MAD animal zodiacs

The Chinese zodiac is based on 12 animal signs, which run in a 12 year cycle. See which you are!

Note that Chinese years follow the lunar cycle, so they don't start on the same date each year. If your birthday is after February then the years shown below are fine. To be sure of your year animal, type your birthday in the box below.

Your birthday: Your year animal:

How it all began...

Buddha invited all the animals of the kingdom to see him. Only 12 animals came. To thank them he said any babies born in a certain year would inherit their personality characteristics.

To decide the order of the animal years, the animals would race across a river, and that each animal's position in the cycle would be set by its place in the race.

On the day of the race, the 12 animals gathered on the riverbank.

As the race began, the rat jumped unnoticed onto the ox's back, and just as the ox reached the other side of the riverbank, the rat jumped off its back and won the race. This is why the rat is first, the ox second, and the last animal in the race, the boar, is last in the cycle. And so the rotating cycle of 12 animals used traditionally for naming the years in China was established, with each animal year repeated every 12 years.

Kung Hai Fat Choi from MAD Ideas!

Famous Tigers:

Tom Cruise, Leonardo DiCaprio, Jodie Foster, Stevie Wonder, Princess Anne, Alec Guinness, Marilyn Monroe, Oscar Wilde

Famous Rabbits:

Johnny Depp, Jet Li, Kate Winslet, Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie, Nicolas Cage, Quentin Tarantino, Frank Sinatra, Confucius, Albert Einstein, Andy Warhol

Famous Dragons:

Keanu Reeves, Sandra Bullock, Rihanna, Courtney Cox, Bing Crosby, Placido Domingo, Tom Jones, John Lennon, Ringo Starr, Martin Luther King

Famous Snakes:

Pierce Brosnan, Mike Oldfield, Oprah Winfrey, Abraham Lincoln, Mao Tse-tung, Princess Grace Kelly Rainier, Greta Garbo, Franklin D. Roosevelt

Famous Horses:

Jackie Chan, Kevin Costner, Paul McCartney, Jimi Hendrix, Janet Jackson, Mike Tyson, Sean Connery, Clint Eastwood, Harrison Ford, Vivaldi, Puccini, Isaac Newton, Louis Pasteur, Aretha Franklin, Neil Armstrong

Famous Goats:

Julia Roberts, Chow Yun Fat, Bill Gates, Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Mel Gibson, Bruce Willis, William Shatner, Leonardo da Vinci

Famous Monkeys:

Christina Aguilera, Will Smith, Jennifer Aniston, Michael Douglas, Danny De Vito, Elizabeth Taylor, Harry Houdini, Bette Davis, Julius Caesar

Famous Roosters:

Michelle Pfeiffer, Dolly Parton, Rudyard Kipling, Eric Clapton, Joan Collins, Katharine Hepburn, William Faulkner, Van Morrison, Bette Midler

Famous Dogs:

Madonna, Elvis Presley, Sharon Stone, Sylvester Stallone, Cher, Michael Jackson, Donny Osmond, Mariah Carey, Freddie Mercury, Mother Theresa, Winston Churchill, Prince William

Famous Boars:

Val Kilmer, Emma Thompson, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Woody Allen, Julie Andrews, Luciano Pavarotti, Steven Spielberg, Humphrey Bogart, Ginger Rogers, Fred Astaire, Henry Ford

Famous Rats:

Ozzy Osborne, Hugh Grant, Gwyneth Paltrow, Antonio Banderas, Samuel L. Jackson, Sean Penn, Cameron Diaz, William Shakespeare, Mozart, Louis Armstrong, Prince Charles

Famous Oxen:

George Clooney, Jack Nicholson, Kate Moss, Anthony Hopkins. Among this next list, notice the intensity of personalities born into this sign: President Barack Obama, Napoleon, Malcolm X, Diana Princess of Wales, Charlie Chaplin, Walt Disney, Bruce Springsteen, Margaret Thatcher


1919, 1931, 1943, 1955, 1967, 1979, 1991, 2003, 2015

The Goat sign is happy when being creative. Goat people are gentle and shy. However, underneath the wooly head is a true survivor. In Chinese, the Goat is also known as the 'mountain sheep'. If you think of the solitary goat, scrambling to the top of the mountain peak, this will give you an indication of the true nature of this sign.

