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Starting on January 22nd, the ruling Chinese zodiac animal will change, creating a chance for new beginnings and opportunities. But for those of us not as informed about the zodiac, what exactly does this mean? And what will 2023, the Year of the Water Rabbit, bring with it?
In traditional East and Southeast Asian cultures, one of the twelve animals of the zodiac is assigned to the beginning of each year in the lunar calendar. Much like with the western zodiac, people born under that animal are said to carry certain characteristics and habits, and the year itself comes with its own set of predictions and traits connected with the animal.
For 2023, we have now entered the Year of the Rabbit (more specifically, the Water Rabbit), which is thought to be a year of peace, prosperity, and hope, as per the characteristics of the rabbit in Chinese culture. Learn more about the history of the zodiac and what this new year means for you by reading the quick guide below!
The History of the Chinese Zodiac
Like western astrology, Chinese astrology has 12 signs (or animals) that change every year. Each animal comes with a series of unique characteristics and qualities that will inevitably affect everyone, regardless of whether they were born in the year of the animal or not. The origins of the Chinese zodiac stem from a well-known Chinese myth (though, there are some variations depending on who is telling it).
The story says that the Emperor/Buddha invited all of the animals in the universe to a banquet, and so the 12 animals of the zodiac all traveled to the palace. The order in which they arrived at the banquet determined the order of the zodiac: Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Ram, Monkey, Chicken, Dog, and Pig. The story is full of heroism, trickery, and hijinks that portray the central characteristics of each animal.
As far as the actual history of the Chinese zodiac goes, it’s unclear when the use of animals to predict the outcome of new years actually began. There’s evidence of artifacts portraying the twelve animals existing since the Warring States Period in Chinese history (or 475-221 B.C.).
Some even believe that the story of the Chinese zodiac goes as far back as the nomadic tribes in ancient China, who may have developed a calendar using the various animals they used to hunt and gather. Whatever the true history of the zodiac may be, following the changing years of the animals and the new beginnings they bring with them is a deeply beloved tradition in many Asian cultures.
Alongside the change in the Chinese zodiac animals for each new year, we also see a change in the reigning element for the year. There are five elements that play into the zodiac: water, earth, fire, wood, and metal. Elements of nature are incredibly important in many Asian cultures and bring with them their own traits and habits that can change the outcome of the months to come.
Each element can also change some of the primary characteristics of the animal it’s connected to. For 2023, we have entered the Year of the Water Rabbit, which is said to be gentle, amicable, and able to adjust to different conditions. On the other hand, if this was the Year of the Wood Rabbit, the characteristics would lean more towards an animal that is quick-witted, clever, and selfish.
2022: The Year of the Tiger
Before we look at 2023 and the Rabbit, let’s quickly revisit 2022 and the Tiger so that we can see what this change in the Chinese zodiac animal means for the new year. The Year of the Tiger began on February 1st, 2022, with the start of the Chinese New Year, and will continue until January 21.
For those wondering if they were born under a previous Year of the Tiger, other years under this brave animal include 1914, 1926, 1938, 1950, 1962, 1974, 1986, 1998, and 2010. It’s important to remember, however, that the animal for the year doesn’t always change on January 1st like it would if it were linked to the Western New Year, so people with January birthdays may want to see when the actual date for the Chinese New Year was when they were born.
In Chinese culture, Tigers are considered to be brave, powerful, forceful, and terrifying, and in ancient times kings and emperors were usually compared to tigers. People born in the Year of the Tiger are considered to be ambitious leaders with a strong sense of justice, but they may also be a bit impulsive at times.
2023: The Year of the Rabbit
So how will 2023 be different with the shift in the Chinese zodiac from the Tiger to the Rabbit? Well, the Year of the Rabbit is said to be one of peace, prosperity, and hope. People born under the Rabbit (whose other years include 1927, 1939, 1951, 1963, 1975, 1987, 1999, and 2011) are characterized by a clever wit, vigilance, and ingenious.
The Chinese zodiac animals also come with their own horoscope and lucky items for the new year. For those born in the Year of the Rabbit, your lucky numbers are 3,4,6, your lucky colors are pink, red, and blue, and your lucky flowers are the plantain lily and jasmine.
The Year of the Rabbit is also supposed to be extremely lucky for most of the animal signs, so even those not born under the rabbit are predicted to have a hopeful, prosperous year.
Zodiac Horoscopes for January 2023
For each animal in the Chinese zodiac, here is a prediction for how 2023 will begin for you!
Rat – New possibilities and opportunities await you in the new year, so this is a great time for change and a strong reset.
Ox – Things are looking positive for the start of the year, especially in the romance department. Use this positive energy to begin the search for love or start planning your career path for the year.
Tiger – Financial success awaits you at the beginning of 2023, which could lead to a prosperous year and a positive economic change.
Rabbit – There may be money coming to you as well, but be careful of overspending. Consider staying at home for the beginning of the year to avoid the temptation of spending more than you need to.
Dragon – You will begin the year with a clear mind, so use the opportunity to begin planning for the months to come and organize your needs and to-do lists.
Snake – 2023 will, unfortunately, begin with a bunch of problems for you to handle, but don’t let them stop you! Just keep pushing forward and doing what you have to in order to achieve your goals.
Horse – As the new year starts, you may have to deal with a bit of bad luck rolling over from 2022. While it may seem like there are inconveniences and arguments at every turn, don’t give up and continue to believe that things may get better.
Goat – The beginning of the year may kick off with some inconveniences in your home life, such as small home repairs or annoying issues. However, this is a great time for home renovations and new beginnings, so it’s good to view these problems as an opportunity for a positive change.
Monkey – Your year will start surrounded by helpful, valuable people, so make sure to use these new connections to push forward in life and achieve more goals. Fun times and interesting people are waiting just around the corner.
Rooster – Take a break in pushing forward with professional or business partnerships, and avoid making any big investments. Your luck is a bit precarious at the moment, so now is the time to wait for a better opportunity to arise.
Dog – Be careful with your finances as there may be more unforeseen expenses waiting for you in the months to come.
Pig – You’re currently overthinking things and this could lead to some trouble at the beginning of 2023. Try to find peace within yourself and stand strong even when problems arise.
About Draven Jackson
Draven is an avid writer and reader who enjoys sharing her opinions on movies, books, and music with the rest of the world. She will soon be working as a teacher in Japan and hopes to use her experience to connect with other teachers and students around the globe. Draven spends most of her time at home with her family, her dogs, and her ferret.
To see more, view all posts by Draven Jackson here.
Interesting read… Thank you so much for sharing!
Very cool astrology. I am a rabbit.