Chinese legend has it that 12 different animals were selected to go on a race through a river.
This race determined how time would be measured for the constituents of the Jade emperor.
Through the race, the 12 different animals did their best in order to come on top. And each one of them exhibited different tactics to do that.
This, now, informed the personality traits of the people born in the respective year each animal was assigned to.
So what does your Chinese Zodiac say about your personality?
Read on to know more!
1) Rat (…1960, 1972, 1984, 1996, 2008, 2020…)
People born in the year of the Rat are known to be very clever and persuasive.
The Rat is very likable, which was how it was able to convince the Ox to give it a ride on the Ox’s back.
According to some legends, the Rat was not the only passenger of the Ox across the river. The Rat was actually accompanied by the Cat.
The two of them were supposed to be the first two Zodiacs.
But just before the Ox got to the end of the river, the Rat pushed the Cat off the Ox’s back. Then it jumped over the Ox’s head, making it reach the finish line first.
Because of this, people born on the year of the Rat are considered resourceful, albeit a little bit cunning.
As people, they are quick-witted and funny. And as rats, they know how to save up for a rainy day.
They may not be the most confident people out there, but they definitely are one of the most sociable.
Rats are most compatible with the Dragon and the Monkey.
2) Ox (…1961, 1973, 1985, 1997, 2009, 2021…)
People born in the year of the Ox are diligent and determined.
The Ox is one of the more soft-spoken of the Chinese Zodiacs. But they can demand a presence through their steady nature.
During the race, the Ox was generous enough to give the Rat and Cat a ride on its back.
The Ox knew these two domestic animals will have a hard time crossing the river. So without any question, it told the smaller animals to get on its back.
The Ox did not even feel offended after the Rat hopped over his head to become the first Zodiac.
In the same way, people born in the year of the Ox are known to have a firm sense of self-worth.
They are very loyal to the end and know how to cheer a friend in times of need.
You can depend on them, and their energy is enough to make you feel safe.
But its soft-hearted nature is balanced by its inner strength. This is why most people see Oxen as well-put and reliable.
The Ox is most compatible with the Snake and the Rooster.
3) Tiger (…1962, 1974, 1986, 1998, 2010, 2022…)
People born in the year of the Tiger are known for their confidence and courage.
They speak with such enthusiasm and authority that you just can’t help but be drawn to their every word.
During the race, the Tiger came in third despite its strength and agility. This is because, as it clawed its way across the river, a strong current sent it off course.
It had to fight its way back to the surface in order to finish the race. But it did come in really close after the Ox.
In the same way, people born in the year of the Tiger do not easily give up.
They are known to be ambitious people, always with something to prove. Because of this, people see them as great leaders.
Although sometimes, people tend to stay away from them because of their mysterious and fierce nature.
But beneath all of those is a warm-hearted person who will fight tooth and claw for those they love.
The Tiger is most compatible with the Horse and the Dog.
4) Rabbit (…1963, 1975, 1987, 1999, 2011, 2023…)
People born in the year of the Rabbit are the most resourceful and full of hope.
They embody a lot of beauty, grace, and kindness that you will not see with just anyone. When they speak, they do so with such profound sense that they have an inexplicable allure.
During the race, the Rabbit did not even get wet crossing the river.
After seeing the Tiger get carried by a strong current, it had a different plan.
It hopped over rocks in order to get across. Before it got to the other side, it saw a floating piece of wood and hopped on it.
Then it propelled itself to the finish line.
Much like this animal, people born in the year of the Rabbit can always find a different way of approaching things.
They can make magic out of the most ordinary things. This is why they are one of the more creative Zodiacs.
They can find a dull object and turn it into something useful, or better, beautiful.
This is why they are one of the most beloved signs. Because they know how to turn even the darkest moments into something that brings joy.
The Rabbit is most compatible with the Goat and the Pig.
5) Dragon (…1952, 1964, 1976, 1988, 2000, 2012…)
People born in the year of the Dragon are powerful and brimming with luck.
They are known to be idealists. They like imagining a better world for people, especially those they love.
During the race, the Dragon came in fifth despite being the only animal able to fly.
This is because the Dragon went out of its way to create rain for a cluster of houses on fire.
With its immense size and power, it could’ve easily been the leader of the race. But instead, the Dragon decided he wanted to save people more than winning.
After helping the people, it saw that the Rabbit was having a hard time figuring out how to jump from its rock to the other side of the river.
So it blew a log in the Rabbit’s direction, which ultimately helped it finish before the Dragon.
