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2020: Year of the Rat – Chinese Animal Signs

Saturday, January 25, 2020 was Lunar New Year and the start of the Year of the Rat in the Chinese zodiac.

A grey rat pictured among colourful lights and gifts symbolizing that 2020 is the Year of the Rat in the Chinese zodiac.

The year of the rat started on Jan 25, 2020.

©iStockphoto.com/Мария Сорвачева

The rat 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 Rat begins on Chinese New Year, ending the year of the Boar.

People born in the Year of the Rat are traditionally considered to be imaginative, generous, successful, popular, and curious.

2021: Year of the Ox

The following year in the Chinese zodiac is the Year of the Ox, which starts on Friday, February 12, 2021.

What Year Is What Animal?

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

What is my Chinese zodiac animal? (Click to expand)What is my Chinese zodiac animal? (Click to collapse)
Black and white illustration of a rat

Zi (Rat)

Imaginative, generous, successful, popular, curious

  • Feb 10, 1948 – Jan 28, 1949
  • Jan 28, 1960 – Feb 14, 1961
  • Feb 15, 1972 – Feb 2, 1973
  • Feb 2, 1984 – Feb 19, 1985
  • Feb 19, 1996 – Feb 6, 1997
  • Feb 7, 2008 – Jan 25, 2009
  • Jan 25, 2020 – Feb 11, 2021
Black and white illustration of an ox

Chou (Ox)

Confident, honest, patient, conservative, strong

  • Jan 29, 1949 – Feb 16, 1950
  • Feb 15, 1961 – Feb 4, 1962
  • Feb 3, 1973 – Jan 22, 1974
  • Feb 20, 1985 – Feb 8, 1986
  • Feb 7, 1997 – Jan 27, 1998
  • Jan 26, 2009 – Feb 13, 2010
  • Feb 12, 2021 – Jan 31, 2022
Black and white illustration of a tiger

Yin (Tiger)

Sensitive, tolerant, brave, active, resilient

  • Feb 17, 1950 – Feb 5, 1951
  • Feb 5, 1962 – Jan 24, 1963
  • Jan 23, 1974 – Feb 10, 1975
  • Feb 9, 1986 – Jan 28, 1987
  • Jan 28, 1998 – Feb 15, 1999
  • Feb 14, 2010 – Feb 2, 2011
  • Feb 1, 2022 – Jan 21, 2023
Black and white illustration of a rabbit

Mao (Rabbit)

Affectionate, kind, gentle, compassionate, merciful

  • Feb 6, 1951 – Jan 26, 1952
  • Jan 25, 1963 – Feb 12, 1964
  • Feb 11, 1975 – Jan 30, 1976
  • Jan 29, 1987 – Feb 16, 1988
  • Feb 16, 1999 – Feb 4, 2000
  • Feb 3, 2011 – Jan 22, 2012
  • Jan 22, 2023 – Feb 9, 2024
Black and white illustration of a dragon

Chen (Dragon)

Enthusiastic, intelligent, lively, energetic, innovative

  • Jan 27, 1952 – Feb 13, 1953
  • Feb 13, 1964 – Feb 1, 1965
  • Jan 31, 1976 – Feb 17, 1977
  • Feb 17, 1988 – Feb 5, 1989
  • Feb 5, 2000 – Jan 23, 2001
  • Jan 23, 2012 – Feb 9, 2013
  • Feb 10, 2024 – Jan 28, 2025
Black and white illustration of a snake

Si (Snake)

Charming, intuitive, romantic, highly perceptive, polite

  • Feb 14, 1953 – Feb 2, 1954
  • Feb 2, 1965 – Jan 20, 1966
  • Feb 18, 1977 – Feb 6, 1978
  • Feb 6, 1989 – Jan 26, 1990
  • Jan 24, 2001 – Feb 11, 2002
  • Feb 10, 2013 – Jan 30, 2014
  • Jan 29, 2025 – Feb 16, 2026
Black and white illustration of a horse

Wu (Horse)

Diligent, friendly, sophisticated, talented, clever

  • Feb 3, 1954 – Jan 23, 1955
  • Jan 21, 1966 – Feb 8, 1967
  • Feb 7, 1978 – Jan 27, 1979
  • Jan 27, 1990 – Feb 14, 1991
  • Feb 12, 2002 – Jan 31, 2003
  • Jan 31, 2014 – Feb 18, 2015
  • Feb 17, 2026 – Feb 5, 2027
Black and white illustration of a goat

Wei (Sheep)

Artistic, calm, reserved, happy, kind

  • Jan 24, 1955 – Feb 11, 1956
  • Feb 9, 1967 – Jan 29, 1968
  • Jan 28, 1979 – Feb 15, 1980
  • Feb 15, 1991 – Feb 3, 1992
  • Feb 1, 2003 – Jan 21, 2004
  • Feb 19, 2015 – Feb 7, 2016
  • Feb 6, 2027 – Jan 25, 2028
Black and white illustration of a monkey

