The Symbols of the Chinese zodiac


  • The Rat: 鼠 (chinese: shǔ; japanese: hiragana: ねずみ, reading: nezumi) - the first sign of the twelve earth branches
    • Zodiacal symbol (the Earthly Branch): 子 (mandarin chinese: zǐ; japanese: hiragana: ね, reading: ne).
    • Lunar Month associated: 11th (the second month of the winter; 07.Dec - 05.Jan).
    • Hour of the Rat: 23:00 - 1:00.
    • The fixed Element associated with the Rat is the Water (水).
    • The Rat is Yang and belongs to the 1st Trine (along with the Dragon and the Monkey).
    • Characteristics of the Rat: Forthright, tenacious, intense, meticulous, charismatic, sensitive, intellectual, industrious, charming, eloquent, sociable, artistic, and shrewd. Can be manipulative, vindictive, self-destructive, envious, mendacious, venal, obstinate, critical, over-ambitious, ruthless, intolerant, and scheming.
  • The Ox: 牛 (chinese: niú; japanese: hiragana: うし, reading: ushi) - the second sign of the twelve earth branches
    • Zodiacal symbol (the Earthly Branch): 丑 (mandarin chinese: chǒu​; japanese: hiragana: うし, reading: ushi).
    • Lunar Month associated: 12th (the 3rd month of the winter; 06.Jan - 03.Feb).
    • Hour of the Ox: 1:00 - 3:00.
    • The fixed Element associated with the Ox is the Water (水).
    • The Ox is Yin and belongs to the 2nd Trine (along with the Snake and the Rooster).
    • Characteristics of the Ox: Dependable, ambitious, calm, methodical, born leader, patient, hardworking, conventional, steady, modest, logical, resolute, tenacious. Can be stubborn, dogmatic, hot-tempered, narrow-minded, materialistic, rigid, demanding.
  • The Tiger: 虎 (chinese: hǔ; japanese: hiragana: とら , reading: tora) - the 3rd sign of the twelve earth branches
    • Zodiacal symbol (the Earthly Branch): 寅 (mandarin chinese: yín​​; japanese: hiragana: とら, reading: tora).
    • Lunar Month associated: 1th (the 1th month of spring, which is also the first month of the year; 04.Feb - 05.Mar).
    • Hour of the Tiger: 3:00 - 5:00.
    • The fixed Element associated with the Tiger is the Wood (木).
    • The Tiger is Yang and belongs to the 3rd Trine (along with the Horse and the Dog).
    • Characteristics of the Tiger: Unpredictable, rebellious, colorful, powerful, passionate, daring, impulsive, vigorous, stimulating, sincere, affectionate, humanitarian, generous. Can be restless, reckless, impatient, quick-tempered, obstinate, selfish, aggressive, moody.
    • Here you can find free pictures with the Kanji / Hanzi for the sign of the Tiger
  • The Rabbit (Hare): 兔 or 兎 (chinese: tù; japanese: hiragana: うさぎ; reading: usagi) - the 4th sign of the twelve earth branches
    • Zodiacal symbol (the Earthly Branch): 卯 (mandarin chinese: mǎo​​​; japanese: hiragana: 1. う , reading: u; 2. ぼう , reading: bō).
    • Lunar Month associated: 2nd (the 1nd month of spring; 06.Mar - 04.Apr).
    • Hour of the Rabbit: 5:00 - 7:00.
    • The fixed Element associated with the Rabbit is the Wood (木).
    • The Rabbit is Yin and belongs to the 4th Trine (along with the Sheep and the Pig).
    • Characteristics of the Rabbit / Hare: Gracious, good friend, kind, sensitive, soft-spoken, amiable, elegant, reserved, cautious, artistic, thorough, tender, self-assured, shy, astute, compassionate, lucky, flexible. Can be moody, detached, superficial, self-indulgent, opportunistic, stubborn.
    • In the Vietnamese zodiac the fourth animal is the Cat instead of the Rabbit. Cats are 'smooth talkers', talented and ambitious, and will succeed in studies. They are in conflict with the rat. A cat person has a supple mind and patient personality and knows how to wait for favourable conditions before taking action. Cat hours are between 5am-7am, when cats begin their prowling. The cat was left out of the Chinese Zodiac because, according to legend, the rat tricked the cat into missing the banquet with the Jade Emperor.
