Match your birth year to the animal to which it corresponds to find your Chinese zodiac animal symbol. The Chinese zodiac is based on a 12-year cycle. If using a Western calendar, this method is accurate for those born from March through November, but for those born in January or February, it is not. This is because the date of the Chinese New Year is determined by the lunisolar Chinese calendar and falls on a different date each year.
The simplest way to determine an accurate zodiac sign is to input your date of birth into a Chinese zodiac calculator that accounts for the lunisolar calendar. For a less accurate, but easier calculation, start with the first animal, the rat, and the year 1912, and for each year added, go to the next animal in the order. The order of the zodiac animals are rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, sheep, monkey, rooster, dog and pig.
Determining a zodiac animal sign, then, is as follows: 1912 is the year of the rat, 1913 is the year of the ox, 1914 is the year of the tiger and so on. Also, using 1912 as a base year, add years in increments of 12 to determine other Rat years. For example, 1912,1924,1936,1948 and 1960 are rats also. This can be done with any year or sign.