Shen (Monkey)

Witty, lively, flexible, humorous, curious

  • Feb 12, 1956 – Jan 30, 1957
  • Jan 30, 1968 – Feb 16, 1969
  • Feb 16, 1980 – Feb 4, 1981
  • Feb 4, 1992 – Jan 22, 1993
  • Jan 22, 2004 – Feb 8, 2005
  • Feb 8, 2016 – Jan 27, 2017
  • Jan 26, 2028 – Feb 12, 2029
Black and white illustration of a rooster

You (Rooster)

Shrewd, honest, communicative, motivated, punctual

  • Jan 31, 1957 – Feb 17, 1958
  • Feb 17, 1969 – Feb 5, 1970
  • Feb 5, 1981 – Jan 24, 1982
  • Jan 23, 1993 – Feb 9, 1994
  • Feb 9, 2005 – Jan 28, 2006
  • Jan 28, 2017 – Feb 15, 2018
  • Feb 13, 2029 – Feb 2, 2030
Black and white illustration of a dog

Xu (Dog)

Loyal, honest, responsible, courageous, warm-hearted

  • Feb 18, 1958 – Feb 8, 1959
  • Feb 6, 1970 – Jan 26, 1971
  • Jan 25, 1982 - Feb 12, 1983
  • Feb 10, 1994 – Jan 30, 1995
  • Jan 29, 2006 – Feb 17, 2007
  • Feb 16, 2018 – Feb 4, 2019
  • Feb 3, 2030 – Jan 22, 2031
Black and white illustration of a pig

Hai (Boar/Pig)

Sincere, tolerant, hard-working, honest, optimistic

  • Feb 8, 1959 – Jan 27, 1960
  • Jan 27, 1971 - Feb 14, 1972
  • Feb 13, 1983 - Feb 1, 1984
  • Jan 31, 1995 - Feb 18, 1996
  • Feb 18, 2007 - Feb 6, 2008
  • Feb 5, 2019 – Jan 24, 2020
  • Jan 23, 2031 – Feb 10, 2032
Black and white illustration of a dogBlack and white illustration of a pigillustration of a rabbitillustration of a tigerillustration of a ratillustration of a dragon

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 five elemental signs: wood, earth, fire, water, and metal. The year of the dog is associated with earth.

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.

Starts with the Spring Festival

In China, the start of a new year is celebrated with a Spring Festival, the biggest holiday of the year. Traditionally, people give their house a big spring clean and hang couplets on their doors. Couplets are poetic lines about spring and prosperity written in gold or black on red paper.

Setting off firecrackers is hugely popular, and children get hongbao, little red gifts with money inside, from older family members.

The Chinese Calendar

The animal signs in the Chinese zodiac 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.

This calendar is older than the Gregorian calendar, which is used by most countries today. In fact, the Chinese calendar's origins can be traced as far back as the 14th century BCE.

Leap years in the Chinese calendar happen approximately every three years when they add a leap month.

What Chinese Zodiac Year was I born?

