Chinese years refer to Chinese lunar years. There are two common ways in the world in term of making sense of time. One of which is cyclical, like the Chinese lunar calendar. It's based on the cycles of the moon. Another one is a linear perception of time, the western way, with time proceeding in a straight line from the past to the present and the future.
Since 1911, both the western calendar and Chinese lunar calendar have been in use by the Chinese. However, traditional festivals such as the Chinese New Year, the Mid-autumn Festival, are calculated with the Tran ional lunar calendar. That can explain why the Chinese New Year is also called Chinese Lunar New Year, and its date is not fixed if you want make a mark on your western calendar. It differs from year to year.
Actually that brought quite some time-blurring experience to me since I lived in the U.S. and didn't have a Chinese lunar calendar in my house. My relatives sent their blessings to me and my family here during some of the traditional holidays, and I was still caught in the American schedule. My eyes popped out and I said: What?! It's xxxx day already?
They forgave me. I was in a linear timeline when the cyclical time is on the other side the Pacific Ocean.
But not really. The cyclical time actually has been here on this side of the Pacific Ocean for decades in the form of one of the biggest, if not the biggest, annual celebrations of San Francisco, California, the Chinese New Year Festival and Parade. You might be one of the numerous people who have some experience of it. Or if you pay some attention to the date of the celebration parade, you might notice that the date is "odd", because it's way past the 1st of January, the New Year's Day. It can be as late as in late February.
The fun parts of Chinese lunar years are not only those beautiful and meaningful traditional celebrations, but also in the Twelve Animal Signs, the Chinese Zodiac, a popular folk method that records years with these 12 animals: Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Sheep, Monkey, Rooster, Dog, and Boar.
It forms 12 years with each animal as one cycle; every twelve years the same animal name or "sign" would reappear.
Much like monthly horoscopes in the West have been developed for the different moon signs, such Pisces, Aries, etc., Chinese horoscopes also have developed around the animal signs as an amusing cultural sideline and are not regarded seriously.
People normally can get an idea about how old your are without asking your age when they know your animal sign.
Have you ever wondered why the Rat gets the first position in the Twelve Animal Signs?
According to the legend of Chinese Years, it all started from a quarrel. When the twelve animals were chosen to represent the cyclical Chinese Years, they started arguing about who was to head the cycle of years.
They sought out the gods to decide their order. The gods suggested they have a contest to see who would be the first to arrive the opposite river bank. The arriving order would be the order of the years they represent.
They all agreed and the contest began.
All the twelve animals jumped into the water and swam towards the other side of the river bank. The ox was the fastest. But during the excitement, the rat had formed a strategy and jumped upon the ox's back without his knowing. As soon as the ox was about to jump upon the shore, the rat jumped off the ox's back, and won the race. The pig, or the boar, which was very lazy and didn't care about the order that much, ended up last. That is why the rat is the first year of the animal cycle, the ox second and the pig last.
And you might get a glimpse of why the rat is noted as very ambitious and successful according to the Chinese zodiac. People who are born in boar years work hard to achieve their goals and acquire possessions. They are also very likely to be perfectionists, and are charming as well as attractive for the opposite sex.
What is your Animal Year? Here is the the Chinese zodiac chart:
If you were born in JANUARY or FEBRUARY, your birthday is special. Here is the special chart for you to find your zodiac animal. After you find it, come back to this page to have fun with your animal.
