Chinese Zodiac Animals – A bit of history
The origin of the Chinese zodiac go back a VERY long time but we’ll simplify it for you.
There are 12 animals in the Chinese zodiac, each animal represents a year, so every person’s animal depends on their date of birth.
Be aware that the lunar calendar is used! Chinese New Year falls on a different date every year, commonly at the end of January or early February, so depending on your month of birth your animal might be completely different.
Use our Chinese Zodiac Calculator for a precise result.
How did China end up with the zodiacs?
Actually, there is no definite answer to this question, but rather a couple of theories.
The first theory says that the zodiacs do not originate from China. They rather came from the region of India, Tibet and Nepal with the rise of Buddhism around 150AD, during the Han dynasty.
The second theory implies that the zodiacs found their origins in ancient Chinese astronomy. Evidence was found that planet Jupiter was put at the centre while practicing astronomy in China, knowing that Jupiter takes 12 years to orbit around earth, it would be fitting to the 12 zodiacs.
Astronomy was important to the Emperor who was using it to rule its kingdom and make sure everything was harmonious on earth, in relation with heaven. So here is a good reason why zodiacs are so important and common use in the Chinese culture.
China is known for its large number of legends and great mythological heroes. So of course, there is a legend about the Chinese zodiac animals.
A long, long time ago, the Jade Emperor decided to host a race for all the animals in the world where the 12 highest placed animals would be accepted as Zodiacs. The higher they’d place, the better position in the Zodiac they would get. You know the rest.
That is why the order they appear in is not random!
Can I Calculate my Chinese Zodiac Animal Sign?
In short, yes you can!
Oddly enough you can use maths to discover what your Chinese Zodiac Animal in, and the great thing is, you don’t even need to be a maths whizz to do this either (although a calculator handy would be useful).
The super cool thing about this is not many people know how to do this or that it even exists so let’s show you what needs to be done in order to achieve the result.
For this example let’s say your year of birth is 1984.
STEP 1 – Divide your birth year by 12. (1984 / 12 = 165.3333)
Now the key thing to take from this number is the remainder (the number after the decimal point, in this instance .3333).
STEP 2 – Use this table, you’ll be needing it very shortly:
If your year divides perfectly into 12 (i.e. shows no remainder, but a whole number) lucky for you, we have the answer already, you are a MONKEY. The MONKEY’s number above is linked to 0 so, no remainder = no number. Nice and simple!
If you are like most of us and you do have a remainder, the next thing we need to do is:
STEP 3 – Multiply your decimal by 12.
Let’s take our example from 1984. 0.333 * 12 = 3.996
Simply round this number to your nearest whole number and we have 4. Refer to our table above, and number 4 is a RAT.
IT WORKED! 1984 babies are in fact year of the RAT.
Still don’t believe our Chinese Zodiac Calculation?
Let’s try another one.
How about our babies from 2001.
STEP 1 – 2001 / 12 = 166.75
STEP 2 – Check the table
STEP 3 – 0.75 * 12 = 9
Number 9 on our table is SNAKE – it worked again! How cool is that?!
And that, my friends, is how to calculate your Chinese Zodiac Animal yourself, within a minute!