Best match: Rabbit, Horse, Boar, Tiger


1920, 1932, 1944, 1956, 1968, 1980, 1992, 2004, 2016

Monkey people are successful in any field they choose. They would rather appease than fight and are good at making deals. They are always well informed and remember everything they read. If they follow their instincts, they stand a good chance of becoming famous! However, they tend to talk too much.

Best match: Dog, Rat, Dragon, banana


1909, 1921, 1933,
1945, 1957, 1969, 1981, 1993, 2005

Rooster people are eccentric and outgoing, and will enliven even the dullest party. They enjoy being the centre of attention and make wonderful hosts. However, they can be easily bored and will create situations to liven things up a little (even waking up at the crack of dawn and waking everyone just for fun, all together now…"cock-a-doodle-doo!")

Best match: Snake, Ox, Dragon


1910, 1922, 1934, 1946, 1958, 1970, 1982, 1994, 2006

Year of the Dog people are blessed with the finer traits of human nature. Like the dog, they are loyal and possess a profound sense of duty. They always try their best in everything they do. People born in this sign can also be counted upon to keep a secret. Dog people are renowned for championing good causes, as they cannot stand injustice.

Best match: Horse, Boar, Tiger


1911, 1923, 1935, 1947, 1959, 1971, 1983, 1995, 2007

Boars are admirable characters; they are chivalrous and brave. They have tremendous inner strength and superb follow through in whatever they undertake. Boar people treat their loved ones with love and affection. They have a heart of gold and are very sincere. Their friends and loved ones are of the life-long variety.

Best match: Rabbit, Goat, Dog


1912, 1924, 1936, 1948, 1960, 1972, 1984, 1996, 2008

Rat people are very charming. Ambitious and persistent, they stop at nothing to get ahead in life and career. They can survive any condition and are naturally thrifty. In love they are generous, sharing everything they've saved with their loved one.

Best match: Ox, Dragon, Monkey, (hefalump, although the feeling is not mutual)


1913, 1925, 1937, 1949, 1961, 1973, 1985, 1997, 2009

The Ox is one of the hardest working and strongest signs (better be nice to you then). Placid and easy going, they have the rare gift of inspiring others. Their self assuredness helps them become successful. They rarely show off, but they gain others’ confidence through their strength, patience and creativity.

Best match: Rooster, Rat, Snake


1914, 1926, 1938, 1950, 1962, 1974, 1986, 1998, 2010

The Tiger sign is powerful and courageous. Orientals believe Tiger people are destined to be rulers. Of all the signs, the Tiger is the most respected. Orientals say everyone must guard against three disasters in life: fire, thieves and ghosts. It is believed the Tiger protects you against all three.

Best match: Horse, Dog, Boar


1915, 1927, 1939, 1951, 1963, 1975, 1987, 1999, 2011

The Rabbit is the most fortunate of all the signs. They are gifted, well mannered and lucky financially. Other people trust them and they are renowned for their good taste. They make compassionate friends and graceful hosts. In business, they are clever. However, they dislike change and can be lazy (so don't expect to see Rabbit men wash up very often!)

Best match: Snake, Goat, Dog


1916, 1928, 1940, 1952, 1964, 1976, 1988, 2000, 2012

The Dragon represents the greatest celestial power. When a child is born in the Dragon year, Orientals consider this as a stroke of fortune! Dragon people have the gifts of health, energy and courage. Symbolising life and growth, the Dragon is said to have these four blessings: virtue, riches, harmony and longevity. Surprise! Dragons love flattery!

Best match: Rat, Snake, Monkey


1917, 1929, 1941, 1953, 1965, 1977, 1989, 2001, 2013

People born in the Snake years have great wisdom. Profound thinkers, they prefer to rely on their own intellect rather than trust the judgement of others. Fired with intense determination, they hate to fail at anything! Snake people are beautiful (and also vain). They seldom have to worry about money – they are usually rich! Make the next round of drinks on the Snake!

Best match: Rooster, Ox, Dragon


1918, 1930, 1942, 1954, 1966, 1978 1990 2002 2014

Horse people are popular, cheerful and love to compliment others. They act quickly and are highly unpredictable. They seek adventure, are highly spirited and love to travel. They are highly independent and usually get their own way. Horse people love entertainment and people. Note: Horses have particularly short tempers!

Best match: Tiger, Dog, Goat (or anyone who can put up with their temper!!)