The Year of the Rabbit

Categories: Diversity & Inclusion

The Chinese New Year is here! From Jan. 22 to Feb. 9, people all over the world celebrate this significant Chinese holiday that correlates to the lunar calendar. With most of the celebrations, there are customs, traditions and beliefs that make each year special to look forward to.

One of the most well-known aspects of the Chinese New Year are the animals that make up the Chinese zodiac. Depending on the year you were born, and the year that we are ushering in, it is largely believed that the different animal signs and the personality traits that come with each one will set the tone for what’s to come for you in the new year. Each animal has a different element that interchanges after the 12-year cycle. The elements are wood, fire, earth, metal and water. The Chinese zodiac sign and element helps understand your compatibility in love, predict your health and even the best job based on your zodiac characteristics.

According to Chinese mythology, Chinese zodiac signs come from an idea of the Jade Emperor, who was known as the emperor of the universe, overseeing the heavens, earth and underworld. The tale is known as “The Great Race," where the emperor proposed for all the animals in the world to race to the Heavenly Palace in order to earn a spot on the 12-year wheel. The purpose of this race was to create a system to help calculate time, which would be based on the 12-year cycle.

Twelve animals competed, and listed below are their rankings from first (rat) to last (pig).

Chinese Zodiac Animals

In 2023, it is the year of the water rabbit. There is a unique story on the reason the rabbit earned the fourth year in the zodiac wheel.

According to the tale, the rabbit was overconfident about being able to win the race against the rest of the animals. The rabbit was known to be the fastest long-distance competitor based on his size and endurance. The day of the race, the rabbit was ahead of all the animals and decided to take a nap. When the rabbit woke up, the rat, ox and tiger had already crossed the finish line. The rabbit began to use his skills by running and hopping to the finish line and placed in fourth place. After this race, the rabbit was humbled and became known for being a vigilant animal.

Animal Personality Traits

Those born under the year of the rabbit are known to be vigilant, quick witted, polite, calm and ambitious. More specifically, if you are born in the year of the water rabbit you are said to be intuitive, emotional and selfless.

Some characteristics of the other zodiac signs include:

  • Rat: quick-witted, smart, charming, and persuasive
  • Ox: patient, kind, stubborn, and conservative
  • Tiger: authoritative, emotional, courageous, and intense
  • Dragon: energetic, fearless, warm-hearted, and charismatic
  • Snake: charming, gregarious, introverted, generous, and smart
  • Horse: energetic, independent, impatient, and enjoy traveling
  • Sheep: mild-mannered, shy, kind, and peace-loving
  • Monkey: fun, energetic, and active
  • Rooster: independent, practical, hard-working, and observant
  • Dog: patient, diligent, generous, faithful, and kind
  • Pig: loving, tolerant, honest, and appreciative of luxury

If you are interested in learning more about Chinese New Year, including your zodiac sign and what’s predicted for you during this year of the rabbit, visit the official website