6 Things You Might Not Know About the Chinese Zodiac

6 Things You Might Not Know About the Chinese Zodiac

You may know it’s the Year of the Rooster, but do you know why? Find out as we take a look at six things you might not know about the Chinese zodiac and some predictions for the new year.

  1. The order of the animals was determined by a race

The Chinese zodiac has 12 animals. But how were those animals chosen? Mythology says it was the doing of the Jade Emperor, the god of all gods, who, depending on the version of the myth, either needed a way to measure time or wanted some guards. The order the animals as they arrived at the finish line (the rat was first and the pig, dead last) determined their order on the zodiac.

  1. The rat and the cat were former besties

So why is there no cat on the zodiac? You can blame it on the rat. The friends became frienemies when the opportunistic rat decided it really wanted to win the race. Depending on the myth, the rat pushed the cat off their ride, the gullible ox, while they crossed a river, or the rat neglected to wake the cat the morning of the race. Either way, the hapless kitty lost its chance for a place on the zodiac, and felines and rodents have been enemies number one ever since.

  1. The rooster is the extroverted jock of the zodiac

Each animal of the Chinese zodiac has particular qualities. Tigers are said to be brave, unpredictable, and stubborn while dragons are confident, intelligent, and aggressive.

Those born the Year of the Rooster are the life of the party. They enjoy sports and are hardworking and resourceful. But they can also be vain and boastful attention seekers. Some famous roosters include Beyonce, Jennifer Aniston, Roger Federer, and Eleanor Roosevelt.

  1. Your Chinese zodiac sign also has an element

Wood, fire, earth, water, or metal, depending on the year. 2017 is a fire rooster year. Fire roosters are said to be trustworthy with a high sense of accountability, making sure to always hit deadlines and take responsibility, especially at work.

  1. Some signs are a match made in heaven — and some aren’t

With such distinct personalities, some animal signs are bound to get along better than others. The rooster’s best matches are the ox, dragon, or snake. Its worst are the rabbit, dog, or another rooster, although the last might be passionate.

  1. If it’s the year of your zodiac animal, you might be in for some bad luck

As we mentioned in a previous post, the years of your birth animal are called benming nian and are supposed to be unlucky. While normally you’d be advised to sport some lucky red undies, red is actually a bad luck color for fire roosters. Instead, they should deck themselves in brown, yellow, and gold.

Year of the Rooster predictions

2017 might be a tough year for roosters. But how about the rest of us? Everyone can tap into rooster qualities for an auspicious year. So work hard and get social. This year is also all about relationships, some say. It’s a good one for singles to get un-single and for everyone to develop work relationships.

As for particular signs, dragons, snakes, oxen, and roosters (despite the extra bad luck) will do especially well. Rats and tigers are in good shape too. The year for sheep, pigs, and monkeys will be a mixed bag. Meanwhile, rabbits, horses, and dogs might face some challenges.

Can’t enough of the Chinese zodiac? Check out our site.

[Photo: "Mary's Art Room" by Linda Carpenter via Flickr, CC BY 2.0]


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