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The Chinese Zodiac - Chinese Animal Signs

Saturday, January 28 Jan, 2017 is the Chinese New Year and the start of the Year of the Rooster in the Chinese zodiac.

Rooster made of red and yellow flowers in the Flower City Square in Zhujiang New Town in Guangzhou, South East China.

Year of the Rooster starts in January, 2017

The year of the Rooster starts Saturday, January 28, 2017. This rooster in Zhujiang New Town in Guangzhou, South East China, was made of red and yellow flowers.

©iStockphoto.com/Pavliha

The rooster 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 Rooster begins when the Year of the Monkey ends, on Chinese New Year, January 28, 2017.

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.

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.

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  11. Switch from Julian to Gregorian
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