Astro Guide: The Complete Guide to Chinese Horoscopes

Astro Guide: The Complete Guide to Chinese Horoscopes

The Chinese horoscope is a system of divination based on the Chinese lunar calendar and the twelve signs of the Chinese zodiac, each represented by a different animal. Each sign has its own characteristics (personality traits, love compatibility, etc.) and astrological predictions for the coming year. Unlike Western astrology, which is based on solar zodiac signs, Chinese horoscopes focus on lunar years and are based on a twelve-year cycle. The twelve animals of the Chinese zodiac are the rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, sheep, monkey, rooster, dog and pig. Each animal is associated with personality traits, elements of nature, colors, directions and numbers.

Although Chinese horoscopes are not an exact science (and it has to be said that we're a long way from scientific proof!), they are often regarded as a kind of guide to help you better understand your personality and emotions, and even predict your future!

Would you like to know more about Chinese astrology, how to calculate your Chinese sign and its elements? You've come to the right place: Elia explains it all!

What is Chinese astrology?

Chinese astrology: a vast subject! This practice, or rather belief, is based on lunar cycles. Unlike Western astrology as we know it, with thehoroscopewhich focuses on the signs of the zodiac, Chinese astrology concentrates on the twelve animals that represent the signs of the Chinese zodiac. Each Chinese zodiac sign is associated with a lunar year, and is governed by one of the 5 Chinese elements: wood, fire, earth, metal and water. These elements are in turn associated with certain characteristics, such as passion, emotionality, creativity and outlook.

In Chinese astrology, a person's year of birth is used to determine their Chinese zodiac sign, and thus their personality traits. Widely used in China, but also in other parts of the world, Chinese astrology fascinates as much as it arouses doubt... Although not scientifically proven, it must be said that some things can be troubling!

How does Chinese astrology work?

As explained above, Chinese astrology is based on a twelve-year lunar calendar, with each year associated with an animal of the Chinese zodiac. Chinese astrology also focuses on five elements. Each year is therefore also associated with an element, creating a 60-year cycle (12 animals x 5 elements). For example, the year 2022 was the year of the Metal Tiger (haven't we lost you yet?).

Chinese astrology also uses the time of birth to determine each person's astrological sign: there are twelve astrological signs based on the time of birth, known as "earth signs".

Chinese horoscopes are based on the interaction between the animals of the Chinese zodiac, the elements and the earth signs. Here's a small example: a person born under the sign of the Earth Pig may have different astrological predictions and personality traits than someone born under the sign of the Fire Pig.

What are the signs of the Chinese zodiac?

There are 12 Chinese zodiac signs, each associated with a particular animal. The 12 signs of the Chinese zodiac are: Rat, Ox or Buffalo, Tiger, Rabbit or Hare, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Goat or Sheep, Monkey, Rooster or Chicken, Dog, Pig or Boar. A few examples of their personality traits:

The Rat would tend to be intelligent, charismatic, rather ambitious, hard-working, perceptive, but sometimes opportunistic (come on!). In Chinese astrology, the Ox is said to be loyal and persevering, rather reliable, but sometimes a little stubborn!

The Tiger? A passionate, independent, courageous person who dares, but can be impulsive. The Rabbit is calm and creative, but sometimes anxious or shy. The Dragon? Charismatic, a real ball of energy, but sometimes a little impatient. A free spirit, a true optimist, his life is an adventure... the Horse could sometimes be unstable! Here's a quick overview of personality traits according to Chinese horoscopes!

How to calculate your Chinese zodiac sign

The Chinese astrological sign is calculated according to the person's year of birth, using a 12-year cycle, with each year associated with a specific animal. Chinese astrological sign calculation uses lunar months, which correspond to the Moon's cycles rather than the Earth's movement around the Sun as in Western astrology.

Calculating a Chinese zodiac sign therefore requires knowing the person's year of birth and comparing it with the 12-year cycle of the Chinese zodiac to find out which animal is associated with it. This can be done via a Chinese zodiac year table or by using an online Chinese astrological sign calendar!

Please note: the Chinese zodiac sign does not take into account the time or place of birth, unlike Western astrology, which takes into account the position of the planets at the time of birth. So two people born in the same year will have the same Chinese zodiac sign, regardless of place or time of birth.

Which astrological signs are compatible?

In Chinese astrology, certain astrological signs are said to be "compatible" with each other due to the similarity of their personality traits or s'they are associated with mutually supportive elements...

Chinese astrology considers the Rat to be compatible with the Dragon, Monkey and Ox. This is explained, for example, by the fact that the Rat and Dragon share a strong creative energy and passion for success, while the Rat and Monkey possess a great capacity for understanding.

The Tiger is compatible with the Horse, the Dog and the Pig. The Tiger and the Horse share a passion for adventure, while the Tiger and the Dog have a strong emotional compatibility.

