The Chinese Zodiac for Kids Illustration

Chinese Zodiac
Ancient China for Kids


For Kids: The word zodiac means circle of animals. But there are not any real animals in the Chinese zodiac. A year is divided into 12 period, and each period has an animal assigned to it. Over the years, the Chinese zodiac developed into a superstitution, a way to tell the future, by knowing when you were born. Each animal sign had meaning to it. Based on your sign (animal), you were born with certain characteristics that both helped and hindered you. It was your job to build on the good ones, and overcome the bad ones.

Signs of the Chinese Zodiac include:

Ram (Black or Gray Sheep): 1919, 1931, 1943, 1955, 1967, 1979, 1991, 2003, 2015: Sheep people are elegant, wise, gentle, shy, and compassionate. They can be bossy, but that's because they're worried things will not get done correctly. This character trait often makes money for them.

Monkey: 1920, 1932, 1944, 1956, 1968, 1980, 1992, 2004, 2016: Monkey people are quick, funny, nosey, clever, witty, and successful. They have wonderful memories and are well informed about everything. They tend to chatter. This does drive friends away sometimes.

Rooster: 1921, 1933, 1945, 1957, 1969, 1981, 1993, 2005, 2017: Rooster people are early risers, proud, alert, deep thinkers and good speakers. They like to stay close to home. If you can break through their natural suspicion, they make wonderful friends.

Dog: 1922, 1934, 1946, 1958, 1970, 1982, 1994, 2006, 2018:  Dog people are loyal friends, quick to learn, eager to please, and always try to do their best. They prefer to be with people they know and like. Dog people cannot stand injustice.

Pig: 1923, 1935, 1947, 1959, 1971, 1983, 1995, 2007, 2019:  People who are born in the Year of the Pig are intelligent, sincere, brave, popular, and treat all people with great kindness. Pig people are often late and often forgetful.

Rat: 1924, 1936, 1948, 1960, 1972, 1984, 1996, 2008, 2020:  People born in the Year of the Rat are famous for cheerfulness and kindness. They are generous with those they love. Rat people love to gossip. That can cost them many friendships if they are not careful.

Ox: 1913, 1925, 1937, 1949, 1961, 1973, 1985, 1997, 2009, 2021:  Ox people are easy going and have a great deal of self-assurance that helps help them to be successful. Ox people have thoughtful responses. Ox people love deeply and share their strength with those they love.

Tiger: 1914, 1926, 1938, 1950, 1962, 1974, 1986, 1998, 2010, 2022:  Tiger people are brave, powerful, loyal, intelligent, competent, and stubborn. Tigers make great friends. Tiger people tend not to respect their elders and that can get them in a lot of trouble.

Rabbit: 1915, 1927, 1939, 1951, 1963, 1975, 1987, 1999, 2011, 2023:  Rabbit people are lucky, happy, independent, affectionate, bright, ambitious, and trustworthy. Rabbit people have little interest in learning to appear smart. They simply like to know how things work.

Dragon: 1916, 1928, 1940, 1952, 1964, 1976, 1988, 2000, 2012, 2024:  Dragon people are honest, full of energy, stubborn, loyal, strong, and protective. Dragon people are incredibly lucky. They love flattery, and can be attracted to bad behavior. That is their weakness.

Snake: 1917, 1929, 1941, 1953, 1965, 1977, 1989, 2001, 2013, 2025:  Snake people are wise and focused. They trust their own judgment. Snake people cannot help but do their best because they hate to fail at anything. Snake people believe everyone should lend a helping hand.

Horse: 1918, 1930, 1942, 1954, 1966, 1978, 1990, 2002, 2014, 2026:  Horse people are popular, cheerful, quick witted, and shy. For some reason, horse people have a great deal of trouble believing they are loved, when in fact, horse people are easy to like and love.

How the animals were selected (ancient myth)

What's my sign? game

Get your Chinese name and zodiac sign online

Zodiac Origin Stories

Chinese Zodiac Constellations

Chinese New Year

Free Clipart Zodiac Animals from Phillip Martin

Interactive Quiz for Ancient China (with answers)