Chinese Astrology years are named after one of the twelve animals featured in Chinese astrology. Chinese astrology years are devoted to the Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Ram, Monkey, Rooster, Dog and the Pig. According to ancient Chinese belief, these animals determine the fate, character and personality of people born under these zodiacs. Chinese New Year begins on the first day of the first month of the Chinese calendar also called the Lunar calendar. The date of the first day of the first month is determined by the phases of the moon.
According to astrology, Chinese astrology years are a part of a 60-year old cycle. This cycle is formed by the combination of the two main cycles. The twelve animal zodiacs form one cycle. The other cycle is formed by the combination of the ten heavenly stems. These ten heavenly stems comprise of the five elements in their male and female forms. The five elements of the Chinese astrology years are Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal and Water. Their male and female forms are called Yin and Yang in Chinese.
Each Chinese astrology year occurs as combination of the animal zodiac and the earthly stem in its Yin or Yang form. Chinese astrology years have a different animal zodiac every year. However, the earthly element remains the same with its Yin and Yang form used for two consecutive years. If Yang Water were used for the first year, the second year would be called the year of Yin Water. The combination of a particular animal zodiac and the Yin or Yang form of an element can be repeated only after 60 years. The Chinese astrology years are cyclical in fashion. This means that they always occur as balance of opposites. The 60-year cycle balances the Yin and the Yang, meaning that if it begins with Yin, it will end with Yang.
According to Chinese astrology it is very important to have a balance between Yin and Yang to have happy and prosperous life. The balance of the proper male or female forces shapes a person's life. It is also believed that certain directions, colors and objects are more beneficial to people born under a particular combination of the animal zodiac and the earthly element. However, while checking one's Chinese zodiac sign people need to keep an important point in mind. Chinese astrology years are determined by the lunar calendar and not the Georgian calendar that we use in our daily lives. A Chinese New Year normally begins between January 21 and February 20. Therefore, a person born before the starting of the Chinese New Year will actually share his or her Chinese zodiac with a person born in the previous year.
In addition to the combination of the 12 zodiacs and the five elements there are some other elements in the Chinese astrology years as well. Every month of the Chinese astrology is further ruled or devoted to the inner or secret animal. These animals are the same as the twelve main zodiacs. However, the inner animals rule each month of a Chinese astrology year. This means that a person might be born in the year of the Tiger but his or her inner animal according to the month of the birth can be Horse. To get an in depth knowledge of one's zodiac according to the Chinese astrology years it is important to calculate the animal zodiac, the earthly stem with it form as well as one's inner or secret animal.