The Rooster and the Dragon share a strong ambition and ability to succeed. The Rabbit and the Goat are known for their gentle, loving nature, while the Rabbit and the Dog manage to support each other.

Snakes are compatible with Roosters and Buffalos. The Snake and the Rooster share a common passion for art and culture.

At this point, let's remember that compatibility between two people remains complex and depends on many other factors, such as life history, personal or family situation, the person's unique characteristics and everyday events. It would be far too simplistic to rely solely on these beliefs to s'commit to a relationship!

How does the Chinese calendar work?

The Chinese calendar, also known as the Chinese lunar calendar, is a calendar based on the movement of the Moon. It has been used in China for over 2000 years and is still widely used today for traditional festivals and celebrations, or to determine the dates of certain events such as weddings or funerals.

It's based on a 12-year cycle, with each year associated with a specific animal. Each year in the Chinese calendar is also linked to one of the 5 elements: wood, fire, earth, metal and water. The elements are combined with the animals to form a 60-year cycle.

The Chinese calendar is also divided into twelve lunar months, each beginning with a new Moon. Each lunar phase lasts around 29.5 days, which means that a Chinese lunar year lasts around 354 days - 11 days less than a solar year!

What are the 5 elements of Chinese astrology?

The 5 elements of Chinese astrology are Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal and Water. And if you're wondering what these elements are associated with, Elia tells you!

  • Wood: this element is associated with creativity, expansion and self-expression. People influenced by the Wood element are often known for their charisma, adaptability and entrepreneurial spirit.
  • Fire: the fire element is often linked to energy, passion, transformation and communication. People with a Fire element are said to be vibrant and endowed with a great thirst for success!
  • Earth: stability, security, harmony and generosity - that's what this element is all about! Reliable, caring and responsible people.
  • Metal: strength, determination, perseverance and resilience are the watchwords of this element. Often ambitious, rigorous and thoughtful!
  • And finally, Water: this element is associated with intuition, wisdom, fluidity and emotional depth. They are often creative, empathetic and open-minded. They have a great capacity to recharge their batteries!

How to calculate the element associated with your Chinese sign?

Then there's the beginner's option, which consists in consulting an online calculation site, and it has to be said that it's not very hard to find... But since at Elia, we like to go into detail, here's how to go about finding out the element associated with your Chinese sign:

Elements always repeat themselves two years in a row. For example: 2022 was the year of the Water Tiger, 2023 is now the year of the Water Rabbit. 2024 will be the year of the Wood Dragon, and 2025 that of the Wood Snake. You actually need to know the last digit of your birth year to find out which element it is.

  • The Chinese astrological element is Metal if the year of birth ends in 0 or 1 ;
  • L'Eau if the year of birth ends with 2 or 3 ;
  • Wood if the year of birth ends in 4 or 5 ;
  • Fire if year of birth ends in 6 or 7 ;
  • Terre if the year of birth ends in 8 or 9.

A word of warning: Chinese New Year takes place at the beginning of the year, and on different dates according to the lunar calendar! If you were born in late January or early February, for example, you'll need to check the Chinese New Year date for your year of birth. If you were born in January 1993, before the Chinese New Year, your astrological sign and element will be that of 1992!

Chinese calendar and pregnancy: does it work?

The Chinese pregnancy calendarThe Chinese Pregnancy Calendar, also known as the Lunar Pregnancy Calendar, is a Chinese astrology tool that claims to be able to predict the sex of the baby based on the mother's age and the month of conception. But for the time being (and this is likely to be the case for some time to come), there is no scientific evidence to support this belief.

Can the Chinese calendar predict the sex of your baby?

According to the Chinese calendar method, the Moon's position would determine the most propitious periods for conceiving a child of a particular sex... We at Elia are skeptical! Remember that a baby's sex is determined by the combination of chromosomes in a sperm and an egg, which are completely random! That said, there's nothing to stop you using the Chinese calendar to predict your baby's sex.


Chinese horoscope FAQ

How reliable is Chinese astrology?

Chinese astrology, like Western astrology (based on the solar calendar), remains a belief system that has never been scientifically proven! Of course, it's tempting to rely on horoscopes (Chinese or Western) to find out more about your personality, your future (or your children's future co-parent...). But in reality, we're better off relying on real-life events!

Is Chinese astrology more accurate than Western astrology?

Both astrological systems have their own methods for calculating and interpreting the planets and stars. A direct comparison is therefore difficult!

In terms of popularity and use, Chinese astrology is more widespread in certain parts of Asia, while Western astrology is more common in Western countries. As astrology is more a matter of belief than science, the greater reliability of one or the other is a matter of personal opinion!

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The information contained in the articles on is general information only. Although reviewed by health professionals, this information is not error-free, does not constitute health advice or consultation, and is not intended to provide a diagnosis or suggest a course of treatment. Under no circumstances may this information be used as a substitute for medical advice or consultation with a healthcare professional. If you have any questions, please consult your doctor.