Well, after commenting on a European Zodiac page, I've decided to explain the more in depth Chinese Zodiac.
Rat-1900, 1912, 1924, 1936, 1948, 1960, 1972, 1984, 1996, 2008
Ox-1901, 1913, 1925, 1937, 1949, 1961, 1973, 1985, 1997, 2009
Tiger-1902, 1914, 1926, 1938, 1950, 1962, 1974, 1986, 1998, 2010
Rabbit-1903, 1915, 1927, 1939, 1951, 1963, 1975, 1987, 1999, 2011
Dragon-1904, 1916, 1928, 1940, 1952, 1964, 1976, 1988, 2000, 2012
Snake-1905,1917, 1929, 1941, 1953, 1965, 1977, 1989, 2001, 2013
Horse-1906, 1918, 1930, 1942, 1954, 1966, 1978, 1990, 2002, 2014
Ram-1907, 1919, 1931, 1943, 1955, 1967, 1979, 1991, 2003, 2015
Monkey-1908, 1920, 1932, 1944, 1956, 1968, 1980, 1992, 2004, 2016
Rooster-1909, 1921, 1933, 1945, 1957, 1969, 1981, 1993, 2005, 2017
Dog-1910, 1922, 1934, 1946, 1958, 1970, 1982, 1994, 2006, 2018
Pig-1911, 1923, 1935, 1947, 1959, 1971, 1983, 1995, 2007, 2019
If the year ends in 0 it is Yang Metal.
If the year ends in 1 it is Yin Metal.
If the year ends in 2 it is Yang Water.
If the year ends in 3 it is Yin Water.
If the year ends in 4 it is Yang Wood.
If the year ends in 5 it is Yin Wood.
If the year ends in 6 it is Yang Fire.
If the year ends in 7 it is Yin Fire.
If the year ends in 8 it is Yang Earth.
If the year ends in 9 it is Yin Earth.
Although there are animals set to the year of your birth, always remember that the Chinese New Year is not the same as the American New Year, so people born between January and March should always check the Chinese New Year's celebrated date before assigning themselves the appropriate animal.
Another point about the Chinese zodiac is that you may be one animal by year, but keep in mind that the other traits of animals can be seen based upon the day you were born, the month you were born and the hour you were born.
Yin is slow, soft, insubstantial, diffuse, cold, wet, and tranquil, associated with the night and is the more feminine energy
Yang is fast, hard, solid, dry, focused, hot, and aggressive, associated with the day and is the masculine energy
LUNAR MONTHS (Since the Chinese have their own calendar)
1st - Tiger
2nd - Rabbit
3rd - Dragon
4th - Snake
5th - Horse
6th - Goat
7th - Monkey
8th - Rooster
9th - Dog
10th - Pig
11th - Rat
12th - Ox
And the Birth Hours...
Hour of the Rat: 11pm-1am
Hour of the Ox: 1am-3am
Hour of the Tiger: 3am-5am
Hour of the Rabbit: 5am-7am
Hour of the Dragon: 7am-9am
Hour of the Snake: 9am-11am
Hour of the Horse: 11am-1pm
Hour of the Goat: 1pm-3pm
Hour of the Monkey: 3pm-5pm
Hour of the Rooster: 5pm-7pm
Hour of the Dog: 7pm-9pm
Hour of the Pig: 9pm-11pm
There is something called a secret animal as well. The secret animal is determined by the day you were born. So far, besides counting out the days, I have not found a way to determine what your secret animal is. If I find it, I will post it!
The Animals' Personalities are as follows:
Rat (Fixed Element Water)-charming, aggressive, talkative, suave
Ox (Fixed Element Water)-hard-working, persistent, idealistic
Tiger (Fixed Element Wood)- brave, born-to-be leader
Rabbit (Fixed Element Wood)- kind, sweet, good company, very likable
Dragon (Fixed Element Wood)-doers, noble, feisty, determined
Snake (Fixed Element Fire)-careful, generous, magnetic, difficult to understand
Horse (Fixed Element Fire)-popular, energetic, cheerful and magnetic
Ram (Fixed Element Fire)-creative, artistic, charming and amicable
Monkey (Fixed Element Metal)- energetic, clever, talented, fun-loving
Rooster (Fixed Element Metal)- simple, observant, straight-forward, precise
Dog (Fixed Element Metal)-honest, faithful, sincere, intelligent, caring
Pig (Fixed Element Water)-tolerant, chivalrous, have a hard time saying no
Explaining the Elements
Fire - People born under the fire element are natural-born leaders. You always tend to never be alone, as people always want to be around you. New adventures excite you because you know that you will always be in charge of the task. You are always very passionate in all of your relationships, especially love, and have a tendency to always speak your mind.
Water - People born under the water element tend to be the peacemakers of the group. While you may have your own agenda, you listen quietly to the concerns of others, and calmly try to persuade them to see your point of view. People always want to be in your presence, as you are known for treating others well. Make sure not to seem too passive, as sometimes your calmness can make you a target for others to try to take advantage of you.
Wood - People born under the wood element are always looking to take on new tasks and expand their minds. You accept others for who they are and are very nonjudgmental. Sometimes, though, in social situations you may blend into the crowd and become unseen. Express yourself so that your voice is heard and your inner strength is revealed.
Metal - Those born under the metal element definitely have two sides. In public, you wish to be seen as the person who is successful and doing well for yourself. However, in private, you wish to be secluded and are perfectly content in your surroundings, as long as they are of comfort to you. Try to take time to balance your success with your personal life and remember that everyone can not conform to how you think they should be; no matter how much they want to please you.
Earth- Those with earth in their animal description are the firm like the earth. Earth animals blend well into their environment and are keen with all of their senses. Earth signs tend to pace themselves in all aspects of their life and they are very productive people. Picture them as the down-to-earth for-what-it's-worth face value types. Earth types tend to go to extremes without some balance and can be mundane and even down right stubborn. ***Earth is not a fixed animal element because it is the foundation that holds everything together since it does not move for lack of a better term.***
The elements actually have two cycles, the generative or productive cycle, and the destructive or suppressive cycle. The names of the cycles can be literal, the elements do lead to one another, and they do destroy one another.
In the generative cycle, wood produces fire, as wood is the most common source of fuel, perhaps the only one in ancient China. Fire produces earth, as ash is produced after burning and becomes part of the soil. Earth produces metal, as metallic ores are found in the earth. Metal produces water, as metal becomes liquid when heated, and metal contains water, considering pots and pans. Water produces wood again, as it nourishes life.
In the destructive cycle, wood suppresses earth, as it drains nutrients from the soil, which was seen as having dominance over earth. Earth suppresses water, as earth and crude dams limit water bodies. There is a Chinese proverb that says that when water comes it must be stopped by earth. Water suppresses fire, as it is extinguished by water. Fire suppresses metal, as metal is melted only in extreme heat. Metal suppresses wood, as metal tools are usually the ones that kill life, whether it is a knife slaughtering an animal or an axe chopping down a tree.
The above mentioned cycles play a part in the luck of the sign. Somebody born with the element fire in the year of water would probably not have good luck that year. The same person in a metal year would probably get what they wanted at the expense of others, considering that water banes fire and fire banes metal.