The Shēngxiào literally “birth likeness”, is also known in English as the Chinese zodiac. Zodiac derives from the similar concept in western astrology and means “circle of animals”. It is a scheme and systematic plan of future action that relates each year to an animal and its reputed attributes according to a 12-year cycle and it remains popular in several East Asian countries including China, Vietnam, Korea and Japan.
According to Chinese Astrology, your birth year tells you more than just your age. Find out what your Chinese zodiac sign reveals about you now! The Chinese Zodiac is based on a twelve year cycle, each year being represented by an animal. Find the year you were born to determine your own sign. Check out our guide to the Chinese Zodiac symbols and read more on Wikipedia and China Today.
The Chinese animal zodiac, or sheng xiao in pinyin (literally translated as “born resembling”), is a rotating cycle of 12 years, with each year being represented by an animal and its reputed attributes.
Traditionally these recurring animals were used to date the years, a different animal for each year, with each animal year repeated every 12 years. There are altogether 12 animals, which are, in order: rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, goat, monkey, rooster, dog and pig. How is this order determined?
Actually the Chinese animal zodiac has certain similarities with the Western zodiac. Both have rotating cycles divided into 12 parts, and both imply the influence of each sign on a person’s personality. However, the differences are major. The Chinese animal zodiac is divided into years, while the Western zodiac is divided into months, and the animals are not associated with constellations.