  • The Dragon: Japanese and traditional chinese: 龍; Simplified chinese: 龙 (reading: mandarin chinese: lóng; japanese: hiragana: 1. たつ; 2. りゅう; 3. りょう; reading: 1. tatsu; 2. ryū; 3. ryō) - the 5th sign of the twelve earth branches
    • Zodiacal symbol (the Earthly Branch): 辰 (mandarin chinese: chén​​​; japanese: hiragana: たつ, reading: tatsu).
    • Lunar Month associated: 3rd (spring; 05.Apr - 04.May).
    • Hour of the Dragon: 7:00 - 9:00 am.
    • The fixed Element associated with the Dragon is the Wood (木).
    • The Dragon is Yang and belongs to the 1st Trine (along with the Rat and the Monkey).
    • Characteristics of the Dragon: Magnanimous, stately, vigorous, strong, self-assured, proud, noble, direct, dignified, eccentric, intellectual, fiery, passionate, decisive, pioneering, artistic, generous, loyal. Can be tactless, arrogant, imperious, tyrannical, demanding, intolerant, dogmatic, violent, impetuous, brash.
    • The Thai zodiac includes a Naga in place of the Dragon.
    • Here you can find free pictures with the Kanji / Hanzi for the sign of the Dragon
  • The Snake: 蛇 (reading: mandarin chinese: shé; japanese: hiragana: 1. へび; 2. じゃ; 3. へみ; reading: 1. hebi; 2. Ja; 3. hemi) - the 6th sign of the twelve earth branches
    • Zodiacal symbol (the Earthly Branch): 巳 (mandarin chinese: sì​​​​; japanese: hiragana: み, reading: mi).
    • Lunar Month associated: 4th (first month of the summer; 05.May - 05.June).
    • Hour of the Snake: 9:00 - 11:00 am.
    • The fixed Element associated with the Snake is the Fire (火).
    • The Snake is Yin and belongs to the 2nd Trine (along with the Ox and the Rooster).
    • Characteristics of the Snake: Deep thinker, wise, mystic, graceful, soft-spoken, sensual, creative, prudent, shrewd, elegant, cautious, responsible, calm, strong, constant, purposeful. Can be loner, bad communicator, possessive, hedonistic, self-doubting, distrustful, mendacious, suffocating, cold.
    • Here you can find free pictures with the Kanji / Hanzi for the sign of the Snake
  • The Horse: Japanese and traditional chinese: 馬; Simplified chinese: 马 (reading: mandarin chinese: mǎ; japanese: hiragana: うま; reading: uma) - the 7th sign of the twelve earth branches
    • Zodiacal symbol (the Earthly Branch): 午 (mandarin chinese: wǔ​​; japanese: hiragana: うま, reading: uma).
    • Lunar Month associated: 5th (the second month of the summer; 06.June - 06.Jul).
    • Hour of the Horse: 11:00 - 13:00.
    • The fixed Element associated with the Horse is the Fire (火).
    • The Horse is Yang and belongs to the 3rd Trine (along with the Tiger and the Dog).
    • Characteristics of the Horse: Cheerful, popular, quick-witted, changeable, earthy, perceptive, talkative, agile, magnetic, intelligent, astute, flexible, open-minded. Can be fickle, arrogant, childish, anxious, rude, gullible, stubborn.
  • The Sheep (or Ram or Goat): 羊 (reading: mandarin chinese: yáng; japanese: hiragana: ひつじ; reading: hitsuji) - the 8th sign of the twelve earth branches
    • Zodiacal symbol (the Earthly Branch): 未 (mandarin chinese: wèi​; japanese: hiragana: ひつじ, reading: hitsuji).
    • Lunar Month associated: 6th (the 3rd month of the summer; 07.Jul - 06.Aug).
    • Hour of the Sheep: 13:00 - 15:00.
    • The fixed Element associated with the Sheep is the Fire (火).
    • The Horse is Yin and belongs to the 4th Trine (along with the Rabbit and the Pig).