|Birth Year||Date of Birth||Animal|
|2010||2-14-2010 to 2-2-2011||Tiger|
|2009||1-26-2009 to 2-13-2010||Ox|
|2008||2-7-2008 to 1-25-2009||Rat|
|2007||2-18-2007 to 2-6-2008||Pig|
|2006||2-17-2006 to 2-17-2007||Dog|
|2005||2-9-2005 to 2-16-2006||Rooster|
|2004||1-22-2004 to 2-8-2005||Monkey|
|2003||2-1-2003 to 1-21-2004||Sheep|
|2002||2-12-2002 to 1-31-2003||Horse|
|2001||1-24-2001 to 2-11-2002||Snake|
|2000||2-5-2000 to 1-23-2001||Dragon|
|1999||2-16-1999 to 2-4-2000||Rabbit|
|1998||1-28-1998 to 2-15-1999||Tiger|
|1997||2-7-1997 to 1-27-1998||Ox|
|1996||2-19-1996 to 2-6-1997||Rat|
|1995||1-31-1995 to 2-18-1996||Pig|
|1994||2-10-1994 to 1-30-1995||Dog|
|1993||1-23-1993 to 2-9-1994||Rooster|
|1992||2-4-1992 to 1-22-1993||Monkey|
|1991||2-15-1991 to 2-3-1992||Sheep|
|1990||1-27-1990 to 2-14-1991||Horse|
|1989||2-6-1989 to 1-26-1990||Snake|
|1988||2-17-1988 to 2-5-1989||Dragon|
|1987||1-29-1987 to 2-16-1988||Rabbit|
|1986||2-9-1986 to 1-28-1987||Tiger|
|1985||2-20-1985 to 2-8-1986||Ox|
|1984||2-2-1984 to 2-19-1985||Rat|
|1983||2-13-1983 to 2-1-1984||Pig|
|1982||1-25-1982 to 2-12-1984||Dog|
|1981||2-5-1981 to 1-24-1982||Rooster|
|1980||2-16-1980 to 2-4-1981||Monkey|
|1979||1-28-1979 to 2-15-1980||Sheep|
|1978||2-7-1978 to 1-27-1979||Horse|
|1977||2-18-1977 to 2-6-1978||Snake|
|1976||1-31-1976 to 2-17-1977||Dragon|
|1975||2-11-1975 to 1-30-1976||Rabbit|
|1974||1-23-1974 to 2-10-1975||Tiger|
|1973||2-3-1973 to 1-22-1974||Ox|
|1972||2-15-1972 to 2-2-1973||Rat|
|1971||1-27-1971 to 2-14-1972||Pig|
|1970||2-6-1970 to 1-26-1971||Dog|
|1969||2-17-1969 to 2-5-1970||Rooster|
|1968||1-30-1968 to 2-16-1969||Monkey|
|1967||1-9-1967 to 1-29-1968||Sheep|
|1966||1-21-1966 to 2-8-1967||Horse|
|1965||2-2-1965 to 1-20-1966||Snake|
|1964||2-13-1964 to 2-1-1965||Dragon|
|1963||1-25-1963 to 2-12-1964||Rabbit|
|1962||2-5-1962 to 1-24-1963||Tiger|
|1961||2-15-1961 to 2-4-1962||Ox|
|1960||1-28-1960 to 2-14-1961||Rat|
|1959||2-8-1959 to 1-27-1960||Pig|
|1958||2-18-1958 to 2-7-1959||Dog|
|1957||1-31-1957 to 2-17-1958||Rooster|
|1956||2-12-1956 to 1-30-1957||Monkey|
|1955||1-24-1955 to 2-11-1956||Sheep|
|1954||2-3-1954 to 1-23-1955||Horse|
|1953||2-14-1953 to 2-2-1954||Snake|
|1952||1-27-1952 to 2-13-1953||Dragon|
|1951||2-6-1951 to 1-26-1952||Rabbit|
|1950||2-17-1950 to 2-5-1951||Tiger|
|1949||1-29-1949 to 2-16-1950||Ox|
|1948||2-10-1948 to 1-28-1949||Rat|
|1947||1-22-1947 to 2-9-1948||Pig|
|1946||2-2-1946 to 1-21-1947||Dog|
|1945||2-13-1945 to 2-1-1946||Rooster|
|1944||1-25-1944 to 2-12-1945||Monkey|
|1943||2-5-1943 to 1-24-1944||Sheep|
|1942||2-15-1942 to 2-4-1943||Horse|
|1941||1-27-1941 to 2-14-1942||Snake|
|1940||2-8-1940 to 1-26-1941||Dragon|
|1939||2-19-1939 to 2-7-1940||Rabbit|
|1938||1-31-1938 to 2-18-1939||Tiger|
|1937||2-11-1937 to 1-30-1938||Ox|
|1936||1-24-1936 to 2-10-1937||Rat|
|1935||2-4-1935 to 1-23-1936||Pig|
|1934||2-14-1934 to 2-3-1935||Dog|
|1933||1-26-1933 to 2-13-1934||Rooster|
|1932||2-6-1932 to 1-25-1933||Monkey|
|1931||2-17-1931 to 2-5-1932||Sheep|
|1930||1-30-1930 to 2-16-1931||Horse|
|1929||2-10-1929 to 1-29-1930||Snake|
|1928||1-23-1928 to 2-9-1929||Dragon|
|1927||2-2-1927 to 1-22-1928||Rabbit|
|1926||2-13-1926 to 2-1-1927||Tiger|
|1925||1-24-1925 to 2-12-1926||Ox|
|1924||2-5-1924 to 1-23-1925||Rat|
|1923||1-16-1923 to 2-4-1924||Pig|
|1922||1-28-1922 to 1-15-1923||Dog|
|1921||2-8-1921 to 1-27-1922||Rooster|
|1920||2-20-1920 to 2-7-1921||Monkey|
|1919||2-1-1919 to 2-19-1920||Sheep|
|1918||2-11-1918 to 1-31-1919||Horse|
|1917||1-23-1912 to 2-10-1918||Snake|
|1916||2-4-1916 to 1-22-1917||Dragon|
|1915||2-14-1915 to 2-3-1916||Rabbit|
|1914||1-26-1914 to 2-13-1915||Tiger|
|1913||2-6-1913 to 1-25-1914||Ox|
|1912||2-18-1912 to 2-5-1913||Rat|
|1911||1-30-1911 to 2-17-1912||Pig|
|1910||2-10-1910 to 1-29-1911||Dog|
|1909||1-22-1909 to 2-9-1910||Rooster|
|1908||2-2-1908 to 1-21-1909||Monkey|
|1907||2-13-1907 to 2-1-1908||Sheep|
|1906||1-25-1906 to 2-12-1907||Horse|
|1905||2-4-1905 to 1-24-1905||Snake|
|1904||2-16-1904 to 2-3-1905||Dragon|
|1903||1-29-1903 to 2-15-1904||Rabbit|
|1902||2-8-1902 to 1-28-1903||Tiger|
|1901||2-6-1901 to 2-7-1902||Ox|
|1900||2-18-1912 to 2-5-1913||Rat|
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