The Chinese New Year begins on 2/3/11. Unlike the Western calendar, which is solar-based, the Chinese calendar is lunar-based. According to traditional dating, the year 2011 is 4708 by the Chinese calendar.
Chinese astrology is based on a 12-year cycle, and each year is named after an animal. Buddha sent out a call to all the animals on the full moon before he left Earth. 12 animals responded, and Buddha named the years in the order of their appearance: Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Sheep (or Goat), Monkey, Rooster, Dog and Pig (or Boar). The Rat had asked the Ox for a ride to the meeting; the good-natured Ox allowed him to ride on his back. When they drew closer to Buddha, Rat jumped off Ox's back and approached Buddha, thus being the first to arrive. Buddha was impressed by Rat's inventiveness, and with Ox's permission, he named Rat as the first year of the cycle. Ox didn't mind being second.
There are 3 main parts to a person's Chinese horoscope: the animals that govern the year you were born, the ones who influence the month, and the ones who influence the hour of your birth. Each animal has its yin (quiet) and yang (outgoing) aspects, and is governed by a certain element. (wood, fire, water, metal, earth). All these complicated elements factor into a person's personality.
Rat: survival, craftiness, creative thinker, hoarder. 1960, 1972, 1984, 1996,2008, 2020
Ox: endurance, patience, hardworking, stubborn 1961, 1973, 1985, 1997, 2009, 2021
Tiger: impulsive, creative, courageous, reckless 1962, 1974, 1986, 1998, 2010, 2022
Rabbit: virtuous, nurturing 1963, 1975, 1987, 1999, 2011, 2023
Dragon: wise, mysterious 1964, 1976, 1988, 2000, 2012, 2024
Snake: lucky, cunning 1965, 1977, 1989, 2001, 2013, 2025
Horse: independent, self-sufficient 1966, 1978, 1990, 2002, 2014, 2026
Sheep: sensitive, artistic 1967, 1979, 1991, 2003, 2015, 2027
Monkey: imaginative, fantastical 1968, 1980, 1992, 2004, 2016, 2028
Rooster: proud, direct, candor 1969, 1981, 1993, 2005, 2017, 2029
Dog: loyal, idealistic 1970, 1982, 1994, 2006, 2018, 2030
Pig: honest, good-natured 1971, 1983, 1995, 2007, 2019, 2031
Animals governing the months:
Ox: January Sheep: July
Tiger: February Monkey: August
Rabbit: March Rooster: September
Dragon: April Dog: October
Snake: May Pig: November
Horse: June Rat: December
And the animals governing the two-hour periods:
Rat: 2300-0100 Horse: 1100-1300
Ox: 0100-0300 Sheep: 1300-1500
Tiger: 0300-0500 Monkey: 1500-1700
Rabbit: 0500-0700 Rooster: 1700-1900
Dragon: 0700-0900 Dog: 1900-2100
Snake: 0900-1100 Pig: 2100-2300
According to this, I'm an Ox (1973), with a Rat month (December), and I was born during the hour of the Rat (2300-0100). [Double Rat!]. Weirdly enough, Hubs was born during the year of the Rat, month of the Ox, during the hour of the Ox. My kids are Michael (Sheep, Snake, Snake), Christina (Dog, Ox, Horse), and Sarah (Dog, Dog, Monkey).
Okay, just realized Christina is the only one without a double animal anywhere. That's weird.
This is only a guide...cosmic influences do affect (some might call them 'cosmic accidents') these factors.
All original writing and art copyright A. Dameron 2000-2010