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The Chinese Zodiac - Chinese Animal Signs

Monday, February 8, 2016 was the Chinese New Year and the start of the Year of the Fire Monkey in the Chinese zodiac.

The Year of the Monkey in the Chinese Zodiac begins on February 8, 2016.

The Year of the Monkey starts Feb 8, 2016

Monday, February 8, 2016 marks the start of the Year of the Monkey.


The monkey is one of 12 animals in the Chinese zodiac (Shēngxiào, or 生肖), which is based on a 12-year cycle.

The Year of the Monkey follows the Year of the Sheep, and it will end on January 27, 2017, when the Year of the Rooster begins.

12 Animals and 5 Elements

Each of the 12 years in the Chinese zodiac cycle is represented by an animal and is associated with one of 5 elemental signs: Wood, Earth, Fire, Water, and Metal.

The zodiac starts with the Year of the Rat and cycles continuously through the 12 signs.

These animal signs are calculated in accordance with the Chinese calendar, which is lunisolar and is based on astronomical observances of the Sun’s longitude and the Moon’s phases. The calendar predates the Gregorian calendar, which is used by most countries today.

illustration of a smiling monkeyillustration of an oxillustration of a rabbitillustration of a tigerillustration of a ratillustration of a dragon

Zodiac and Human Connections

According to the Chinese zodiac, your birth year tells you more than just your age. Not only is one's personality affected by the animal associated with their birth year, but the compatibility of their relationships also depends on their zodiac.

As the year 2016 is the Year of the Fire Monkey, it is believed that those born under this sign will have a good year, with plenty of luck and opportunities ahead.

Curious Pranksters

People born in the Year of the Monkey are thought to be curious and creative. They are believed to be pranksters who prefer living in crowded cities.

They are also considered to be hard workers who can easily move between different work environments. It is thought that they are best suited for careers in science, finance, design, and film-making.

Monkeys are supposed to be the most compatible with people born in the Year of the Ox or the Rabbit, but least compatible with the Pig and the Tiger.

Famous Monkeys

  • Tom Hanks (US actor)
  • Celine Dion (Canadian singer)
  • Jacques Chirac (former French President)
  • Donald H. Rumsfeld (American politician)

Did you know?

Leap years occur every 3 years in the Chinese calendar.

The Chinese calendar normally features 12 months but occasionally has a leap year consisting of 13 months.


This is a general interest article based on traditions and beliefs, and not on scientific evidence.

In This Article


Calendar Types

  1. Gregorian Calendar
  2. Julian Calendar
  3. Revised Julian Calendar
  4. Islamic Calendar
  5. Jewish Calendar
  6. Persian Calendar
  7. Mayan Calendar
  8. Chinese Calendar
  9. Roman Calendar
  10. Ethiopian Calendar
  11. Switch from Julian to Gregorian
  12. Is There a Perfect Calendar?
  13. What Do CE and BCE Mean?

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