Year rangeChinese zodiac
Jan 23, 2031 – Feb 10, 2032 Boar/Pig (Hai)
Feb 3, 2030 – Jan 22, 2031 Dog (Xu)
Feb 13, 2029 – Feb 2, 2030 Rooster (You)
Jan 26, 2028 – Feb 12, 2029 Monkey (Shen)
Feb 6, 2027 – Jan 25, 2028 Sheep (Wei)
Feb 17, 2026 – Feb 5, 2027 Horse (Wu)
Jan 29, 2025 – Feb 16, 2026 Snake (Si)
Feb 10, 2024 – Jan 28, 2025 Dragon (Chen)
Jan 22, 2023 – Feb 9, 2024 Rabbit (Mao)
Feb 1, 2022 – Jan 21, 2023 Tiger (Yin)
Feb 12, 2021 – Jan 31, 2022 Ox (Chou)
Jan 25, 2020 – Feb 11, 2021 Rat (Zi)
Feb 5, 2019 – Jan 24, 2020 Boar/Pig (Hai)
Feb 16, 2018 – Feb 4, 2019 Dog (Xu)
Jan 28, 2017 – Feb 15, 2018 Rooster (You)
Feb 8, 2016 – Jan 27, 2017 Monkey (Shen)
Feb 19, 2015 – Feb 7, 2016 Sheep (Wei)
Jan 31, 2014 – Feb 18, 2015 Horse (Wu)
Feb 10, 2013 – Jan 30, 2014 Snake (Si)
Jan 23, 2012 – Feb 9, 2013 Dragon (Chen)
Feb 3, 2011 – Jan 22, 2012 Rabbit (Mao)
Feb 14, 2010 – Feb 2, 2011 Tiger (Yin)
Jan 26, 2009 – Feb 13, 2010 Ox (Chou)
Feb 7, 2008 – Jan 25, 2009 Rat (Zi)
Feb 18, 2007 - Feb 6, 2008 Boar/Pig (Hai)
Jan 29, 2006 – Feb 17, 2007 Dog (Xu)
Feb 9, 2005 – Jan 28, 2006 Rooster (You)
Jan 22, 2004 – Feb 8, 2005 Monkey (Shen)
Feb 1, 2003 – Jan 21, 2004 Sheep (Wei)
Feb 12, 2002 – Jan 31, 2003 Horse (Wu)
Jan 24, 2001 – Feb 11, 2002 Snake (Si)
Feb 5, 2000 – Jan 23, 2001 Dragon (Chen)
Feb 16, 1999 – Feb 4, 2000 Rabbit (Mao)
Jan 28, 1998 – Feb 15, 1999 Tiger (Yin)
Feb 7, 1997 – Jan 27, 1998 Ox (Chou)
Feb 19, 1996 – Feb 6, 1997 Rat (Zi)
Jan 31, 1995 - Feb 18, 1996 Boar/Pig (Hai)
Feb 10, 1994 – Jan 30, 1995 Dog (Xu)
Jan 23, 1993 – Feb 9, 1994 Rooster (You)
Feb 4, 1992 – Jan 22, 1993 Monkey (Shen)
Feb 15, 1991 – Feb 3, 1992 Sheep (Wei)
Jan 27, 1990 – Feb 14, 1991 Horse (Wu)
Feb 6, 1989 – Jan 26, 1990 Snake (Si)
Feb 17, 1988 – Feb 5, 1989 Dragon (Chen)
Jan 29, 1987 – Feb 16, 1988 Rabbit (Mao)
Feb 9, 1986 – Jan 28, 1987 Tiger (Yin)
Feb 20, 1985 – Feb 8, 1986 Ox (Chou)
Feb 2, 1984 – Feb 19, 1985 Rat (Zi)
Feb 13, 1983 - Feb 1, 1984 Boar/Pig (Hai)
Jan 25, 1982 - Feb 12, 1983 Dog (Xu)
Feb 5, 1981 – Jan 24, 1982 Rooster (You)
Feb 16, 1980 – Feb 4, 1981 Monkey (Shen)
Jan 28, 1979 – Feb 15, 1980 Sheep (Wei)
Feb 7, 1978 – Jan 27, 1979 Horse (Wu)
Feb 18, 1977 – Feb 6, 1978 Snake (Si)
Jan 31, 1976 – Feb 17, 1977 Dragon (Chen)
Feb 11, 1975 – Jan 30, 1976 Rabbit (Mao)
Jan 23, 1974 – Feb 10, 1975 Tiger (Yin)
Feb 3, 1973 – Jan 22, 1974 Ox (Chou)
Feb 15, 1972 – Feb 2, 1973 Rat (Zi)
Jan 27, 1971 - Feb 14, 1972 Boar/Pig (Hai)
Feb 6, 1970 – Jan 26, 1971 Dog (Xu)
Feb 17, 1969 – Feb 5, 1970 Rooster (You)
Jan 30, 1968 – Feb 16, 1969 Monkey (Shen)
Feb 9, 1967 – Jan 29, 1968 Sheep (Wei)
Jan 21, 1966 – Feb 8, 1967 Horse (Wu)
Feb 2, 1965 – Jan 20, 1966 Snake (Si)
Feb 13, 1964 – Feb 1, 1965 Dragon (Chen)
Jan 25, 1963 – Feb 12, 1964 Rabbit (Mao)
Feb 5, 1962 – Jan 24, 1963 Tiger (Yin)
Feb 15, 1961 – Feb 4, 1962 Ox (Chou)
Jan 28, 1960 – Feb 14, 1961 Rat (Zi)
Feb 8, 1959 – Jan 27, 1960 Boar/Pig (Hai)
Feb 18, 1958 – Feb 8, 1959 Dog (Xu)
Jan 31, 1957 – Feb 17, 1958 Rooster (You)
Feb 12, 1956 – Jan 30, 1957 Monkey (Shen)
Jan 24, 1955 – Feb 11, 1956 Sheep (Wei)
Feb 3, 1954 – Jan 23, 1955 Horse (Wu)
Feb 14, 1953 – Feb 2, 1954 Snake (Si)
Jan 27, 1952 – Feb 13, 1953 Dragon (Chen)
Feb 6, 1951 – Jan 26, 1952 Rabbit (Mao)
Feb 17, 1950 – Feb 5, 1951 Tiger (Yin)
Jan 29, 1949 – Feb 16, 1950 Ox (Chou)
Feb 10, 1948 – Jan 28, 1949 Rat (Zi)