In Asian cultures, your time of birth can have far-reaching implications for your future and can impact everything from your job, to your friends and even who you marry! Take our quiz to find out more and test your knowledge of the Chinese zodiac!
Like the astrological zodiac, the Chinese zodiac consists of 12 signs, though these 12 signs each represent a year, rather than a month.
The cat is not one of the animals on the Chinese zodiac, though there is a tiger to placate feline fans.
When Buddha called for animals to come to him, the rat pushed the cat into the water, so the poor feline never made it to the finish.
Cat remains found in China date back to around 5,300 years ago. This may explain why they weren't in the zodiac, which has been around since at least 4,000 B.C.E.
Five elements — metal, water, wood, fire and earth — strengthen or modulate the characteristics associated with each animal sign.
The zodiac is based on a lunar calendar, which starts in either February or March each year depending on the cycle of the moon.
With five elements and 12 animals, each specific combination comes up once every 60 years. That means that 1961 and 2021 will both be the year of the metal ox.
The first animal is the rat. According to myth, the rat was the fastest of all the animals to reach Buddha in a race, which matches the creature's action-loving, aggressive nature.
People born in ox years are hard working, balanced and calm.
The tiger is brave and charismatic and greatly prefers freedom to taking orders.
The rabbit is a born pacifist, known for his wit and intelligence.
People born in dragon years are thought to be extra lucky and are known for their self-confidence and pride.
Snakes are known for their wisdom, intelligence and powerful minds.
The horse is engaging and social, but look out for his passionate, fiery temper.
The goat is an artistic sign, known for his imagination and creativity.
The monkey not only has an amazing memory but is also known for his sense of fantasy and imagination.
The rooster is meticulous and organized and often known for his intelligence.
The dog is associated with both loyalty and anxiety. He has firm views and hates injustice.
The pig is the 12th animal in the zodiac and is known for his honesty and kindness.
If your birth year ends in 0 or 1, your animal sign comes with the element metal, which is associated with focus and neatness.
People born in a water year — one ending in 2 or 3 — are calm, flowing and imaginative.
People born in a wood year are caring and easy going but can be highly competitive.
People born in a fire year love parties and thrills, but all that passion for life can mean a hot temper at times.
People born in earth years are relaxed, responsible and good at solving problems.
Tigers and dragons are both strong-willed, which can make for difficult relationships.
The social rat won't generally mesh with the moody, solitary horse.
The Chinese word yang could mean ram, sheep or goat in English, so you'll see variations of these in cultures around the world to refer to the year of the goat.
A woman born in the year of the fire horse will grow up, marry, then kill her husband — according to legend that is.
From 1965 to 1966, birth rates in Japan plummeted 25 percent. One possible reason — 1966 was a fire horse year.
Studies suggest that fertility rates in Korea actually increased in 1988 and 2000 — both dragon years.