The Dragon never told the Rabbit about this. It was happy enough to offer that helping hand to someone in need.
And this is actually the reason why people born in the year of the Dragon are considered lucky.
They are filled with so much compassion and joy to help that they just emanate luck and goodwill to other people.
Once they create this lucky energy around them, they pass it on to others.
They are actually known as one of the most helpful of the Zodiacs.
The Dragon is most compatible with the Rat and the Monkey.
6) Snake (…1953, 1965, 1977, 1989, 2001, 2013…)
People born in the year of the Snake know their way around things.
There is no situation too tight for them to get out of. In fact, they are so tactical that they can come off as manipulative.
Just like in the Zodiac race: The snake was not supposed to come out as sixth place. That was supposed to be won by the Horse.
But just before the Horse was able to step on the finish line, the Snake slithered between the Horse’s legs, making it gallop back in shock!
Then the sly snake crawled quickly to the finish line.
Just like this reptile, people born in the year of the Snake are excellent tacticians.
If they seem to be at a disadvantage at work, in relationships, or just about any situation, their quick thinking will definitely kick in.
They will be able to talk people into picking their side or giving them what they want.
But they really are not bad people. They just know how to play the game of life, and they are competitive enough to make sure they come out on the winning side.
All the same, Snakes know how to cut their losses.
Then they will use their deep thinking to formulate a plan so they could win the next time.
The Snake is most compatible with the Rooster and the Ox.
7) Horse (…1954, 1966, 1978, 1990, 2002, 2014…)
People born in the year of the Horse are full of energy and are very cheerful.
They can brighten up a room just by being in it. Their day is filled with so many small activities that keep them happy.
Arguably, Horses are the most upbeat of the Chinese Zodiacs.
During the Zodiac race, the Horse was overtaken by the Snake at the sixth spot of the Zodiac calendar.
Because the Snake surprised the Horse, it jolted in its happy galloping. It stepped back, giving the Snake enough time to finish first.
But the Horse was not even the slightest bit annoyed by what happened. It was just happy to be part of history.
And that was by doing what it does best: Running!
Just like this animal, people born in the year of the Horse are creatures with so much positive energy. They are animated and like being the center of attention.
They don’t try to steal the spotlight, but they can surely command a room through their jokes and energetic demeanor.
But don’t try to get on a Horse’s bad side. Because these people know how to pack a punch.
The Horse is most compatible with the Dog and the Tiger.
8) Goat (…1955, 1967, 1979, 1991, 2003, 2015…)
People born in the year of the Goat are known for being peacemakers.
They are mild-mannered, soft-spoken, and deeply empathetic.
During the race, the Goat was the one who formulated the plan for it and its two companions to cross the river.
The Monkey didn’t have any tree to swing from and the Rooster couldn’t fly too far.
When the Goat saw a raft nearby, it encouraged the other two to go with him so they could all cross the river together.
The Goat made sure no one was left behind.
Just like this animal, people born in the year of the Goat value justice and fairness. And they prioritize being able to help others rather than getting on top of everything.
To them, everyone deserves a fighting chance. And if they see someone not having the same tools as them to keep going, they will gladly share their own tools with those in need.
Goats may come off as shy individuals. But really, they’re just reserved.
They save up their energy because they are too busy helping as many people as they can.
The Goat is most compatible with the Pig and the Rabbit.
9) Monkey (…1956, 1968, 1980, 1992, 2004, 2016…)
People born in the Year of the Monkey are notorious pranksters.
They like making jokes and making fun of themselves, because that is their way to survive the brutality of life.
Just like in the race: The Monkey was responsible for boosting the morale of the shy Goat and the observant Rooster.
These three animals felt like they all didn’t have much of a fighting chance being in the earlier half of the Zodiac. So they just helped each other get through the race.
With its quick wit and jolly nature, the Monkey made things much lighter for the unlikely trio.
Especially while they were crossing the river.
The waves of the water and the cheering of the crowd were too loud for anyone to notice these three were about to cross.
So the Goat and the Rooster figured that maybe they could just give up.
But the Monkey encouraged the other two to keep going because it believed that even though they weren’t the first ones to finish, things could still be worth it.
Just like this tree-climber, people born in the year of the Monkey are wonderful cheerleaders.
They have such an easy-going nature to them that is infectious.
They may play a lot of pranks on their friends. They also seem to not take anything seriously.
But really, Monkeys are just curious (albeit mischievous) individuals who want their closest loved ones to have fun throughout life.
