Curious about your true spirit animal, at least according to Chinese culture? Let’s take a look at the 12 Chinese zodiac signs and see what’s in store for you.
History of the Chinese Zodiac Signs
The Chinese zodiac is composed of twelve animals. Nobody knows precisely when the zodiac came into existence, but records revealed that the zodiac appeared during the Han Dynasty (starting 202 B.C.). The zodiac also has roots in early Chinese astronomy.
In ancient China, astronomers would use the planet Jupiter as a constant. The planet makes a full orbit around the earth every 12 years, so the Chinese zodiac consists of a 12-year cycle.
Aside from satisfying the people’s spiritual needs, the emperors relied heavily on astrology and astronomy to ensure harmony for everything on earth, so he needed to be accurate in all astronomical matters. The zodiac animals / Chinese horoscope helped the emperors better understand the stars’ positioning and the cosmos. After all, the Emperor was supposed to have a mandate of heaven or (Tian-ming) to rule.
Each of the 12 zodiac animals stands for one year in a 12-year cycle. Each zodiac animal also stands for one day in a 12-day cycle and every two hours in a 24-hour day.
Order of Zodiac Animals
What animal comes first? According to Chinese legend, the Jade Emperor decided the zodiac animals’ order be determined by a race held on his birthday. The first twelve winners would represent a 12-year-cycle of the Chinese New Year.
The ox leads the race to cross the river, heading to the finish line. However, the intelligent rat convinced the kind ox (the world’s first recorded Uber ride!) for a free trip. It might’ve been a T-mobile Tuesday coupon. The ox agreed. But just as the ox approached the finish line, the clever rat jumped off the ox, scoring to cross the finish line for the first place! Therefore, the rat appears as the first of the 12 zodiac animals.
12 Zodiac Animals
While the Chinese and Western zodiacs are broken down into twelve segments, the Chinese zodiac is separated by years rather than months. Here are the 12 zodiac animals in the order they finished the Emperor’s race:
Dragon is the only mythical animal in the race. Legend tells the story that the noble Dragon went to save villagers from a fire, and therefore happily settled for the fifth spot after helping the Rabbit land the fourth place.
Ever wonder why one of our beloved pets, the Cat, is not included in the Chinese zodiac animal lineup? The Cat came in thirteenth in the race, and we’ll write about this funny backstory later.
To find out your zodiac animal sign, refer to the chart below by your birth year.
The Chinese zodiac animals are said to have lucky meanings. People who ascribe to the zodiac associate each animal sign with specific traits. Let’s take a closer look:
The first animal in the Chinese zodiac is the Rat. The last Rat year was 2020, and many might find that an accurate animal sign for that year. Rats are intelligent, resourceful, and quick-witted. However, they lack courage. With sharp observations and big imaginations, a rat can take advantage of various opportunities. In Chinese culture, a rat represents thriftiness and diligence. So a person who is born in a Rat year is thought to be prosperous and wealthy.
For a Rat-person, might we suggest you try a cup of Yellow tea? Discover tea’s health benefits here.
A shrewd Rat would do well to utilize this tea that’s full of brain-boosting properties and antioxidants.
Some famous people born in the year of the Rat include Richard M. Nixon (1913), Rosa Parks (1913), and Wilt Chamberlain (1936).
Rats are compatible with the ox and the Dragon. Friends with the Snake. Incompatible with the Horse and the Rooster.
2021 was the last year of the Ox. Known for having determination, strength, and diligence, the reliable ox embodies conservative and traditional characteristics. A female Ox makes for a loving partner who will attach great importance to her children’s education. A male Ox is patriotic, ambitious, and places a lot of importance on work and family.
For an Ox, I suggest trying some Puer or Pu-erh tea. Earthy and aromatic, Puer tea is bold, strong, and filled with health benefits. Puer is courageous tea!
Some famous people born in the Year of the Ox include Charles Lindbergh (1902) and Margaret Thatcher (1925). We’ll get to more information about the Ox year later.
Ox is compatible with the Rat, the Monkey, and the Rooster. Incompatible with the tiger, the Dragon, the Horse, and the Goat.
2022 will be the Year of the Tiger. As you might expect, a person born in the Tiger year is confident, competitive, and courageous. They can be charming and liked by others. A Tiger can have strict judgment and a stubborn personality. Tigers tend to express themselves boldly and can be authoritative at times.
