Chinese New Year never falls on January 1. The celebration day is based on lunar reckoning and occurs no earlier than January 20 and no later than February 20. The Chinese calendar began with the year 2637 BC, when the Emperor Huangdi supposedly invented it.
There are 12 animal signs, or years, which make up a single cycle of the Chinese zodiac. Legend says Buddha summoned all living creatures on Earth, but only 12 came. To honor their obedience, he named one year for each of the 12. The cycle starts with the Year of the Rat, followed by the Ox (Buffalo), Tiger, Rabbits, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Sheep £¨Ram or Goat, Monkey, Rooster (Cock), Dog, and Pig (Boar). Each sign is said to have certain characteristics to those born under it.
(1912, 1924, 1936, 1948, 1960, 1972, 1984, 1996, 2008)
Outwardly cool, but charming and sociable, Rats are always at their ease in company and get along well in groups of people, both at work and socially. Endowed with intelligence, observant and imaginative, Rats are quick to grasp the situation, and can readily size up what is going on from everybody’s points of view. This enables them to give good advice to others who are slower to catch on, though they may say more than others wish to hear. While Rats are normally very self-controlled, they can’t resist the chance to take advantage opportunities. They can other be chasing too many tails at once. They make passionate lovers with a depth of feeling that others often to not recognize.
Famous Rats: Shakespeare, Mozart, Churchill, Buddy Holly, Gene Kelly and Lauren Bacall
(1913, 1925, 1937, 1949, 1961, 1973, 1985, 1997, 2009)
The Ox shoulders the plow and sturdily and uncomplainingly plows his of her own furrow through life. Ox people can be “loners” who have little time to society, but they are strong, dutiful and reliable types who form firm bonds with home and family and cherish their private lives. Not usually very adventurous, they like staying at home and working in their backyard, which they do with method and application. Sometimes the Ox’s strength comes out in great shows of obstinacy or determination, and the Ox will always stoutly defend what he or she thinks is right. This is not necessarily the most romantic of the signs, but Ox people make steadfast lovers and faithful, affectionate partners and spouses.
Famous Ox: Barack Obama, Napoleon, Walt Disney, Richard Nixon, Margaret Thatcher and Hans Christian Anderson
(1914, 1926, 1939, 1950, 1962, 1974, 1986, 1998, 2010)
Tigers have passion, strength, speed and courage and a restless love of freedom. They need independence and they also like to dominate. They need to occupy powerful positions and are not afraid of meeting a challenge head on. Tiger people dislike routine and anything that seems to be petty. They can be restless, always on the prowl, and not settling to anything for long, but they will also be prepared to sniff out and stalk what they want and take a bold leap for it when the moment seems right. Tigers make honest, generous friends and passionate and sensual lovers. Flirty when young, once committed they make stable partners who keep their sexual allure and become good parents.
Famous Tigers: Marco Polo, Eisenhower, Marilyn Monroe, Groucho Marx and Princess Anne
(1915, 1927, 1939, 1951, 1963, 1975, 1987, 1999, 2011)
Peace-loving rabbits generally like to keep out of arguments and, as a result, can be very diplomatic and also good at negotiating. Gentle, emotional and even sentimental, Rabbits can be quite selfish in the pursuit of their own pleasure, although they would not deliberately hurt anyone else in the process. While their diplomatic skills usually prevent them showing it, Rabbits can be badly hurt by thoughtless treatment or criticism from others. They present a well-groomed appearance, and are well-mannered, but they also like to play and their love on fun can take people by surprise at times. The Rabbit’s strength is in observing the game, assessing the situation, and coming up with a solution or innovation when the time is ripe. Rabbits make sensitive lovers. They are shrewd and seek a partner who offers the security they need in life.
Famous Rabbits: Confucius, Einstein, Nureyev, Arthur Miller and Orson Welles
(1916, 1928, 1940, 1952, 1964, 1976, 1988, 2000)
Dragons are exceptional creatures, but they can be proud, over-assertive, and intolerant of other people. Whether breathing fire or generally causing a stir, the Dragon person often attracts and enjoys attention and is also more at home in demanding situations that require assertive action than in routine, everyday business. Dragon folk are self-reliant and can throw a lot of energy into dealing with the demands of the moment ¨C to the point where they can get carried away and make misjudgments through impulsiveness, tiredness, or lack of consultation. From partners, they get as much stimulation through empathy as they do from sex. Consequently, a companion on the same wavelength is essential to the Dragon.
