#28ChineseMemories Day 9: The Chinese Zodiac & My Sign

Image credit to Boians Cho Joo Young of
Image credit to Boians Cho Joo Young of

The Chinese Zodiac is based off of a twelve-year system with corresponding animals for each year. The zodiac years are determined by the lunar calendar, which I had mentioned in my first post of this month. Next week will be the Lunar New Year on February 19th, where we will transition from the Year of the Horse to the Year of the Sheep.

Because the Chinese Zodiac is based on the lunar calendar rather than the solar calendar, the day I was born actually fell into the Year of the Rat, or 1984, despite the fact that my solar birthday is January 31, 1985. The Year of the Ox hadn’t arrived yet in 1985; hence the reason I am considered a Rat and not an Ox.

When I was a child, I didn’t quite understand this concept: I went around telling my friends that I was an Ox but my parents kept correcting me and telling me that no, I was a Rat instead. Growing up and even to this day, my grandparents and my parents like to call me their “little mouse” as a term of endearment and because of my Chinese Zodiac sign.

Recently, I read about the type of personality a person born in the Year of the Rat generally has, and I have to say I do agree with most of what the article described. Still, I have my own quirks and unique traits that can’t be predetermined by the Chinese Zodiac.