The Chinese Zodiac is based on a 12 year cycle, with each year represented
by an animal. According to 传说 chuanshuo (legend), Buddha once asked
all the animals to visit him on New Year's Day but only twelve animals
arrived. They were the Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse,
Sheep, Monkey, Chicken, Dog and Pig. In order to reward the animals
that showed up, Buddha decided that they should each be awarded a year
of their own.
Legend has it that the 猫 mao (cat) showed up late for the meeting.
When he arrived he learned that Buddha had already given his year to
the rat. That logically explains why cats hate mice.
Every Chinese person, whether they believe in 算命 suanming (fortune-telling)
and other 迷信 mixin (superstitious nonsense) or not, is familiar with
the signs of the Chinese zodiac and their corresponding personality
traits. You should know them too.
兔子 tuzi (Rabbit)
1903, 1915, 1927, 1939, 1951, 1963, 1975 or 1987.
This year is the Year of the Rabbit, which means that if you were born
in one of the years listed above, this is your 本命年 benmingnian (the
astrological year of one's own sign).
On the bright side, Rabbits are peace-loving, kind, sweet, and lead
a well-ordered life. You avoid confrontations and have good diplomatic
and negotiating skills. Your home boasts beautiful 家俱 jiaju (furniture),
and you prefer to spend time there and with family rather than going
Rabbits are a symbol of 长寿 changshou (longevity) and often live to
a ripe old age. A Rabbit person is calm, gentle, discreet and reserved.
They are also gracious and well mannered. Rabbits have a good 记性 jixing
(memory), are intelligent, farsighted and intuitive. They are methodical
and make good counsellors. Rabbits also have good business acumen and
are lucky in business. Consider a career in customer relations.
On the down side, Rabbits have frequent mood swings, are indecisive
and overly sensitive, and can be touchy and suspicious.
Male rabbits are unfaithful lovers and are prone to extra-marital affairs.
Female rabbits make good mothers and wives. Your ideal partners are
the sheep, dog, dragon and pig. Avoid the rooster, rat and tiger.
龙 long (Dragon)
1904, 1916, 1928, 1940, 1952, 1964, 1976, 1988
In case you didn't know, Y2K is the Year of the Dragon. Dragons are
intelligent and 魅力 meili (charismatic). They are also lively and full
of vitality. Dragons are determined and have lots of self-confidence.
They follow their own judgement and can take control of and deal effectively
with problems. In love relationships, Dragons are self-centered but
filial, and tend to marry late.
While Dragons are admired, they have few close friends. That's because
they're dictatorial and don't listen to the advise of others. Dragons
are also 骄傲 jiao ao (arrogant), blunt, and lack patience and tolerance.
Dragons are eccentric and egotistical and seldom agree with their elders.
Ideal careers for Dragons include businessman, actor, athlete and singer.
John Lennon, Bruce Lee and Deng Xiaoping were all born in the Year of
the Dragon. Dragons get along well with rats, roosters and monkeys,
but not with oxes and dogs.
蛇 she (Snake)
1905, 1917, 1929, 1941, 1953, 1965, 1977, 1989, 2001
While snakes embody evil in the West, in the Chinese horoscope they
are considered to be quite virtuous. Snakes are intelligent, talented,
determined and great organizers. Besides being shrewd and good at business,
they are philosophical and good thinkers. Snakes are romantic and charming,
and are irresistible to the opposite sex.
At the same time, snakes are insecure liars. They are stubborn and demanding,
hate to listen to others, and cannot tolerate failure. They are also
possesive and jealous.
Snakes are best suited for a career in politics, entertainment, sales
and public relations. Ghandi and Mae West were both snakes. Good partners
for Snakes are roosters and oxes. Bad partners are tigers, pigs and
马 ma (Horse)
1906, 1918, 1930, 1942, 1954, 1966, 1978, 1990
People born in the Year of the Horse are the life of the party. They
enjoy meeting new people and make friends easily. Horses are 勤劳 qinlao
(hard working), experimental, adventurous, confident, elegant, independent
and loyal. They are also clever, but not exactly intelligent.
Sadly, Horses are quick-tempered, impulsive, stubborn and self-centered.
They are impatient and can't take advice. Horses are also 罗嗦 luosuo
(talk too much) and cannot 保密 baomi (keep secrets). They tend to 催
cui (rush) others but are themselves seldom 准时 zhunshi (on time).
Horses do well in public relations, tourism and commerce. They tend
to marry young and divorce young because they are too self-centered
to last in a relationship. Barbra Streisand, Lenin, and Nelson Mandela
are all examples of Horses. Sheep, tigers and dogs can put up with Horses.
Rats, monkeys, oxes and other horses make especially bad partners.
羊 yang (Sheep)
1907, 1919, 1931, 1943, 1955, 1967,1991
Sheep are quiet, easy going, patient, gentle and caring, although a
bit bossy. A Sheep person is artistic, adaptable, creative and fasionable.
They are also romantic, compassionate and affectionate, and make friends
The Sheep is the most moody of the Chinese Horoscope signs. Sheep dislike
discipline, are extremely 敏感 mingan (sensitive), and take comments
very personally. They are also dreamers and are often 悲观 beiguan (pessimistic)
and worry for nothing. Sheep can be lazy and indecisive. They are poor
in business due to their inherant disorganization. Sheep can be moody
or gloomy at times and fear taking initiative. They hate to be pushed
Sheep derive their 安全感 anquangan (sense of security) from the home.
They look to their family for stability and commitment. Male Sheep make
good husbands but tend to be chauvinistic and have high expectations
of their wives. Female Sheep make good wives and mothers but need a
lot of recognition from their husband.
Good careers for Sheep involve dancing, music, writing, hair design,
beauty and the arts. Career success comes slowly but steadily for Sheep.
Sheep pair well with rabbits, horses and pigs. They should avoid rats,
oxes and dogs. Mikhail Gorbachev and Benito Mussolini were both born
in the Year of the Sheep.
猴子 houzi (Monkey)
1908, 1920, 1932, 1944, 1956, 1968
Monkeys are intelligent, quick-witted, fun loving, resourceful, adapatable
and sociable. They are full of enery, fantasy and plans. A Monkey person
is clever, cunning, agile and lively. They are also good problem solvers.
At parties, they are at the center of attention due to their charm and
humour. Monkeys are also immune to insults.
However, Monkeys are unscrupulous, selfish and devious. They are dishonest
and inconsistent, and have litle respect for others. Monkeys also get
jealous and yield to temptation easily.
Monkeys are immensely attractive to members of the opposite sex. Before
settling down, they enjoy fun, entertainment, and many members of the
opposite sex. Dragons, rabbits and rats are good matches for Monkeys.
Tigers, however, are not. Success comes early for monkeys in the fields
of advertising, sales, marketing and mass media.
In closing the Comrade would like to remind readers that Chinese people
aren't the only ones that are 迷信的 mixin de (superstitious). Many
老外 laowai flip to the astrology section of the newspaper to learn
what 命运 mingyun (fate) has in store for them. Young lovers want to
know each other's 星座 xingzuo (astrological sign) in order to determine
their compatibility. Some people carry around a rabbit's foot for good
luck. And even in the West, folks pay big money to have their fortunes
Next week, we examine the other signs: the Chicken, Dog, Pig, Rat,
Ox and Tiger!