Famous Dragons: Joan of Arc, Freud, Pearl Buck, Paul Getty, Faye Dunnaway and Sarah Bernhardt
(1917, 1929, 1941, 1953, 1965, 1977, 1989, 2001)
Wise and meditative, the Snake may lie in coils for hours and then effortlessly dart out his tongue. Snake people usually know what they want and go and get it in their own good time with apparent ease, and certainly without hurrying. At their own chosen time, they may also shed their skins and take up something completely new. This ties in with Snake people’s secretive or mistrustful side: others may be put off by the way they are never let into the confidence of a Snake person. Snake people may like to show off their social side, but they have a strong need to be left alone, too, and they also need to rest quietly after periods of activity. Passionate and strongly sexed, Snakes are attracted to elegant, refined partners, but they are deeply jealous and can be dauntingly possessive.
Famous Snakes: Darwin, Edgar Allan Poe, Abraham Lincoln, Greta Garbo, Mae West and Grace Kelly
(1918, 1930, 1942, 1954, 1966, 1978, 1990, 2002)
Horse-born people are usually lively and popular, mentally alert, good with words, and also straight and honest. They seek success and enjoy a challenge, but can suddenly shy away with a jump or a kick of their heels and canter off in search of freedom, especially if they feel that they are being expected to do things that to them seem pointless. At the same time they are prepared to devote tireless energy toward making a success of something they have chosen for themselves, or feel committed to, without counting their time. Horse people rarely worry about being settled and generally like to be traveling or on the move, which can lead to an erratic or changeful way of life. For Horse people, love is blind. In losing their hearts, they lose their heads and often make several mistakes before finding the right partner.
Famous Horses: Rembrandt, Teddy Roosevelt, Leonard Bernstein, Billy Graham, Boris Yeltsin
(1919, 1931, 1943, 1955, 1967, 1979, 1991, 2003)
Sheep-born people dislike being hurried or to be put under pressure. They can be very charming, but sometimes hold back and do not let their emotions speak, so that others do not fully appreciate their true natures. Although they can be adaptable and sure-footed when they need to be, they do like stability and prefer to live and work in the company of other people. Perhaps a little shy, the Sheep person has ready sympathy for anyone down on his luck. Lovers of nature and the arts, Sheep people can be so timid that they can be very easily hurt and upset, especially by anything that appears to be a confrontation. They are made for marriage and find emotional satisfaction with a partner who provides them with security in life.
Famous Sheep: Michelangelo, Mark Twain, Orville Wright, Buster Keaton and Laurence Olivier
(1920, 1932, 1944, 1956, 1968, 1980, 1992, 2004)
Bright, clever, inventive, witty, sometimes a bit of tease, and so crafty, Monkeys are capable of deceiving others if it suits them. These people are fast learners, quick on the draw, and are adaptable to many circumstances. They are generally gregarious and readily communicative, and often have a gift for languages or a gift of gab. Some find the Monkey’s wit irresistible, while others may find them a bit too smart and mistrust them for their inquisitiveness and their ability to pull a fast one. Monkey people have wide interests, which sometimes makes them dart from on thing to another quickly. They need partners able to keep them stimulated.
Famous Monkeys: Julius Caesar, Truman, Elizabeth Taylor, Joan Crawford, Omar Sharif and James Stewart
(1921, 1933, 1945, 1957, 1969, 1981, 1993, 2005)
Rooster people are a little flamboyant, have good bearing, a sense of their own dignity, a love of forward planning and no hesitation in raising their voices and speaking up when they feel like it. They are honest and reliable, if at times a little too outspoken for everybody’s liking. Conscientious and hard-working, Rooster people are usually very efficient at their work, though they can get bogged down on details. They like getting dressed up for special occasions and like being the center of attention with their stylish good looks. They make levelheaded partners who take a rational approach to their relationships.
Famous Roosters: Kipling, Peter Ustinov, Dolly Parton, Katherine Hepburn and Eric Clapton
(1922, 1934, 1946, 1958, 1970, 1982, 1994, 2006)
Most Dog people are cheerful and forthright, direct and honest, and, above all, loyal. They have a sense of justice and fair play, and like helping others. Always alert, Dog people are normally good at assessing the situation, yet when things go wrong, they are also prone to worrying. They are particularly good at conversation and problem-solving. Normally sensible, levelheaded and reliable in a crisis, Dog people can sometimes flare up in temper. A stable relationship is an essential component in the lives of Dogs and, once they have found their mate, they remain faithful for life.
Famous Dogs: Socrates, Ben Franklin, Herbert Hoover, Sophia Loren and Norman Schwarzkopf
(1923, 1935, 1947, 1959, 1971, 1983, 1995, 2007)
Pig people are kind, honest, generous and good-humored, as well as having an excellent sense of fun and a talent for making jokes. They usually love their homes but are generally not very good housekeepers. They like indulging in their pleasure and would rather spend their time and money buying, preparing and eating good food. Stead, patient, and enduring, good at organizing without being bossy, Pig people are very trusting and trustworthy. Very sensual lovers, they may enjoy love between satin sheets, with caviar and champagne nearby.
Famous Pigs: Albert Schweitzer, Ernest Hemingway, Fred Astaire Arnold Schwarzenegger and Maria Callas