The Chinese birth year signs begin with rat, ox, tiger and rabbit. This is followed by dragon, snake, horse and goat. The final four signs are monkey, rooster, dog and pig.
Each person's Chinese zodiac sign comes from his birth year. For example, a person born in 1984 has the rat as his sign, a person born in 1985 has the ox as his sign, a person born in 1986 has the tiger as his sign and a person born in 1987 has the rabbit as his sign.
The Chinese zodiac attributes different characteristics of each animal to a person. For example, people born during the year of the tiger are enthusiastic, courageous, ambitious and show strong leadership skills. People born during the year of the dog are loyal, sociable and smart. People born during the year of the monkey are charming, lucky, adaptable and quick-witted.
It is also believed that certain Chinese zodiac signs are compatible with each other. People born during the year of the rat are most compatible with people born during the years of the ox, dragon and rabbit. Those born during the year of the pig are most compatible with others born of the years of the tiger, rabbit and sheep.