While not many of us are keen zodiac followers and believers, Chinese New Year seems to be celebrated worldwide by visits to family and friends, special meals, fireworks, and gift giving. We’ve all seen in the papers and on social media our daily, weekly, monthly and yearly horoscopes and what to expect from our lives according to the time of year we were born, but what significance does this actually have?

The astrology we think of when we refer to horoscopes is the study of the influence that distant cosmic objects, usually stars and planets, have on human lives. The alignment of the sun, stars, moon and planets at the time of people’s birth is said to shape their personality, affect their romantic relationships and predict their economic fortunes. This alignment is defined by your “sign,” which refers to one of the 12 constellations of the zodiac. These 12 signs are as follows:

Constellation English Name Dates
Aries The Ram Mar. 21–Apr. 19
Taurus The Bull Apr. 20–May 20
Gemini The Twins May 21–June 20
Cancer The Crab June 22–July 22
Leo The Lion July 23–Aug. 22
Virgo The Virgin Aug. 23–Sept. 22
Libra The Balance Sept. 23–Oct. 23
Scorpio The Scorpion Oct. 24–Nov. 21
Sagittarius The Archer Nov. 22–Dec. 21
Capricorn The Goat Dec. 22–Jan. 19
Aquarius The Water Bearer Jan. 20–Feb. 18
Pisces The Fish Feb. 19–Mar. 20

The ‘12 signs of the zodiac’ is a form of sun-sign astrology, which is the astrology used to write the horoscopes we see in newspapers etc.

So what is the meaning behind the Chinese zodiac and what does the Year of the Rooster mean for us?

The Chinese animal zodiac is a repeating cycle of 12 years, with each year being represented by an animal and its reputed attributes. Traditionally these zodiac animals were used to date the years. Your Chinese Zodiac sign is derived from your birth year, according to the Chinese lunar calendar. As the Chinese zodiac recurs every 12 years, your animal year will come around when you are 12, 24, 36, 48, 60, 72, etc. According to ancient Chinese superstition, in your birth sign year you will have bad luck. The signs are also blended with one of the elements water, wood, fire, earth and metal every 60 years.


In 2017, the corresponding element with the Year of the Rooster is Fire.

What happens when you mix the Rooster with the Fire Element? According to Chinese astrology:

“The Rooster is proud, confident and perhaps a bit eccentric. They are hard-working and punctual and have a love of learning new things. Fire is the element associated with brilliance, warmth, passion and spark.

A determined and enthusiastic Rooster combined with the sizzling characteristics of Fire, heralds an enterprising and fruitful year. A year of resolve, achievements and to get things done. If you were postponing any projects, the Red Rooster will light that fire into you to get it accomplished. This year we will do well by staying focused and centred with an eye to the full project or goal we want to achieve, then run with all our might to achieve those goals!”

Of course this is all open to interpretation and it is our choice as to whether or not we believe in astrology at all, but the Year of the Rooster seems to promise achievement and success for all, so long as we put in the effort ourselves therefore let’s see just how well we can do this year, whether it be in school or out of the curriculum, and what goals we can all achieve.

-Hannah Clayton, year 12


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