    • Characteristics of the Sheep: Righteous, sincere, sympathetic, mild-mannered, shy, artistic, creative, gentle, compassionate, understanding, mothering, peaceful, generous, seeks security. Can be moody, indecisive, over-passive, worrier, pessimistic, over-sensitive, complainer, weak-willed.
  • The Monkey: Chinese: 猴(reading: mandarin chinese: hóu); Japanese: 猿 ( hiragana: さる; reading: saru) - the 9th sign of the twelve earth branches
    • Zodiacal symbol (the Earthly Branch): 申 (mandarin chinese: shēn​; japanese: hiragana: さる, reading: saru).
    • Lunar Month associated: 7th (the 1st month of the autumn; 07.Aug - 07.Sep).
    • Hour of the Monkey: 15:00 - 17:00.
    • The fixed Element associated with the Monkey is the Metal (金).
    • The Horse is Yang and belongs to the 1st Trine (along with the Rat and the Dragon).
    • Characteristics of the Monkey: Inventor, motivator, improviser, quick-witted, inquisitive, flexible, innovative, problem solver, self-assured, sociable, artistic, polite, dignified, competitive, objective, factual, intellectual. Can be egotistical, vain, arrogant, selfish, reckless, snobbish, deceptive, manipulative, cunning, jealous, suspicious.
  • The Rooster: Traditional chinese: 雞; Modern chinese: 鸡(reading: mandarin chinese: jī); Japanese: 雄鶏 ( hiragana: おんどり ; reading: ondori) - the 10th sign of the twelve earth branches
    • Zodiacal symbol (the Earthly Branch): 酉 (mandarin chinese: yǒu​​; japanese: hiragana: とり, reading: tori).
    • Lunar Month associated: 8th (the 2nd month of the autumn; 08.Sep - 07.Oct).
    • Hour of the Rooster: 17:00 - 19:00.
    • The fixed Element associated with the Rooster is the Metal (金).
    • The Rooster is Yin and belongs to the 2nd Trine (along with the Ox and the Snake).
    • Characteristics of the Rooster: Acute, neat, meticulous, organized, self-assured, decisive, conservative, critical, perfectionist, alert, zealous, practical, scientific, responsible. Can be over zealous and critical, puritanical, egotistical, abrasive, proud, opinionated, given to empty bravado.
  • The Dog: 狗 (chinese: gǒu; japanese: hiragana: いぬ , reading: inu) or 犬 (chinese: quǎn; japanese: hiragana: いぬ, reading: inu) - the 11th sign of the twelve earth branches
    • Zodiacal symbol (the Earthly Branch): 戌 (mandarin chinese: xū​​​; japanese: hiragana: いぬ; reading: inu).
    • Lunar Month associated: 9th (the 3rd month of autumn; 08.Oct - 06.Novt).
    • Hour of the Dog: 19:00 - 21:00.
    • The fixed Element associated with the Dog is the Metal (金).
    • The Dog is Yang and belongs to the 3rd Trine (along with the Tiger and the Horse).
    • Characteristics of the Dog: Honest, intelligent, straightforward, loyal, sense of justice and fair play, attractive, amicable, unpretentious, sociable, open-minded, idealistic, moralistic, practical, affectionate, sensitive, easy going. Can be cynical, lazy, cold, judgmental, pessimistic, worrier, stubborn, quarrelsome.
  • The Pig (In Japan: The Boar): 豬 or 猪 (chinese: zhū; japanese: hiragana: い , reading: i) - the 12th sign of the twelve earth branches
    • Zodiacal symbol (the Earthly Branch): 亥 (mandarin chinese: hài​​​; japanese: hiragana: い; reading: i).
    • Lunar Month associated: 10th (1st month of winter; 07.Nov - 06.Dec).
    • Hour of the Pig: 21:00 - 23:00.
    • The fixed Element associated with the Pig is the Water (水).
    • The Pig is Yin and belongs to the 4th Trine (along with the Rabbit and the Sheep).
    • Characteristics of the Pig: Honest, gallant, sturdy, sociable, peace-loving, patient, loyal, hard-working, trusting, sincere, calm, understanding, thoughtful, scrupulous, passionate, intelligent. Can be naïve, over-reliant, self-indulgent, gullible, fatalistic, materialistic.
    • The Thai zodiac includes the Elephant in place of the Pig.
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Source: wikipedia.org