The 12 Animals of the Chinese Zodiac – 2013: The Year of the Snake

Feb. 10th begins the lunar new year in Asia: Spring Festival in China, Tet in Vietnam, Seollal in Korea. As the biggest holiday of the year, it is a time for families to reunite, and many of our colleagues in Asia will take several days to two weeks holiday. JFK, Chairman Mao, Tony Blair, Pablo Picasso, and Oprah Winfrey were born in the year of the snake.


Chinese Zodiac

The 2013 Snake year actually begins on February 10, 2013 and ends on January 30, 2014 (Chinese Year 4711)

The Chinese Zodiac: Shēngxiào, 生肖 in Chinese characters, is an ancient and intriguing 12-year cycle that relates the characteristics of an animal to each specific (Chinese) year. The cycle begins with the rat and ends with the pig. The order was determined by how fast each animal arrived in the “Great Race” called by the Jade Emperor (玉皇), the ruler of heaven and all realms of existence, according to a popular folk story. The snake was the sixth animal to arrive.

Finding Your Animal Sign: You can tell what your animal sign is by looking up your birth year in the chart. But since a Chinese (lunar) year typically ends and begins in January and February on the Western calendar, you may be off by one year! If you were born during January and February, confirm the exact Chinese year to ensure your animal sign is correct.

Personality Traits of Snake People:

  • Highly intelligent and talented
  • Original thinker, good communicator, persuasive
  • Ambitious, progressive, enjoys challenges
  • Charming and appealing, but could be elusive
  • Calm and swift; thoughtful and flexible
  • Intuitive though somewhat private and reticent
  • Agile, powerful; commitment-driven and perseverant
  • Possessive and jealous in relationships
  • Good at business, lucky with money matters but bad at gambling
  • Enjoys life, loves beauty and luxury

Compatibility: Snakes are compatible with the Ox, Dragon, Rabbit and Rooster in forming relationships.


Some Famous Snake People: JFK, FDR, Chairman Mao, Tony Blair, Mohammad Ali, Pablo Picasso, Oprah Winfrey, Bob Dylan, Carol King, Simon and Garfunkel, Kim Basinger, Pierce Brosnan.