An adventurous drink for an adventurous animal, all tigers should give Lapsang Souchong Black tea a try. Lapsang’s signature smoky aroma is perfect for the large Cat in YOU.
Lapsang Souchong is historic tea. Remember the Boston Tea Party? Two-thirds of all the tea thrown into the Boson Harbor was Lapsang black tea, from the Wuyi Mountains, Fujian, China. Also known as Bohea tea in the West, Lapsang Souchong Black tea is the origin of the world’s black teas.
Some famous people born in the Tiger Year include Joe Louis (1914) and Marilyn Monroe (1926).
Tigers are compatible with the Horse, the Dragon, and the Pig; incompatible with the ox, the tiger, the Snake, and the Monkey.
The next Rabbit year will be in 2023. A Rabbit tends to be alert, elegant, and gentle. Responsible, kind, and quick, Rabbits can also be stubborn and superficial.
A gentleman who belongs to the Rabbit sign will always treat others with respect. They are sincere and credible. On the other hand, a Rabbit woman will be reserved and pure of heart. While Rabbits make for loyal companions, they are also reluctant to reveal what they’re thinking.
A delicate and sweet Rabbit would be wise to try some Rose herbal tea.
Some famous people born in the year of the rabbit include Michael Jordan (1963), Whitney Houston (1963), and Frank Sinatra (1915).
Rabbits are compatible with the Rat, the Goat, the Monkey, the Dog, and the Pig; incompatible with the Snake and the Rooster.
The most recent year of the Dragon was in 2012. The Dragon is the only mythical creature out of all Chinese zodiac animals. It is also the most potent and vital animal in the zodiac and has a reputation for being hotheaded and having a sharp tongue. Dragons can be confident and enthusiastic. They don’t back away from challenges, and they like to take risks. However, a dragon can also be aggressive and may not handle criticism well.
A Dragon needs a tea that matches its power, skill, and strength. And for them, we recommend trying none other than Oolong DA HONG PAO varietal, one of the rarest and most expensive teas in the world.
Oolong tea (烏龍茶) is one of the six major tea types in traditional Chinese tea. A semi-fermented tea, Oolong comes with a mystical origin in Wuyishan. Oolong means black dragon in Chinese. DA HONG PAO (大紅袍) varietal is the origin of Oolong tea.
Some famous people born in the year of the Dragon include Martin Luther King Jr. (1929), Stanley Kubrick (1928), and John Lennon (1940).
Dragons are compatible with the Rat, the tiger, and the Snake; incompatible with the ox, the Goat, and the Dog.
The next Snake year will be in 2025. Snakes are enigmatic and intuitive. They prefer to act based on their judgments and are private by nature. However, a Snake is determined to accomplish its goals, no matter what. Wise and intelligent, Snakes can also be materialistic and like to spend money. They want the best of everything. And they tend to lack patience.
Matcha Green tea is cherished in Japan, often prepared with rituals and reverence. And that’s why it’s perfect for the classy Snake. I highly recommend Matcha Green tea-latte for those who love tea-lattes (a personal favorite)!
Did you know that Matcha Green tea originated in China during the Song Dynasty (10th century)? The Chinese called this Song tea-drinking tradition Whipped Tea (點茶).
Some famous people born in the Snake year include John F. Kennedy (1917) and Muhammed Ali (1942).
Snakes are compatible with Dragons and Roosters. Incompatible with the Tiger, the Rabbit, Snake, the Goat, and the Pig.
The last year of the Horse was 2014. Someone born in a Horse year will be very energetic, active, and animated. They love to be around people, appearing in public venues such as concerts, parties, and shows. A Horse can sometimes be self-centered and insecure, but they also have a great sense of humor.
For the fast and robust Horse, you might want to try an Orange Spiced Black tea. This zesty beverage gives you an extra energy boost with a dash of Vitamin C!
Some famous people born in the year of the Horse include Paul McCartney (1942), Nelson Mandela (1918), and Greta Thunberg (2003).
Compatible with the tiger and the Goat. Incompatible with the Rat, the ox, the Horse, and the Rooster.
