Baby Horoscopes

Chinese Zodiac: What your baby's horoscope means

What animal is hiding in your child’s heart? Find out in our guide to the 12 signs of the Chinese zodiac.

Chinese Zodiac: What your baby's horoscope means

What animal is hiding in your child’s heart? Find out in our guide to the 12 signs of the Chinese Zodiac.

Gong xi fa cai! (Happiness and prosperity!) February 1 marks a new year on the Chinese zodiac calendar. There are 12 signs in all, and each animal is known for certain personality traits. Laura Lau, an expert in Chinese astrology and co-author of the 7th edition of The Handbook of Chinese Horoscopes, dishes on what each sign means. Check it out to see how well your family fits the descriptions!

Chinese Zodiac: What your baby's horoscope means Photo: iStockphoto


Birth years: 2020, 2008, 1996, 1984, 1972, 1960

According to legend, when Buddha left Earth, the animals wanted to bid him farewell and the order of the animals in the zodiac reflects the order in which they arrived. The rat got there first, which our Chinese astrology expert Laura Lau says is fitting for its personality. “Rats are kind, thoughtful, pro-active and on time,” she says. “They care a lot about family, and are typically quite organized and very loyal.”

chinese new year rat Photo: iStockphoto



Birth years: 2021, 2009, 1997, 1985, 1973, 1961

If your child was born in the year of the ox, they’re most likely the strong, silent type. “The ox is tough and typically not a whiner,” says Lau. “People born in this year like to follow the rules and are pretty attentive. They’re also private and generally not big talkers.” Kids born in the year of the ox often have an independent streak. “They like to go at things on their own and figure them out,” says Lau.

chinese new year ox Photo: iStockphoto


Birth years: 2022, 2010, 1998, 1986, 1974, 1962 Got a little charmer in your family? People born in the year of the tiger are often confident, curious and likeable. “They’re also kind of hyperactive,” says Lau. “Tigers are into sports and dramatic things—people say they’re natural athletes. They have a lot of energy.” Tiger tots can be emotional, but they won’t bottle their feelings—good or bad—so be prepared!

chinese new year tiger Photo: iStockphoto


Birth years: 2023, 2011, 1999, 1987, 1975, 1963

If your little one is a budding Picasso or has immaculate taste and strong opinions about decor, it’s because little bunnies love the arts and beautiful things. “They’re the type to reorganize their room and decorate a lot,” says Lau. “They’re also known for having good manners. The rabbit is one of the diplomats of the Chinese zodiac. They’re polite little bargainers—they have a nice way of charming to get their way.”

Chinese new year rabbit Photo: iStockphoto



Birth years: 2024, 2012, 2000, 1988, 1976, 1964

Little ones born under the year of the dragon are all guts and have a do-it-themselves attitute. “The dragon is very fearless and idealistic, so people born in this year are known for being really innovative,” says Lau. “They don’t ask for a lot of help, but as much as they try new things, they still respect the rules, which is interesting. And by being outspoken and ambitious, they find teachers and mentors to look up to and learn from.”

chinese new year red dragon Photo: iStockphoto


Birth years: 2013, 2001, 1989, 1977, 1965

Always the fashionista, snakes are stylish, intelligent, quiet and good at keeping secrets. As a result, they can come across as being quite sssserious. “They have a quiet confidence and can be a little bit brooding, but once the snake opens up and finds their trust and their friends, they’re fiercely loyal,” says Lau. Remember that snakes are tender as well as tough. “A lot of people think snakes can’t get hurt, but really they have a very good poker face, whether it’s happy or sad,” says Lau.

chinese new year red snake Photo: iStockphoto


Birth years: 2014, 2002, 1990, 1978, 1966

The horse is very passionate. “They’re frequently known to be very tough as children, because they’re willful and stubborn—the type of kid you see in sitcoms who tries to run away, like ‘I’ll just go do this on my own!’” says Lau. Horses learn lessons through experience. That’s hard for parents to watch, obviously, but horses also become fiercely independent and have lots of adventures, she says. “They always come back—they just need to see it for themselves.”

chinese new year horse Photo: iStockphoto



Birth years: 2015, 2003, 1991, 1979, 1967

“The sheep is a kind, homebody sort of animal,” says Lau. They’re lovers of beauty and their family, and unlike the horse and some of the more independent animals, they have no issue staying home for as long as possible. “The thing is, it’s never a bother, because the sheep is always taken care of—people love being around them.” Your little lamb might be a touch sensitive, because they’re so nice to others and used to being treated the same way.

chinese new year red goat Photo: iStockphoto


Birth years: 2016, 2004, 1992, 1980, 1968

The monkey is one of the smartest zodiac animals. But it’s also one of the most mischievous. “Monkeys follow the rules—they look for the fine print, just for the sport of it,” says Lau. “As kids they can get bored, but good things come out of boredom. They’re the type to break their toys, take them to their limit, then put them back together in a different way.” Monkeys are fiercely competitive and, might go, um, bananas when they lose. “But they’re charming,” says Lau. “They’re cunning and clever, and they usually get back on their feet pretty fast.”

chinese new year red monkey Photo: iStockphoto


Birth years: 2017, 2005, 1993, 1981, 1969

The rooster is a study in contrasts: flamboyant, but also regimented and hardworking. “It’s really fascinating, because roosters love to be on time, they’re neat and they’re meticulous. They build a routine and stick to it,” says Lau. “They can also be nitpicky—they’re the best and the worst critics. They’ll always be very honest with you.” And like real roosters, they’re happy to strut their stuff: “They’re very confident, so they’re completely unapologetic about whatever they love to wear, whether it’s the best or worst taste, popular or panned.”

chinese new year rooster Photo: iStockphoto



Birth years: 2018, 2006, 1994, 1982, 1970

Like humankind’s best friend, kids born in the Year of the Dog are cheerful, even-tempered, sensible and reasonable. “They’re a real balancing type of personality, and they’re very independent as well,” says Lau. She cautions that dogs can only be pushed so far. “True to dogs being loyal, they still have their temper. They’re very much about being fair, so they defend other people and themselves and won’t stand down from a fight.”

chinese new year red dog Photo: iStockphoto


Birth years: 2019, 2007, 1995, 1983, 1971

The boar is the party animal of the zodiac! “Boars work hard and play hard. They love to throw parties and they’re very sociable. They have a hefty appetite for life,” says Lau. “They can kind of overdo it, but everyone will love them for it.” She adds that boars are also quick to trust people—sometimes too quick. Your baby boar will shake off disappointments quickly, though: “Boars don’t hold grudges and they’re very generous.”

chinese new year red pig Photo: iStockphoto
This article was originally published on Feb 15, 2018

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