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20100720 Fukuoka Kushida 3614

The carvings with Chinese Zodiac on the ceiling of the gate to Kushida Shrine in Fukuoka By Jakub Hałun via Wikimedia Commons

The Chinese Calendar is a based on the cycles of the moon. The start of the New Year begins anywhere from late January to mid-February. A complete lunar cycle takes 60 years. It is composed of five cycles that are 12 years each. Each 12-year segment is named after an animal. According to legend, Buddha called all the animals to him before he departed from earth. Only twelve came and as a reward to them, he named the years after them in the order they arrive (the order is listed below). It is believed the animal ruling of the year you are born effects your personality and “it is the animal that hides in your heart”.

The Chinese calendar uses the stem-branch system. The branches are the 12 years. There are ten stems that are used in the counting system. The stems are metal, water, wood, fire and soil; each having a yin and a yang side. There are a lot more intricacies in the system, but you should also know that the elements correlate to colors. Metal=white or golden, water=black, wood=green, fire=red, and soil=brown.

When you put all of this together you end up with the following:

  • 2007 is the Year of the Red Pig
  • 2008 is the Year of the Brown Rat
  • 2009 is the Year of the Brown Ox
  • 2010 is the Year of the White or Golden Tiger
  • 2011 is the Year of the White or Golden Rabbit
  • 2012 is the Year of the Black Dragon
  • 2013 is the Year of the Black Snake
  • 2014 is the Year of the Green Horse
  • 2015 is the Year of the Green Sheep
  • 2016 is the Year of the Red Monkey
  • 2017 is the Year of the Red Rooster
  • 2018 is the Year of the Brown Dog
  • 2019 is the Year of the Brown Pig
  • 2020 is the Year of the White Rat

What’s your sign?

Rat 1960 1972 1984 1996 2008
Ox 1961 1973 1985 1997 2009
Tiger 1962 1974 1986 1998 2010
Rabbit 1963 1975 1987 1999 2011
Dragon 1964 1976 1988 2000 2012
Snake 1965 1977 1989 2001 2013
Horse 1966 1978 1990 2002 2014
Sheep 1967 1979 1991 2003 2015
Monkey 1968 1980 1992 2004 2016
Rooster 1969 1981 1993 2005 2017
Dog 1970 1982 1994 2006 2018
Pig 1971 1983 1995 2007 2019

Please note the lunar calendar New Year determines which zodiac sign you fall under. If you were born in early January you should follow the zodiac symbol for the previous year. If you are born in late January or early February it gets tricky. Go here and to find out. If the year you were born is not listed, keep adding or subtracting twelve to your birth year until you match one of the years listed.

Be sure to read more on the next page…

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 March 13, 2012  Posted by at 3:48 pm Related Content Tagged with: ,