Each Chinese New Year is linked to one of the twelve animals of the Chinese zodiac.
The following slides will help you figure out which is your Chinese zodiac animal and discover what famous people also share your sign.
NOTE: Since the Chinese New Year is determined by the Lunar calendar, the last day of the Chinese New Year is not December 31st and the first day of the year is not January 1st. The New Year usually begins between January 21st and February 20th. If you have a birthday that occurs in January or February, please consult a Chinese zodiac calculator to figure out your sign.
There are endless variations of the folklore story explaining how the order of the animals of the zodiac were chosen. Below is a popular telling of tale:
When it came time for the Jade Emperor in heaven to decide the order of the zodiac, he invited all the animals to participate in a race. The order of the zodiac would be decided by the order in which animals finished the race.
When the competition started, the ox was leading the pack, but the rat jumped on his back. Since the rat was so light and small, the ox did not realize that the rat was hitching a ride. As the ox approached the finish line, the rat leap off his back and was crowned as the first animal to complete the race.
After all the creatures finished the race, the order was finalized: rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, goat, monkey, rooster, dog, and pig.
According to legend, those born in a particular year of an animal are said to possess particular character traits associated with that animal.