10 Mythical Facts about Chinese zodiac

10 Mythical Facts about Chinese zodiac

As a brand new lunar year is approaching, (from Rooster to Dog) we want make sure you get all the facts and myths around Chinese zodiac. The Chinese animal zodiac (Shengxiao in Chinese), is a repeating cycle of 12 years, with each year being represented by an animal and its reputed attributes.

What most people don’t know, these zodiac animals were initially used to date the years.  As a century-old holiday around the world, MYKU got you covered on the top 10 facts around Chinese New Year (or, properly: The Lunar New Year).

Chinese Zodiac

1. Animal kingdom

As a whole lunar circle takes 12 years, there are 12 animals, one for each year, in the following order: Rat, Ox, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Goat, Monkey, Rooster, Dog, and Pig. So if you like to keep your age confidential, make sure you do not tell someone your Chinese zodiac sign.

2. Crouching Tiger hidden Dragon

    How do these animals come together – You may wonder how Monkey, Rooster and Dragon (etc.) fit together. According to ancient tales, the origins of zodiac came from “totems” of ancient tribes.  Each tribe had its unique animal symbol serving as their protecting deity. Among the zodiac signs, half of them are domestic animals and the rest are wild and mystical animals, which they admired and paid respect to.

    3. Chinese New year doesn’t know Jan 1st

    A Zodiac year doesn’t start on the same as the Gregorian calendar year. The Chinese zodiac year starts on the 1st day of Chinese New Year and not Jan 1st.  It follows the Chinese lunar calendar, based on astronomical observations

    4. Elements of Life

    Beyond animals, each Zodiac year is also associated with an element, according to Chinese Feng Shui. There are five elements: water, fire, earth, metal and wood. Every element has both harmonious and opposing effects on each other. For example, water can extinguish fire but also help to nourish wood.

    5. Elementary circle

    Every zodiac animals also represent an element, just like a lunar year. Each zodiac sign has an associated element according to the year, for example there are 5 types of dog in the zodiac calendar (fire, water, metal, fire and wood). Each type of an animal associated with an element will recur every 60 years and has again different characteristics attributed to it.

    6. You are such a rat!

    Every zodiac sign has distinctive personality traits. In the Chinese culture,  it is widely believed the year the person is born determines and affects the personality. Check the table below for a summary of the traits each animal sign signifies:

    🐁 Rat

    Resourceful, Quick-witted

    🐂 Ox

    Honest, Hardworking

    🐯 Tiger

    Self-confident , competitive

    🐇 Rabbit

    Gentle, Quick

    🐉 Dragon

    Confident, Ambitious

    🐍 Snake

    Intelligent, Charming

    🐎 Horse

    Energetic, Kind

    🐐 Goat

    Amicable, Gentle

    🐒 Monkey

    Intelligent, Witty

    🐓 Rooster

    Resourceful, Hardworking

    🐕 Dog

    Honest, Loyal

    🐖 Pig

    Generous, Compassionate


    7. It’s a Match!

    Zodiac signs are calculated for match-making and business partnerships. For those who believe in Chinese astrology, they consult fortune tellers to assess the compatibility of their zodiac signs based on their birthdays before getting married. Important dates are also determined by this factor. In business, some believe the zodiac signs have to be harmoniously matched before going into ventures or partnerships.

    8. Be careful if this year is your zodiac sign.

      Until today, it is widely believed amongst Chinese that if the year is the same as their zodiac sign, they offend the God of Age (Tai Sui), which will bring them bad luck for the year. As a custom, they have to go to temples to give offerings to the God of Age to avoid bad luck. Once the year is over, they have to go back and give thanks. Some theories suggest wearing red underwear on that New Year’s night of your zodiac to avoid bad luck, but there’s no harm trying right?

      9. Where is the (lucky) Cat

        Imagine this, the Chinese zodiac is so ancient, it existed before cats were brought to old China. originating from Egypt. Once cats became part of Chinese mythology, it was decided that, since the Tiger was already part of the zodiac, and cats are part of the same biological family, it is represented in the Chinese zodiac.

        10. What time is it? It’s Goat o’clock!

        In ancient times, there were no watches or clocks. To tell the time, Chinese used the 12 animals for convenience. Each zodiac sign represented 2 hours. For example, dog hours were from 7pm-9pm.

        Until today, the origins of the Chinese zodiac still remain a myth. Its’ fascinating facts and history however have become an essential part of Chinese culture and its traditions are celebrated around the world.

        We at MYKU are fascinated by these century-old mystical tales and traditions and believe that through exploring these origins, we can understand, appreciate and embrace different cultures.

        We wish you a prosperous New Year of the Dog! Woof woof hooray!