Someone born in a Goat year is said to be sympathetic, kind, shy, and gentle. They are full of justice and kindheartedness. These people are very creative, and they usually persevere. The friendly and creative Goat deserves an innovative drink.
Make sure to try some Rooibos tea! This natural tonic is said to have health benefits, such as improving your blood pressure and circulation. Rooibos tea also comes with extra benefits to boost beauty and wellness, like keeping your hair and skin healthy and your mind sharp.
Some famous people born in the year of the Goat include Kurt Cobain (1967), Bill Gates (1955), and George Harrison (1943).
Compatible with the rabbit, the Horse, and the Pig. Incompatible with the ox, the Dragon, the Snake, and the Dog.
The most recent Monkey year was in 2016. A Monkey has a magnetic personality and is intelligent and witty. Curious, clever, and mischievous, Monkeys love to play. Although they don’t have bad intentions, their jokes can sometimes hurt the feelings of others.
A delicious and decadent drink, Black Tea Latte is a perfect morning companion for any Monkey out there.
Some famous people born in the year of the Monkey include Bob Marley (1945), Elizabeth Taylor (1932), and Homer Simpson (1956).
Compatible with the ox and the rabbit. Friends with the Snake and fellow Monkey. Incompatible with the tiger and the Pig.
The next Rooster year will be in 2029. The Rooster is resourceful, observant, and talented. Courageous and a bit flashy, a Rooster loves to talk openly and honestly. Roosters are the happiest when with others.
For the Rooster, I recommend some Iron Buddha Oolong tea.
You might want to taste this fragrant Oolong tea using a Gong Fu Cha tea set for the flashy Rooster. Also called Kung Fu tea, this ancient tea tasting ritual started in the Southern regions of China, where tea-making was a way of life for thousands of years. Oolong tea is loaded with antioxidants and nutrients. Also great for cutting oil and grease after a meal. Want to lose weight? We recommend drinking Oolong tea regularly to help with the diet.
Some famous people born in the Rooster year include Serena Williams (1981) and Yoko Ono (1933).
Roosters are compatible with the ox and the Snake. Incompatible with the Rat, rabbit, the Horse, fellow roosters, and the Dog.
The most recent Dog year was in 2018. Dogs are honest and loyal. Amiable and kind, dogs are prudent. Because dogs aren’t great at communicating, it can be hard to convey their feelings and thoughts to others. Dogs can sometimes feel cynical about the world, and they tend to be quick to criticize when things are wrong.
This reliable zodiac animal should try Jin Jun Mei (or Golden Eyebrow). You should taste the sophisticated Jin Jun Mei pure, a refined Black tea created by Lapang Souchong Company. For those who prefer to add milk and sugar to their tea, try English Black tea or Assam Black tea as pure tea or a Black tea latte. Yum!
Some famous people born in the year of the Dog include Mother Teresa (1910), Elvis Presley (1935), and Donald Trump (1946).
Dogs are compatible with the rabbit, complementing the Rat, the tiger, the Monkey, and the Pig. Incompatible with the Dragon, the Goat, and the Rooster.
The final animal in the Chinese zodiac is the Pig. The next Pig year will be in 2031. Generous, compassionate, and diligent pigs have great concentration. The determined pigs will do whatever is within their powers to accomplish their goals. With a strong sense of responsibility, pigs handle everything with care and stay calm when facing challenges.
A kindhearted Pig would love the benefits and beauty that come with a floral Green tea, like Jasmine Fairy Maiden Green tea or the famous Dragon Well Green tea. Both are classic Chinese Green teas, known for their health benefits, and are rich in antioxidants.
Some famous people born in the year of the Pig include Ronald Reagan (1911), Weird Al Yankovic (1959), and Lucille Ball (1911).
Pigs are compatible with the tiger, the rabbit, and the Goat. Friends with the Dragon and fellow Pig. Incompatible with the Snake and the Monkey.
The Importance of Knowing About the Chinese Zodiac
The zodiac is a part of the ancient history of China. By learning about the Chinese zodiac, you can better appreciate China’s storied culture developed over the millennia. And hopefully, you gather some insights about yourself that will help you thrive and make 2021 Year of the Ox a healthy and prosperous year beyond your imagination.
Want to learn more about tea and her glorious history? Join our newsletter to receive updates on upcoming DRAGONS TEA SOCIETY events.