Chinese Zodiac Animals

By encino - Posted on 08 March 2009

The Chinese have an astrological system with a 12-year cycle. Animals represent each year in the cycle with certain characteristics. These are the signs or symbols chosen by the Chinese for the given years. The word “zodiac” comes from the Latin “zodiacus”, which originally comes from the Greek “zoidiakos kuklos”, meaning “circle of animals”. This uses the root word “zoo” which is now used in English to mean animal park (zoo being short for zoological park) and also used in the word “zoology” meaning the study of animals.

See what your sign is

Here is a list of the 12 animals with a description of the traits for each animal along with some pictures:


The Rat (or Mouse)

People born under the Chinese Zodiac sign of the Rat are quick-witted, clever, charming, sharp and funny. They have excellent taste, are good friends, are generous and loyal to others considered part of its pack. Motivated by money, they can be greedy. They are curious, seek knowledge and welcome challenges. Compatible with Dragon or Monkey.


astrology rat


The Ox (or Cow)

Considered one of the powerful Chinese Zodiac signs, the Ox is steadfast, solid, a goal-oriented leader, detail-oriented, hard-working, stubborn, serious and introverted but can feel lonely and insecure. Takes comfort in friends and family and is a reliable, protective and good companion. Compatible with Snake or Rooster.


astrology cow


The Tiger

People born under the Chinese Zodiac sign of the Tiger are authoritative, self-possessed, have strong leadership qualities. They are charming, ambitious, courageous, warm-hearted, highly seductive, moody, intense, and they’re ready to pounce at any time. Compatible with Horse or Dog.


astrology tiger


The Rabbit (Hare)

People born under the Chinese Zodiac sign of the Rabbit enjoy being surrounded by family and friends. They’re popular, compassionate, sincere, and they like to avoid conflict and are sometimes seen as pushovers. Rabbits enjoy home and entertaining at home. Compatible with Goat or Pig.


astrology rabbit


The Dragon

Considered one of the powerful signs, those born under the Chinese Zodiac sign of the Dragon are energetic and warm-hearted, charismatic, lucky in love and egotistic. They’re natural born leaders, good at giving orders and doing what’s necessary to remain on top. Compatible with Monkey and Rat.

chinese dragon


The Snake

People born under the Chinese Zodiac sign of the Snake are seductive, gregarious, introverted, generous, charming, good with money, analytical, insecure, jealous, slightly dangerous, smart and they rely on gut feelings. They are hard-working and intelligent. Compatible with Rooster or Ox.

See more about Snakes


astrology snake


The Horse

People born under the Chinese Zodiac sign of the Horse love to roam free. They’re energetic, self-reliant, money-wise, and they enjoy traveling, love and intimacy. They are great at seducing, sharp-witted, impatient and sometimes seen as a drifter. Compatible with Dog or Tiger.


astrology horse


The Sheep (or Goat)

People born under the Chinese Zodiac sign of the Goat might sit around being alone with their inner thoughts every once in a while. They are good thinkers, wanderers, they like to create, but can be unorganized, high-strung and insecure which may make then anxious. They do need love and support. Appearance can also be important for them. Compatible with Pig or Rabbit.


astrology goat


The Monkey

People born under the Chinese Zodiac sign of the Monkey thrive on having fun. They are energetic, upbeat, and good at listening but they lack self-control. They like being active and stimulated and enjoy pleasing themselves before trying to please others. They are heart-breakers, not good at long-term relationships, and have weak morals. Compatible with Rat or Dragon.

See more about Monkeys


astrology monkey


The Rooster

People born under the Chinese Zodiac sign of the Rooster are practical, resourceful, observant, analytical, straightforward, trusting, honest, perfectionists, neat and conservative. Compatible with Ox or Snake.


astrology rooster


The Dog

People born under the Chinese Zodiac sign of the Dog are loyal, faithful, honest, distrustful, often guilty of telling white lies, temperamental, prone to mood swings, dogmatic, and sensitive. Dogs excel in business but have trouble finding mates. Compatible with Tiger or Horse.


astrology dog


The Pig (or Boar)

The Chinese have a high opinion of pigs. People born under the Chinese Zodiac sign of the Pig are very nice, good mannered and tasteful. They may be perfectionists enjoying some of the finer things in life but that does not mean they are snobs. They can be helpful to others and are good companions unless someone close crosses them that is, then beware! They are always seeking more knowledge. Compatible with Rabbit or Goat.


astrology pig


Animal pages