Shēngxiào 生肖

The Chinese Zodiac, Shēngxiào, is mainly associated with a 12 year cycle represented by twelve animals (Shǔxiáng) - the Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Goat, Monkey, Rooster, Dog and Pig. However each cycle of 12 years is also associated with one of the five elements (Wǔ Xíng) - wood, fire, earth, metal and water. When both of these are taken together there is a 60 year cycle. For example 2020 is the year of the rat, and metal.

The first hanzi character 生 Shēng represents birth and life. The second hanzi character 肖 Xiào represents a resemblance, to be like something.

Sheng Xiao

Chinese Years of the Twelve Animals…

  • Rat - 2020, 2008, 1996, 1984, 1972, 1960, 1948, 1936, 1924, 1912
  • Ox - 2021, 2009, 1997, 1985, 1973, 1961, 1949, 1937, 1925, 1913
  • Tiger - 2022, 2010, 1998, 1986, 1974, 1962, 1950, 1938, 1926, 1914
  • Rabbit - 2023, 2011, 1999, 1987, 1975, 1963, 1951, 1939, 1927, 1915
  • Dragon - 2024, 2012, 2000, 1988, 1976, 1964, 1952, 1940, 1928, 1916
  • Snake - 2025, 2013, 2001, 1989, 1977, 1965, 1953, 1941, 1929, 1917
  • Horse - 2026, 2014, 2002, 1990, 1978, 1966, 1954, 1942, 1930, 1918
  • Goat - 2027, 2015, 2003, 1991, 1979, 1967, 1955, 1943, 1931, 1919
  • Monkey - 2028, 2016, 2004, 1992, 1980, 1968, 1956, 1944, 1932, 1920
  • Rooster - 2029, 2017, 2005, 1993, 1981, 1969, 1957, 1945, 1933, 1921
  • Dog - 2030, 2018, 2006, 1994, 1982, 1970, 1958, 1946, 1934, 1922
  • Pig - 2031, 2019, 2007, 1995, 1983, 1971, 1959, 1947, 1935, 1923

Chinese Years of the Five Elements…

  • Wood - 1984-1995, 1924-1935
  • Fire - 1996-2007, 1936-1947
  • Earth - 2008-2019, 1948-1959
  • Metal - 2020-2031, 1960-1971
  • Water - 2032-2043, 1972-1983