wealth and is believed to bring good fortune and prosperity.
People born in the year of the dragon have a natural charisma, ambition and determination. They are natural organizers, known for their positive attitude and vibrant personalities.
Famous people born in the Year of the Dragon include Sigmund Freud (1856), Salvadore Dali (1904), John Lennon (1940), Al Pacino (1940) and Keanu Reeves (1964).
Year of the Rabbit – 3 February 2011 to 22 January 2012
The Rabbit is the fourth sign of the Chinese Zodiac. The rabbit is a particularly lucky emblem and those born under this sign are believed to have an uncanny gift for choosing the right thing.
Well-respected and wise, people with ‘rabbit’ personalities are renowned for their excellent memories and good taste. They make honourable and successful business partners and are also conservative by nature.
Famous people born in the Year of the Rabbit include Brad Pitt (1963), Angelina Jolie (1975), George Orwell (1903), Germaine Greer (1939), Albert Einstein (1879), and Confucius (551BC).
Year of the Tiger – 14 February 2010 to 2 February 2011
According to ancient Chinese mythology, beneath the calm exterior of people born in the Year of the Tiger lies the courageous and competitive personality of a natural leader.
Well-liked, people with ‘tiger’ personalities are charming, affectionate and passionate. Prepared to take risks, they remain optimistic in the knowledge that they will always land on their feet. Above all, the tiger symbolises power and daring.
Famous people born in the Year of the Tiger include Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II (1926), Dwight D. Eisenhower (1890), Sir Richard Branson (1950), and Steve Irwin (1962).
Year of Year of the Ox – 26 January 2009 to 14 February 2010
Calm, confident and determined, these people reject get-rich-quick schemes and are prepared to work hard to make their fortune.
Said to make good leaders, people born in the Year of the Ox can be inspirational to others, usually make good parents, and possess an innate ability to achieve great things.
Intelligent, tolerant, easygoing and self-assured, they are often regarded as dependable, patient and modest. Most compatible with people born in the Year of the Rat or the Year of the Dragon, they also exhibit the need for financial and emotional security.
Year of the Mouse -7 February 2008 to 25 January 2009
These people are said to possess enterprising spirits and are willing to work hard to achieve their goals. They love spending money and accumulating possessions. However, they should show restraint to avoid be labelled as greedy.
People born in the Year of the Mouse are also regarded as quick-witted and insightful, which equips them to succeed at almost anything. Ambition fuels their success, but sometimes it’s a stumbling block, particularly if they take on too many projects at once.
People born under the influence of the mouse are generally positive, cheerful, optimistic and charming, enabling them to make friends easily. They are most compatible with people born in the Years of the Dragon and Monkey.