Photo of a brown horse

2014 is the Year of the Horse.

Photograph by © Michel Mota Da Cruz | Dreamstime

Chinese tradition says a different animal represents each new year. Which is yours?

According to the Chinese calendar, the year you were born may determine your personality. Every year is represented by an animal, and legend has it that people born under that animal have certain personality traits. So just for fun, find your birth year and that year's animal, and see what some people believe it says about you. Do the same for your friends, parents, relatives, and teachers.

Horse

The Real Thing:

A horse sleeps only about three hours a day. Intelligent, most can sense nervousness in people.

Born a Horse?

You have loads of energy and love adventure. You take charge and understand people, so you know how to work a crowd.

Other Horse Years:

1930, 1942, 1954, 1966, 1978, 1990, 2002, 2014

Sheep

The Real Thing:

Timid sheep graze in flocks to guard against predators. Most are raised for their wool.

Born a Sheep?

At your best when people who admire you flock to your side, you stick by your friends. You are artistic, creative, and like to look good.

Other Sheep Years:

1931, 1943, 1955, 1967, 1979, 1991, 2003, 2015

Monkey

The Real Thing:

Social and playful, monkeys show affection and friendship by picking bugs and dirt out of each other's fur. These animals use their hands and feet to grip objects and climb trees. Some even have tails that can grab items as small as peanuts.

Born a Monkey?

Swinging from one group of friends to another, you love to have a good time. You like to entertain your friends by showing off your talents, and they appreciate your cleverness and sense of humor.

Other Monkey Years:

1932, 1944, 1956, 1968, 1980, 1992, 2004, 2016

Rooster

The Real Thing:

The rooster's loud cock-a-doodle-doo attracts females and warns other males to stay away. The red comb on his head may help other roosters identify him, and it also sets him apart from other bird species.

Born a Rooster?

You are practical and resourceful, and you use what you have to succeed without taking a lot of risks. A hard worker, you say what's on your mind and have a sense of style that sets you apart.

Other Rooster Years:

1933, 1945, 1957, 1969, 1981, 1993, 2005, 2017

Dog

The Real Thing:

A dog's supersensitive ears can hear a noise about 100 yards (91.44 meters) away that a person couldn't hear more than 25 yards (22.86 meters) away. Its strong sense of smell helps it do things like find lost people or sniff out bad guys.

Born a Dog?

You're a great listener who can keep a secret. Loyal to your friends, you have a keen sense of right and wrong and stick to what you believe in.

Other Dog Years:

1922, 1934, 1946, 1958, 1970, 1982, 1994, 2006, 2018

Pig

The Real Thing:

Domesticated pigs have been helping humans for about 9,000 years. Incredibly intelligent, a pig shows its smarts by rolling in mud and sticking its snout in dirt. Why? The mud keeps it cool, and rooting in the dirt provides important vitamins.

Born a Pig?

Smart and caring, you live to help other people. You have great taste and love to wallow in the nicer things in life.

Other Pig Years:

1923, 1935, 1947, 1959, 1971, 1983, 1995, 2007, 2019

Rat

The Real Thing:

Most rats are highly adaptable. They can live just about anywhere and eat just about anything. Before brown rats leave their underground burrows, these clever creatures send one rat ahead to make sure danger isn't lurking outside.

Born a Rat?

You welcome challenges and enjoy learning about new things. Funny and smart, you are generous and will protect your pack of friends.

Other Rat Years:

1924, 1936, 1948, 1960, 1972, 1984, 1996, 2008, 2020

Ox

The Real Thing:

Oxen have been known to pull loads of 11,284 pounds (5,118 kilograms). People value their strength as well as their work ethic. An ox's horns can grow to be more than 20 inches (51 centimeters) long.

Born an Ox?

You approach projects in a step-by-step manner, wanting to do things right the first time. Shy but dependable, you are caring and trustworthy and never lose sight of your goal.

Other Ox Years:

1925, 1937, 1949, 1961, 1973, 1985, 1997, 2009, 2021

Tiger

The Real Thing:

The largest of the big cats, tigers hunt alone. They secretly stalk prey, then leap and attack when the time seems right. Dinner still escapes most of the time.

Born a Tiger?

You're a natural leader but often like to do things by yourself. (That's how you stay in charge!) You believe in fighting for what's right, even if you'll lose in the end.

Other Tiger Years: 1926, 1938, 1950, 1962, 1974, 1986, 1998, 2010, 2022

Rabbit

The Real Thing:

Rabbits normally give birth to about six babies at once and often live in groups. Their long ears help them cool off by lowering the temperature of the blood that circulates through them.

Born a Rabbit?

Well-liked and popular, you have a large circle of family and friends. You are very protective of them, and they protect you back. You tend to keep your cool and avoid conflicts.

Other Rabbit Years:

1927, 1939, 1951, 1963, 1975, 1987, 1999, 2011, 2023

Dragon

The Real Thing:

The mythical dragon is a symbol of power and good fortune in Chinese culture. One of the most popular figures in Chinese art, the dragon is believed to be a combination of nine animals, including a frog, a tiger, an eagle, and a fish.

Born a Dragon?

You go out of your way to help your friends, who often seek you out for advice. Your outgoing personality helps you get along with many types of people.

Other Dragon Years:

1928, 1940, 1952, 1964, 1976, 1988, 2000, 2012, 2024

2012: The Year of the Snake

The Real Thing:

Snakes have great instincts. Some "play dead" to fool predators, and most sense prey by detecting ground vibrations. They can take more than an hour to swallow a meal, and they become inactive for up to two weeks before they shed their skin.

Born a Snake?

You rely on your instincts before asking others their opinions. At times you want to take a break from the action. It's not that you're lazy—sometimes you just like to think.

Other Snake Years:

1929, 1941, 1953, 1965, 1977, 1989, 2001, 2013

Text by Meghan Howard