Chinese Zodiac signs are determined by the year a person is born. Chinese Zodiac signs assigns an animal and its attributes to each year and are different from Western zodiacs which assign a characteristic to a month.
The Chinese Zodiac is known as Sheng Xiao and it follows a 12-year cycle. Each year is named after a specific animal. The list of animals in order are: Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Sheep, Monkey, Rooster, Dog and Pig. The calendar follows the lunar cycle. Each year starts in January or February. 2019 is known as the Year of the Pig and begins on the Chinese New Year, 5 February 2019.
Eastern legend says that the Lord Buddha summoned all animals to come to him before he departed from Earth. Only 12 came to bid him farewell. Lord Buddha rewarded the 12 animals who came to honor him by naming a year after each one in the order in which they arrived. It is believed that the animal ruling the year a person was born has a profound effect on their personality. Individuals are believed to identify with the specific animal for their entire life and take on its characteristics.