The snake ( 蛇 ) is the sixth of the twelve-year cycle of animals which appear in the Chinese zodiac related to the Chinese calendar. The Year of the Snake is associated with the Earthly Branch symbol 巳.
According to one legend,there is a reason for the order of the animals in the cycle. The story goes that a race was held to cross a great river,and the order of the animals in the cycle was based upon their order in finishing the race. In this story,the snake compensated for not being the best swimmer by hitching a hidden ride on the Horse's hoof,and when the horse was just about to cross the finish line,jumping out,scaring the horse,and thus edging it out for sixth place.
The same twelve animals are also used to symbolize the cycle of hours in the day,each being associated with a two-hour time period. The hour of the snake is 9:00 to 11:00 a.m.,the time when the Sun warms up the Earth,and snakes are said to slither out of their holes. The month of the snake is the 4th month of the Chinese lunar calendar and it usually falls within the months of May through June depending on the Chinese to Gregorian calendar conversion. The reason the animal signs are referred to as zodiacal is that one's personality is said to be influenced by the animal signs ruling the time of birth,together with elemental aspects of the animal signs within the sexagenary cycle. Similarly,the year governed by a particular animal sign is supposed to be characterized by it,with the effects particularly strong for people who were born in any year governed by the same animal sign.
In Chinese symbology,snakes are regarded as intelligent,with a tendency to lack scruples.
People born within these date ranges can be said to have been born in the "Year of the Snake",while also bearing the following elemental sign:
|Start date||End date||Heavenly branch|
|10 February 1929||29 January 1930||Earth Snake|
|27 January 1941||14 February 1942||Metal Snake|
|14 February 1953||2 February 1954||Water Snake|
|2 February 1965||20 January 1966||Wood Snake|
|18 February 1977||6 February 1978||Fire Snake|
|6 February 1989||26 January 1990||Earth Snake|
|24 January 2001||11 February 2002||Metal Snake|
|10 February 2013||30 January 2014||Water Snake|
|29 January 2025||16 February 2026||Wood Snake|
|15 February 2037||3 February 2038||Fire Snake|
|2 February 2049||22 January 2050||Earth Snake|
|21 January 2061||8 February 2062||Metal Snake|
|7 February 2073||26 January 2074||Water Snake|
|26 January 2085||13 February 2086||Wood Snake|
|12 February 2097||31 January 2098||Fire Snake|
In Japan,the new sign of the zodiac starts on 1 January,while in China it starts,according to the traditional Chinese calendar,at the new moon that falls between 21 January and 20 February,so that persons born in January or February may have two different signs in the two countries,but persons born in late February (i.e. on or after 20 February) automatically have one sign in both countries.
|Lucky colors:||Red,light yellow,black;Avoid:white,golden,brown|
The snake is the sixth of the twelve signs and belongs to the second trine,with the ox (second sign,牛,Earthly branch:丑) and the rooster (tenth sign,雞/鷄[simplified Chinese:鸡],Earthly branch:酉),with which it is most compatible. The pig is the most incompatible.
Depictions of zodiacal snakes,alone or with the other eleven signs,show how they have been imagined in the calendrical context.
Chinese astrology is based on the traditional astronomy and calendars. Chinese astrology came to flourish during the Han Dynasty.
The Horse is the seventh of the 12-year cycle of animals which appear in the Chinese zodiac related to the Chinese calendar. There is a long tradition of the Horse in Chinese mythology. Certain characteristics of the Horse nature are supposed to be typical of or to be associated with either a year of the Horse and its events, or in regard to the personality of someone born in such a year. Horse aspects can also enter by other chronomantic factors or measures, such as hourly. The year of the horse is associated with the Earthly Branch symbol 午.
The Pig or sometimes translated as the Boar is the twelfth of the 12-year cycle of animals which appear in Chinese zodiac, in relation to the Chinese calendar and system of horology, and paralleling the system of ten Heavenly Stems and twelve Earthly Branches. Although the term "zodiac" is used in the phrase "Chinese zodiac", there is a major difference between the Chinese usage and Western astrology: the zodiacal animals do not relate to the zodiac as the area of the sky that extends approximately 8° north or south of the ecliptic, the apparent path of the Sun, the Moon, and visible planets across the celestial sphere's constellations, over the course of the year.
The rabbit is the fourth in the twelve-year cycle of animals that appear in the Chinese zodiac related to the Chinese calendar. The Year of the Rabbit is associated with the Earthly Branch symbol 卯.
The Dragon, also known as Loong, is the fifth of the 12-year cycle of animals which appear in the Chinese zodiac related to the Chinese calendar. The Year of the Dragon is associated with the Earthly Branch symbol 辰, pronounced chen.
The Tiger is the third of the 12-year cycle of animals which appear in the Chinese zodiac related to the Chinese calendar. The Year of the Tiger is associated with the Earthly Branch symbol 寅.
The Dog is eleventh of the 12-year cycle of animals which appear in the Chinese zodiac related to the Chinese calendar. The Year of the Dog is associated with the Earthly Branch symbol 戌. The character 狗, also refers to the actual animal while 戌, also refers to the zodiac animal.
