What The Chinese Zodiac Means For Expats In Singapore – By Expat Andrea McKenna

23 January 2017

By Finder blogger: Andrea McKenna


Whether you’ve been in Singapore for a short time or a long time, you’ve probably experienced some Chinese New Year’s celebrations, including bustling Chinatown’s market, fireworks at midnight or seeing red packets handed out.

But what does the zodiac mean and what does the Year of the Rooster have in store for us?

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An animal represents each year of the Chinese zodiac in 12-year cycles. Each animal year has specific attributes.

Since I’ve lived in Singapore, I’ve heard a few of these things, such as the Year of the Tiger folks being sneaky or the Year of the Dragon being a lucky time to have children.

I had a Dragon Baby in 2012 and the school registrations were packed with kids born that year, so it’s definitely a thing. Dragons are supposed to be great leaders with sometimes strong personalities. (I’m looking forward to this with my little girl. Yikes!

Another thing I learned here in Singapore when I was figuring out which date I would choose for my Cesarean section is that people can even choose the timing of the birth (for an extra charge of $500).

The zodiac timing determines a secret animal that is a person’s truest traits based on the birth hour. So, as I was born at 4 a.m. on the 21st, I am Taurus (Western zodiac) but could have been an Aries if it was four hours earlier on the 20th. Both animals have horns so I’ll leave it at that.

See also: True Story: How Did These Multi-Cultural Expats In Singapore Decide On Their Babies’ Names?

According to Wikipedia, the Chinese zodiac years are assigned as follows:

  1. Rat (?): 2008, 1996, 1984, 1972, 1960
  2. Ox (?): 2009, 1997, 1985, 1973, 1961
  3. Tiger (?): 2010, 1998, 1986, 1974, 1962
  4. Rabbit (?): 2011, 1999, 1987, 1975, 1963
  5. Dragon (?): 2012, 2000, 1988, 1976, 1964
  6. Snake (?): 2013, 2001, 1989, 1977, 1965
  7. Horse (?): 2014, 2002, 1990, 1978, 1966
  8. Goat (?): 2015, 2003, 1991, 1979, 1967
  9. Monkey (?): 2016, 2004, 1992, 1980, 1968
  10. Rooster (?): 2017, 2005, 1993, 1981, 1969
  11. Dog (?): 2018, 2006, 1994, 1982, 1970
  12. Pig (?): 2019, 2007, 1995, 1983, 1971

The Chinese zodiac also can tell you which type of person – which other zodiac animal – you are most, and least, compatible with.

For example, I am a Pig. My best matches are Tigers, Rabbits and Goats. My worst match is the Snake.

My husband, however, is an Ox. We are considered just an OK match. I am OK with that! At least we’re on the right track.

Zodiac years also have lucky numbers, lucky flowers, an element, colors and a lunar month.

See also: The Best Gemstones For You To Wear This 2017, According To Your Horoscope

After 2016’s crazy Year of the Monkey, this year of the Fire Rooster portends fresh challenges requiring practical solutions.

Horoscopes for the year say it’s a powerful one. I found one that said “impressions count,” so make an effort to look your best and avoid taking risks.

Rooster traits that will reap rewards for you include loyalty, commitment, hard work, family values and putting forth your best appearance.

Even if it’s not your culture, you can consider the significance of the Chinese New Year zodiac and apply it to your life here in Singapore. Get your conservative plans together or love, money and business and whatever you do, make sure you look good doing it!


About Andrea McKenna

Andrea McKenna Brankin is journalist and author from the United States who lives a full life with bipolar disorder. Her book, Bipolar Phoenix, is awaiting a publishing contract. She is also currently a volunteer at the DaySpring Residential Treatment Centre for teen girls in Singapore, providing befriending-family support, therapeutic writing and rugby coaching.


Related articles:

6 Dos And Don’ts For Chinese New Year In Singapore

7 Hidden Ethnic Enclaves in Singapore That Aren’t Chinatown Or Little India

8 Stunning Temples In Singapore That’ll Make You Feel You’re In An Ancient Town


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