DENVER — The Chinese new year corresponds directly to the Chinese zodiac, for those that don't know. When there's a new year, a new zodiac sign "gets" the year. For example, this year is the year of the pig.
Every year has an animal from the Chinese zodiac prescribed to it - and everyone born in that year is supposed to have an extra good year when theirs comes back around.
The guide below shows how the Chinese new year works and what the various animals mean (as far as traits - and, hey, if you don't believe in that stuff, you can still know what animal represents you).
New Year's Day on the Chinese calendar can come in late January or early February - it isn't set in stone every year. This year, Tuesday, Feb. 5, is the official Chinese New Year 2019.
If you didn't celebrate last night, Chinese New Year doesn't end until Feb. 19 this year -- so you've got a good two weeks to squeeze in that party.
Now to the fun stuff - the animals, their years and traits:
Pig | 2019, 2007, 1995, 1983, 1971, 1959, 1947, 1935, 1923, 1911
Pigs are a symbol of wealth in Chinese culture. Those born in the Year of the Pig are usually considered to be realistic. Not wasteful spenders, but they will enjoy life. They love entertainment. A bit materialistic, pigs work hard.
Each "pig year" instills different traits in those born that year - for example, 1971 pigs mind their own business while 1995 pigs are known to be earnest and lovable. For all things Year of the Pig, head to this link.
Dog | 2018, 2006, 1994, 1982, 1970, 1958, 1946, 1934, 1922, 1910
The number one trait of dogs is their loyalty -- same in the Chinese zodiac. Those born in the Year of the Dog are usually honest and just, popular in social circles and like to give advice and help when asked. They can also be worried and anxious inside. They can also be a little hardheaded: When they decide something it can be hard to dissuade them. Each "dog year" is different -- for differing traits, head to this link.
Rooster | 2017, 2005, 1993, 1981, 1969, 1957, 1945, 1933, 1921, 1909
In Chinese legends, roosters protect against evil spirits. Those born in the Year of the Rooster are usually serious in the things they do - as well as straightforward and decisive. They're also perfectionists; expect a rooster to point out imperfections and things that could be improved. They don't give up easily at all. Roosters also need loved ones to validate them. Each "rooster year" is different -- for a good explainer, head to this link.
Monkey | 2016, 2004, 1992, 1980, 1968, 1956, 1944, 1932, 1920, 1908
Monkeys are associated with peaches in Chinese cultures because they eat so many - and since peaches are a sign of longevity, monkeys are associated with long life. Basically, think of someone born in the Year of the Monkey as a lighthearted prankster who can achieve anything they set their mind to. Nice. Arrogant and intelligent, they can also be self-centered and jealous. Each "monkey year" is a little different. To find out more about each, head over to this link.
Goat | 2015, 2003, 1991, 1979, 1967, 1955, 1943, 1931, 1919, 1907
In Chinese culture, goats are associated with purity and kindness. Those born in the Year of the Goat are loving, selfless and always think of others, even to their own detriment. They have high toleration, motivation and are considered strong and resilient. Their kindness is sometimes taken incorrectly. Goats love animals, children and nature. Goats can be stubborn and can be slow to move. Each year is slightly different -- to find out more, head over to this link.
Horse | 2014, 2002, 1990, 1978, 1966, 1954, 1942, 1930, 1918, 1906
In Chinese culture, horses represent speed and freedom. Full of energy, those born in the Year of the Horse can sometimes be a little much. Studious and athletic, they are strong believers of personal achievement -- seeking happiness over fame or money. They can be a bit of a contradictory person, which comes with the territory of being ever-changing. Their biggest fault is they can be blind to the fact that they have any. Each "horse year" is different -- check out this link for more details.
Snake | 2013, 2001, 1989, 1977, 1965, 1953, 1941, 1929, 1917, 1905
In Chinese culture, snakes are usually symbols of witchcraft. Those born in the Year of the Snake are usually complex individuals not-so-quick to love, but if they do love, they love entirely. In a chaotic environment, snakes are the eye of the storm. Humorous and sophisticated, snakes are always making new plans and following them regardless of outside input. Don't judge a snake by its cover -- they are layered and multi-faceted. Each "snake year" is a little different, so for all the ins-and-outs, head over to this link.
Dragon | 2012, 2000, 1988, 1976, 1964, 1952, 1940, 1928, 1916, 1904
Dragons are the most revered animal in all Chinese culture. Those born in the Year of the Dragon are strong and independent, but hope for support and love. They can be quiet yet direct -- positive and cheerful, or very hardworking. Each year for the dragon is different, and to learn more, click/tap this link.
Rabbit | 2011, 1999, 1987, 1975, 1963, 1951, 1939, 1927, 1915, 1903
Rabbits represent the moon in Chinese culture. Those born in the Year of the Rabbit are earnest with everything. Think of that do-gooder rabbit from "Zootopia." Rabbits hope to be treated as evenly as they treat others. While they may seem soft and weak, their quiet personality belies confidence and internal strength. There's more to those born to the rabbit sign -- check it out here.
Tiger | 2010, 1998, 1986, 1974, 1962, 1950, 1938, 1926, 1914, 1902
Seen as the guardian of children in the Chinese zodiac. At their core, tigers are brave and active (Athletic? Tigers? Couldn't be), and love a good adventure. Kind and benevolent, tigers like to use their imagination, but can make rash decisions and can be hard to control. Tigers never give up. To learn more about the specific "tiger year" you were born in, head over to this link.
Ox | 2009, 1997, 1985, 1973, 1961, 1949, 1937, 1925, 1913, 1901
The ox is valued in Chinese culture. Oxen are hard workers -- often in the background. Both intelligent and reliable, those born in the Year of the Ox never demand praise. Honest, earnest, low key, kind and slow to anger, oxen are also known to do what is asked of them. They think logically and are considered great leaders. To learn more about your specific "ox year," head over to this link.
Rats | 2008, 1996, 1984, 1972, 1960, 1948, 1936, 1924, 1912, 1900
In Chinese culture, rats are seen as a sign of surplus (in a good way). Clever and quick-thinking, rats are usually successful, but are never content with living a quiet and peaceful life. Sensitive to others' emotions but stubborn, rats are kind, but can come off as rude. Rats can be stingy and are known to save money. Though, their love for hoarding can sometimes cause them to be a little ... wasteful in their spending. There's more to the rat -- check it out at this link.
That's it for the Chinese zodiac!
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