So, out of curiosity today, I decided to do a little reading on the ‘Chinese New Year’, with an emphasis on what ‘year’ I was born under. For years I’ve been asked about this, usually over Chinese food or walking through Chinatown, and I’ve never been able to actually answer the question.
Well, now I can. I looked it up today to find out I was born in the ‘Year of the Ox’ (1973), which is one of the power signs, and that my Elemental sign is ‘Water’ … and the descriptions are fairly accurate.
As per Wikipedia:
- People born in the Year of the Ox are patient, quiet yet inspire confidence in others.
- They are eccentric and temperamental.
- They speak little but when they do they are quite articulate.
- Mentally and physically alert, they are generally easy-going but can be very stubborn and they hate to fail or be opposed.
- They are most compatible with Snake, Rooster, and Rat people.
- They also love to travel.
水 WATER SIGN
- The North （北）
- Black Tortoise（玄武）
- The Planet Mercury（水星）
- The Colour Black（黑）
- Skeletal（骨）/Excretory System & Lungs
- Secretive, Self-destructive, Charming, Intuitive, Deceptive, Passive-Aggressive, Compassionate, Sensitive, Creative
- Flexible, Addictive, Manipulative, Compliant, Eloquence, Intellectual, Betrayal
- Water governs the Rat (strongest water), Ox, Pig (weakest water)
Here’s a brief, and not completely confusing, explanation about the Chinese Zodiac cycle:
The 60-year cycle consists of two separate cycles interacting with each other. The first is the cycle of ten heavenly stems, namely the Five Elements (in order Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal, and Water) in their ip Yin and Yang forms.
The second is the cycle of the twelve Zodiac animal signs (生肖 shēngxiāo) or Earthly Branches . They are in order as follows: the rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, sheep (ram or goat), monkey, rooster, dog, and boar.
This combination creates the 60-year cycle due to the least amount of years (least common multiple) it would take to get from Yang Wood Rat to its next iteration, which always starts with Yang Wood Rat and ends with Yin Water Boar. Since the zodiac animal cycle of 12 is divisible by two, every zodiac sign can also only occur in either Yin or Yang: the dragon is always yang, the snake is always yin, etc. The current cycle began in 1984 (as shown in “Table of the sixty year calendar”).
When trying to traverse the lunisolar calendar, an easy rule to follow is that years that end in an even number are yang, those that end with an odd number are yin.
For those who are interested, or who have always been curious as to which year they were born under, here’s the actual table where you can see what animal you fall under. And if you want more information on the Chinese New Year, as there is clearly way too much for me to put on here myself (at least not without an interpreter or a numerologist), please click here.