What Chinese Zodiac Animals Say About Your Personality

What Chinese Zodiac Animals Say About Your Personality

Whether you’re a stubborn dragon or a hard-working rooster, today we’ll explain how the Chinese zodiac first came about, as well as some of the differences to look out for in each animal. If you don’t know which Chinese zodiac animal you are yet, we have a handy guide listed below to match you. These animals represent the rotating 12-year cycle that forms the Chinese zodiac and each is said to have its own special characteristics, lucky colours and other animals to be wary of, although I think it’s still best to take it all with a pinch of salt!


As in the Ten Heavenly Systems and 12 Earthly Branches, the Chinese zodiac was created for counting time, mostly based around the number 12. One ji is 12 years, one year has 12 months and one day has 12 time periods called shi chen. The Chinese zodiac is also closely linked with astrology, as people in ancient times noted that each year has 12 full moons, just as each animal relates to one of the 12 earthly branches – Yin Tiger, Chen Dragon, Shen Monkey etc.

Chinese Zodiac animals as we know them today originated in the Han Dynasty (202-240AD), with the selection and order based around each animal’s character and living habits. According to folklore, the order was determined by a race between the animals. The clever rat rode on the ox’s back until he could win the race, making him the first animal, whilst the gentle and gullible pig came in last place.


Rat:  1900, 1912, 1924, 1936, 1948, 1960, 1972, 1984, 1996, 2008, 2020

  • Characteristics: Intelligent, charming, but often motivated by money. A positive outlook that is at times known to be overly cautious, which can lead to missed chances.
  • Best Matches: Ox, Rabbit and Dragon.
  • Lucky Colours: Red, white.


Ox:  1901, 1913, 1925, 1937, 1949, 1961, 1973, 1985, 1997, 2009, 2021

  • Characteristics: Strong, persistent and straight-forward, but often stuck in old ways. Built to endure and succeed!
  • Best Matches: Rat, Monkey and Rooster.
  • Lucky Colours: Purple, white.


Tiger:  1902, 1914, 1926, 1938, 1950, 1962, 1974, 1986, 1998, 2010, 2022

  • Characteristics: Courageous and independent, but often known to show off. A strong and stable character that often holds too much inside, making it difficult to let off steam.
  • Best Matches: Dragon, Horse and Pig.
  • Lucky Colours: Purple, white.


Rabbit:  1903, 1915, 1927, 1939, 1951, 1963, 1975, 1987, 1999, 2011, 2023

  • Characteristics: Trustworthy, sincere, but often hesitant in new situations. A kind temperament that is quick to offer advice, but would never push it on somebody.
  • Best Matches: Sheep, Monkey, Dog and Pig.
  • Lucky Colours: White.


Dragon:  1904, 1916, 1928, 1940, 1952, 1964, 1976, 1988, 2000, 2012, 2024

  • Characteristics: Lucky, energetic and excitable, but sometimes stubborn and impatient. A tendency to live between extreme highs and lows.
  • Best Matches: Rat, Tiger and Snake.
  • Lucky Colours: White.


Snake:  1905, 1917, 1929, 1941, 1953, 1965, 1977, 1989, 2001, 2013, 2025

  • Characteristics: Philosophical, wise, witty, but sometimes paranoid. Good at learning from mistakes and taking on board actions of those around.
  • Best Matches: Dragon and Rooster.
  • Lucky Colours: White.


Horse:  1906, 1918, 1930, 1942, 1954, 1966, 1978, 1990, 2002, 2014, 2026

  • Characteristics: Adaptable, warm-hearted, loyal, but often overly frank. Flexible but willing to listen to what others have to say.
  • Best Matches: Tiger, Sheep and Rabbit.
  • Lucky Colours: Blue, green.


Sheep/Ram/Goat:  1907, 1919, 1931, 1943, 1955, 1967, 1979, 1991, 2003, 2015, 2027

  • Characteristics: Tasteful, creative, but indecisive. Finds comfort in careful planning rather than spontaneity.
  • Best Matches: Rabbit, Horse and Pig.
  • Lucky Colours: Purple.


Click to learn why it’s difficult to know whether it’s the Year of the Sheep, Ram or Goat?


Monkey:  1908, 1920, 1932, 1944, 1956, 1968, 1980, 1992, 2004, 2016, 2028…

  • Characteristics: Quick-witted, charming, loves to make others laugh, but often lacking in self-control. Spontaneous and quick to act on situations, but also quick to learn.
  • Best Matches: Ox and Rabbit.
  • Lucky Colours: Purple.


Rooster:  1909, 1921, 1933, 1945, 1957, 1969, 1981, 1993, 2005, 2017, 2029

  • Characteristics: Honest, hard-working, but often impatient when dealing with others. Guided by own instinct.
  • Best Matches: Ox and Snake.
  • Lucky Colours: Black, yellow, brown.


Dog:  1910, 1922, 1934, 1946, 1958, 1970, 1982, 1994, 2006, 2018, 2030

  • Characteristics: Loyal, good at keeping secrets, but often worries too much. Intelligent but slow to share ideas with others.
  • Best Matches: Rabbit.
  • Lucky Colours: Black, yellow, brown.


Boar/Pig:  1911, 1923, 1935, 1947, 1959, 1971, 1983, 1995, 2007, 2019, 2031

  • Characteristics: Honourable, good-mannered, but often gullible and easily led. Gentle with a strong interior grasp of life.
  • Best Matches: Tiger, Rabbit and Sheep.
  • Lucky Colours: Black, yellow, brown.


Can you relate to any of the characteristics above, or spot them in friends and family? We’d love to hear from you on our social media channels or get in touch here.

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