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Korean Zodiac - Discover Your True Character

CEO Khai Intela
Do you know your Korean zodiac sign? While it may not be as well-known as Western horoscopes or the Chinese Zodiac, the Korean Zodiac is a fascinating system that can offer unique insights into your...

Do you know your Korean zodiac sign? While it may not be as well-known as Western horoscopes or the Chinese Zodiac, the Korean Zodiac is a fascinating system that can offer unique insights into your character and personality traits. In this article, we'll delve into the world of Korean astrology and explore the twelve animal signs that make up the Korean Zodiac.

Unveiling the Korean Zodiac

Similar to the Chinese Zodiac, the Korean Zodiac follows the lunar calendar and is based on Chinese astrology. However, it has developed its own distinct characteristics over time. The origins of the Korean Zodiac can be traced back to ancient China, during the Han Dynasty over 2000 years ago. Today, many Asian cultures, including Korea, still embrace the Zodiac system.

The Meaning of "Zodiac" in Korean

In Korean, the word for "zodiac" is 띠 (ddi). So, if someone asks you "What is your Ddi?" they are referring to your zodiac sign.

How Many Animals are in the Korean Zodiac?

Just like the Chinese Zodiac, the Korean Zodiac consists of twelve animals. Each person is assigned a zodiac animal based on their birth year, and each year is associated with a specific zodiac. These animals have unique characteristics and personality traits that are believed to describe individuals born under each zodiac animal.

Determining Your Zodiac Sign

Unlike the Western calendar, where zodiac signs change at the beginning of the year, the Korean Zodiac follows the lunar calendar. This means that not everyone born in the same year has the same zodiac sign. For example, if you were born in the year 2021, you may not necessarily belong to the Year of the Ox. The cutoff point for each zodiac animal is determined by the Lunar New Year, so individuals born before the Lunar New Year may have the same zodiac sign as those born in the previous year.

The Significance of Knowing Your Korean Zodiac Sign

Although it may not be as popular as asking for someone's blood type, it is not uncommon in Korea to be asked about your zodiac sign. People are often curious to learn more about your personality traits and compatibility with others. Korean zodiac signs can also play a role in making important life decisions, such as marriage or job opportunities. Each zodiac sign is associated with different promises of fortune and may guide individuals in taking risks or adopting a more conservative approach.

The Twelve Korean Zodiac Animal Signs

Now, let's introduce you to each of the animals in the Korean Zodiac! Here is the order in which they appear:

  1. Rat
  2. Ox
  3. Tiger
  4. Rabbit
  5. Dragon
  6. Snake
  7. Horse
  8. Sheep
  9. Monkey
  10. Rooster
  11. Dog
  12. Pig

The Story Behind the Animal Sign Cycle

Legend has it that the order of the animals in the zodiac was determined through a swimming competition. The rat cleverly hitched a ride on the back of the ox and jumped off to reach the opposite bank first, becoming the first animal in the zodiac. So, the rat is often associated with intelligence and resourcefulness.

Let's Explore Each Zodiac Sign

Each zodiac sign has its own distinct characteristics and traits. Let's take a closer look at a few of them:

Year of the Rat (쥐 | jwi)

Birth years: 1948, 1960, 1972, 1984, 1996, 2008, 2020

As the first animal in the zodiac, the rat is considered clever, ambitious, and inventive. People born in the Year of the Rat are known for their adaptability, quick thinking, and wide range of interests. In Korean culture, the Year of the Rat is believed to be a great year for making life changes and embarking on new adventures. Rats are most compatible with dragons and monkeys, but least compatible with horses.

Year of the Ox (소 | so)

Birth years: 1949, 1961, 1973, 1985, 1997, 2009, 2021

Oxen are characterized by their strong character, hard work ethic, and tolerance. They are known for their perseverance and dedication to achieving long-term goals. In the Year of the Ox, great fortune can be found through hard work. Oxen are most compatible with snakes and roosters, but least compatible with sheep.

Year of the Tiger (호랑이 | horangi)

Birth years: 1950, 1962, 1974, 1986, 1998, 2010, 2022

Tigers are described as sensitive, empathetic, and deep thinkers. They possess great courage and power, which can sometimes lead to clashes with authority figures. Tigers are known for their ability to assess risks and problems, making them skilled problem solvers. Every 60 years, the Year of the White Tiger occurs, which is seen as a polarizing year with contrasting fortunes. Tigers are most compatible with horses and dogs, but least compatible with monkeys.

Year of the Rabbit (토끼 | tokki)

Birth years: 1951, 1963, 1975, 1987, 1999, 2011, 2023

Rabbits are friendly, empathetic, and excellent communicators. They are often viewed as enjoyable company and good teachers. While they value their alone time, they also enjoy being part of a group. The Year of the Rabbit is considered lucky in Korean culture. Rabbits are most compatible with sheep and pigs, but least compatible with roosters.

This is just a glimpse into the fascinating world of the Korean Zodiac. Each zodiac sign has its own unique traits and compatibility with other signs. Discovering your Korean Zodiac sign can be a fun way to gain insights into your own character and the dynamics of your relationships.

The 12-Year and 60-Year Cycle

The Korean Zodiac is part of a larger system that measures time in days, months, and years. This system consists of the Twelve Earthly Branches, representing the zodiac animals, and the Ten Heavenly Stems, representing elements such as metal and water. Each year is named based on the combination of an animal sign and an element. This cycle repeats every 60 years, making a person's 60th birthday a significant milestone to celebrate in Korea.


Knowing your Korean Zodiac sign can provide valuable insights into your character and personality traits. Whether you believe in astrology or simply enjoy exploring different cultural traditions, the Korean Zodiac offers a unique perspective on self-discovery. So, what's your Korean Zodiac sign? Share your thoughts and experiences in the comments below!

If you're interested in learning more about the Korean language or culture, be sure to check out our articles on Animals in Korean and Korean Lunar New Year.