The Monkey is most compatible with the Dragon and the Rat.
10) Rooster (…1957, 1969, 1981, 1993, 2005, 2017…)
People born in the year of the Rooster are the most observant and hardworking people you’ll ever meet.
They never give up. And they do their best to learn as much of the world as possible so they can at least survive until the next day.
During the race, the Rooster was responsible for how it and its two companions are going to cross the river.
Seeing the Tiger struggling and the Rabbit being helped by the Dragon, it served as the lookout on the raft.
The Rooster made sure everyone was safe as they floated slowly across the water.
Just like this farm bird, people born in the year of the Rooster get things done.
When they start a project, they don’t stop until they see that everything is through. They are also early risers.
These morning people take a few hours out of their day to make sure everything is planned out before they set out to do each task on their list.
They work hard, and it pays off for them big time!
And they are always open to learning new things. Because of this, Roosters can be a jack of all trades.
To them, one cannot run out of things to learn about, as long as they know where and how to look.
The Rooster is most compatible with the Snake and the Ox.
11) Dog (…1958, 1970, 1982, 1994, 2006, 2018…)
People born in the year of the Dog are the most honest albeit naive of the Zodiacs.
They have a way of looking through life with wonder. And they easily get lost in the wonders of it that they get off-track from their original plans!
Just like in the Zodiac race: The dog, being one of the better swimmers and the faster animals, still ended up being second to the last to reach the finish line.
Why, you ask?
Well, that’s because it got distracted by the water.
When it saw the river, the first thing that went through its head was to play on the shore!
The Dog took its time lapping and splashing in the freshwater that it totally forgot about the race.
When it finally remembered what it was meant to do, the Dog happily swam across the river and greeted the Jade Emperor, tongue out.
Then it told the Emperor what happened as it wagged its tail.
To the Dog, the best thing about the race was the bath he was able to take after that long road behind it.
Similarly, people born in the year of the Dog are very candid and gentle people.
They literally couldn’t hurt a fly.
They are kind, loyal, and sincere. To them, there is no reason to manipulate or come on top… as long as they enjoy their own time.
For Dogs, satisfaction comes from looking back at life and seeing that they lived it fully, if not excellently.
The Dog is most compatible with the Tiger and the Horse.
12) Pig (…1959, 1971, 1983, 1995, 2007, 2019…)
People born in the Year of the Pig are known for their diligence and generosity.
They are the kind of people who will see things through despite any obstacle. Instead of giving up, they will forge onward till they achieve what they set their minds to.
During the Zodiac race, the Pig was the last animal to reach the finish line. It was way behind even the dog, who came before it.
The Jade Emperor even got worried about the Pig because it took so long.
But by the end of it all, it still arrived and was awarded the last spot in the Zodiac calendar.
When asked why it came so late, the Pig explained that it got hungry and stopped to eat. Then, because it got too full, the Pig fell asleep for a long time.
When it woke up, it went ahead to finish the race.
Just like this barn animal, people born in the year of the Pig know their priorities.
These priorities may not be the ones most people would consider as theirs. But it’s important to Pigs.
Their motto is “Slow and steady does the job.” To them, they don’t have to abide by the schedule of everyone else.
They can give everyone a starting distance, if a Pig had to! And they will be glad to do so.
What matters is they finish what they started. That is what gives them a sense of fulfillment.
The Pig is most compatible with the Goat and the Rabbit.
If you’re born in January or February, what is your Chinese Zodiac?
The Chinese calendar starts around February.
This begs the question: If the calendar starts around this month, what is the Zodiac of someone born in January to early February?
If you are one of these people, then that means your Chinese Zodiac follows the animal of the preceding year, instead of the current one.
For example, a baby born in January 2023 is not Rabbit, but is instead a Tiger.
But really, as this baby grows, they will know more about their leanings depending on their personality.
Eventually, that child may discover that they identify more with the graceful Rabbit than the ferocious Tiger. In which case, they would still be absolutely correct.
There is still more to discover about the intricacies of the Chinese Zodiac.
For example, we haven’t yet talked about the five different elements attributed to different years.
These can still influence the personalities and the luck connected to let’s say a Fire Tiger compared to a Wood Tiger.
But so far, the list above discusses significant information about each Chinese Zodiac.
It goes without saying, though, that just like Western astrology, the descriptions in this Zodiac are not the end-all-be-all of the personalities of people born in whatever year.
They are merely guides to help us get to know the general core of who we are talking to.
It also tells us that our intricacies are valid, and have been justified by the gods since time immemorial.