The Chinese lunar calendar has influenced the decisions and beliefs of millions of people for thousands of years. Based on phases of the moon, each calendar year comprises 12 or 13 months. Each lunar cycle lasts for 12 years with each year represented by an animal in the Chinese zodiac with personality traits and affinities said to reflect those born under each sign’s influence.

First developed around the 14th century BCE, the lunar calendar remains popular among Chinese people for its relation to zodiac horoscopes and astrology and is used to choose auspicious days for festivals and life events.

In 2020 the Chinese lunar cycle resets with the Year of the Mouse. People born under the ‘sign’ of the mouse in 2020, 2008, 1996, 1984, 1972 and every 12th preceding year are said to be smart, resourceful, adaptable and kind.

Which animal are you? Discover the origin of the zodiac with our Chinese Lunar calendar guide