The Goat is the eighth of the 12-year cycle of animals which appear in the Chinese zodiac related to the Chinese calendar. This zodiacal sign is often referred to as the "Ram" or "Sheep" sign, since the Chinese word yáng is more accurately translated as Caprinae, a taxonomic subfamily that includes both goats and sheep, but contrasts with other animal subfamily types such as Bovinae, Antilopinae, and other taxonomic considerations which may be encountered in the case of the larger family of Bovidae in Chinese mythology, which also includes the Ox (zodiac). The Year of the Goat is associated with the 8th Earthly Branch symbol, 未 (wèi).
The monkey is the ninth of the 12-year cycle of animals which appear in the Chinese zodiac related to the Chinese calendar. The year of the monkey is associated with the Earthly Branch symbol 申.
The Ox is the second of the 12-year periodic sequence (cycle) of animals which appear in the Chinese zodiac related to the Chinese calendar, and also appears in related calendar systems. The Chinese term translated here as ox is in Chinese niú , a word generally referring to cows, bulls, or neutered types of the bovine family, such as common cattle or water buffalo. The zodiacal ox may be construed as male, female, neutered, hermaphroditic, and either singular or plural. The Year of the Ox is also denoted by the Earthly Branch symbol chǒu. The term "zodiac" ultimately derives from an Ancient Greek term referring to a "circle of little animals". There are also a yearly month of the ox and a daily hour of the ox. Years of the oxen (cows) are cyclically differentiated by correlation to the Heavenly Stems cycle, resulting in a repeating cycle of five years of the ox/cow, each ox/cow year also being associated with one of the Chinese wǔxíng, also known as the "five elements", or "phases": the "Five Phases" being Fire, Water, Wood, Metal, and Earth. The Year of the Ox follows after the Year of the Rat which happened in 2020 and is then followed by the Year of the Tiger, which happened in 2022.
The Rat or Mouse is the first of the repeating 12-year cycle of animals which appear in the Chinese zodiac, constituting part of the Chinese calendar system. The Year of the Rat in standard Chinese is ; the rat is associated with the first branch of the Earthly Branch symbol 子 (zǐ), which starts a repeating cycle of twelve years. The Chinese word shǔ refers to various small rodents (Muroidea), such as rats and mice. The term "zodiac" ultimately derives from an Ancient Greek term referring to a "circle of little animals". There are also a yearly month of the rat and a daily hour of the rat. Years of the rat are cyclically differentiated by correlation to the Heavenly Stems cycle, resulting in a repeating cycle of five years of the rat, each rat year also being associated with one of the Chinese wu xing, also known as the "five elements", or "phases": the "Five Phases" being Fire, Water, Wood, Metal, and Earth.
The twelve Earthly Branches or Terrestrial Branches are a Chinese ordering system used throughout East Asia in various contexts, including its ancient dating system, astrological traditions, zodiac and ordinals.
In Western astrology, astrological signs are the twelve 30-degree sectors that make up Earth's 360-degree orbit around the Sun. The signs enumerate from the first day of spring, known as the First Point of Aries, which is the vernal equinox. The astrological signs are Aries, Taurus, Gemini, Cancer, Leo, Virgo, Libra, Scorpio, Sagittarius, Capricorn, Aquarius, and Pisces. The Western zodiac originated in Babylonian astrology, and was later influenced by the Hellenistic culture. Each sign was named after a constellation the sun annually moved through while crossing the sky. This observation is emphasized in the simplified and popular sun sign astrology. Over the centuries, Western astrology's zodiacal divisions have shifted out of alignment with the constellations they were named after by axial precession of the Earth while Hindu astrology measurements correct for this shifting. Astrology was developed in Chinese and Tibetan cultures as well but these astrologies are not based upon the zodiac but deal with the whole sky.
In Chinese philosophy, metal or gold, the fourth phase of Wu Xing, is the decline of the matter, or the matter's decline stage. In Traditional Chinese Medicine Metal is yin in character, its motion is inwards and its energy is contracting. It is associated with the west, autumn, it governs the Yin, Zang organ the Lung and the Yang, Fu organ colon, nose and skin, old age, the planet Venus, the color white, dry weather, and the White Tiger in Four Symbols. The archetypal metals are silver or gold.
In Chinese philosophy, fire is the prosper of the matter, or the matter's prosperity stage. Fire is the second phase of Wu Xing.
In Chinese philosophy, earth or soil, is the changing point of the matter. Earth is the third element in the Wu Xing cycle.
The Chinese zodiac is a traditional classification scheme based on the lunar calendar that assigns an animal and its reputed attributes to each year in a repeating twelve-year cycle. Originating from China, the zodiac and its variations remain popular in many East Asian and Southeast Asian countries, such as Japan, South Korea,, Vietnam, Cambodia, Singapore, Nepal, Bhutan and Thailand.
The Rooster is the tenth of the 12-year cycle of animals which appear in the Chinese zodiac related to the Chinese calendar. The Year of the Rooster is represented by the Earthly Branch symbol 酉.
Dogs are an important motif in Chinese mythology. These motifs include a particular dog which accompanies a hero, the dog as one of the twelve totem creatures for which years are named, a dog giving first provision of grain which allowed current agriculture, and claims of having a magical dog as an original ancestor in the case of certain ethnic groups.
Snakes are an important motif in Chinese mythology. There are various myths, legends, and folk tales about snakes. Chinese mythology refers to these and other myths found in the historical geographic area(s) of China. These myths include Chinese and other languages, as transmitted by Han Chinese as well as other ethnic groups.