Chinese New Year 2023, year of the water rabbit: how to know your astrological sign?

The year 2023 is the year of the water rabbit according to Chinese astrology. It will begin on Chinese New Year, January 22. (©Belkin & Co / Adobe Stock)

If since 1er January 2023, we have moved on to the new year in a large majority of the countries of the world, this is not the case, in particular of the Chinawhich starts its new year traditionally between mid-January and mid-February.

This year, it starts on Sunday January 22, 2023, marked by the Chinese New Year. A year under the sign of the rabbit and which will last until February 9, 2024. Why do we change animals every year, what are the meanings? How do we know what sign we are? Here’s what you need to know.

Why is Chinese New Year not on January 1?

Every year, the Chinese New Year changes date. Last year was the 1er February 2022, beginning of the year of the water tiger.

A variation which is explained by a particularity of the Chinese calendar which “is the combination of two calendars, a solar calendar (agricultural) and a lunisolar calendar (civil)”, explains in an article the Institute of Celestial Mechanics and Ephemeris Calculation (IMCCE) of the Paris Observatory.

While our Gregorian calendar is based on the annual cycle of the Sun, the Chinese calendar depends on the regular cycle of the phases of the moon, with lunar months of 29 or 30 days. “The lunar month begins on the day of the new moon”, details the IMCCE, specifying that “the lunar year begins at the Chinese New Year, and comprises 12 or 13 lunar months of 29 or 30 days. It can be 353, 354, 355, 383, 384 or 385 days old”.

2023, year of the water rabbit, a year of improvement and hope?

From Sunday January 22, 2023, a new year begins in China, that of the water rabbit, the fourth animal of the Chinese zodiac. A year characterized by “prosperity and harmony”, according to her Suzanne White websiteauthor astrologer, known internationally for her best-selling books on astrology, including chinese astrology.

“In Rabbit Years, life slows down,” she wrote, and “2023 will try to be a year of calm.”

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In the Year of the Rabbit, no one wants trouble. The trouble-filled year of the tiger was quite turbulent, full of strife and disease.

Suzanne WhiteAstrologer author

After a year marked by war in Ukraine, the aftermath of Covid-19, inflation… the Year of the Rabbit seems rather welcome. “After the tumultuous and difficult year of the tiger that we have lived through, we all have to slow down,” said Suzanne White. And it takes at least “a whole year to recover”.

Note, however, that this is astrology, a system of beliefs and not a science. Especially since to start the year “well” in China, the country is facing an explosion of cases of Covid-19 contamination, while it gradually lifted its restrictive measures in early December and the compulsory quarantine of travelers entering its territory ends on January 8, 2023.

A situation that worries many States, including some, including France, have reinstated measures against Chinese travellers. That denounces Beijingas the New Year festivities loom over the further spread of the epidemic in China and beyond.

Not so quiet the beginning of the year of the water rabbit actually.

What are the characteristics of the rabbit?

Suzanne White also recalls that the rabbit, also called cat depending on the culture, is a sign “particularly refined and prosperous” and that people born in rabbit years are “family-oriented” and “discreet, virtuous, sociable, sensitive, careful…”.

On the downside, Rabbits are also “quite stuffy, old-fashioned, sneaky, aloof, secretive, and hypochondriacs.” Either a “funny mixture”.

In this sense, the rabbit encourages savings, healthy investments, lasting love…

How to know your Chinese zodiac sign?

And you, are you a rabbit, a rat, a tiger? To know your Chinese zodiac sign, refer to the Chinese calendar, where each year is associated with one of the twelve signs, represented by animals, with a cycle that returns every twelve years. Thus, depending on your year of birth, you are directly associated with a sign. Here are the references:

  • Rat: 1900, 1912, 1924, 1936, 1948, 1960, 1972, 1984, 1996, 2008, 2020, 2032.
  • Buffalo-Ox: 1901, 1913, 1925, 1937, 1949, 1961, 1973, 1985, 1997, 2009, 2021, 2033.
  • Tiger: 1902, 1914, 1926, 1938, 1950, 1962, 1974, 1986, 1998, 2010, 2022, 2034.
  • Rabbit: 1903, 1915, 1927, 1939, 1951, 1963, 1975, 1987, 1999, 2011, 2023.
  • Dragon: 1904, 1916, 1928, 1940, 1952, 1964, 1976, 1988, 2000, 2012, 2024.
  • Snake: 1905, 1917, 1929, 1941, 1953, 1965, 1977, 1989, 2001, 2013, 2025.
  • Horse: 1906, 1918, 1930, 1942, 1954, 1966, 1978, 1990, 2002, 2014, 2026.
  • Goat (goat-sheep): 1907, 1919, 1931, 1943, 1955, 1967, 1979, 1991, 2003, 2015, 2027.
  • Monkey: 1908, 1920, 1932, 1944, 1956, 1968, 1980, 1992, 2004, 2016, 2028.
  • Rooster: 1909, 1921, 1933, 1945, 1957, 1969, 1981, 1993, 2005, 2017, 2029.
  • Dog: 1910, 1922, 1934, 1946, 1958, 1970, 1982, 1994, 2006, 2018, 2030.
  • Pig: 1911, 1923, 1935, 1947, 1959, 1971, 1983, 1995, 2007, 2019, 2031.

Clarification: people born between 1er January and the Chinese New Year must refer to the animal that corresponds to the previous year.

And why water rabbit?

Another peculiarity, the Chinese add an elementary characteristic to the sign (wood, fire, earth, metal, water). The combination of the sign and the element has an influence on the character, the fortune and the daily life of each, according to the beliefs.

To know which element is associated with the sign, it depends on the years:

  • Those that end with 0 or 1 are metal
  • Those that end in 2 or 3 are water
  • Those that end in 4 or 5 are made of wood
  • Those that end in 6 or 7 are on fire
  • Those that end in 8 or 9 are dirt.

Thus 2023 is the year of the rabbit, associated as in 2022 with the water element: the year of the water rabbit.

Who are the famous rabbits?

Among the famous rabbits, we can mention a package of personalities, as spotted by the China International specialized site : 50 Cent, Sting, Sia, Angelina Jolie, Zac Efron, David Beckham, Michael Jordan, Lionel Messi…

Or in France, Marion Cotillard, Fabrice Luchini, Élie Semoun, Jamel Debbouze, Élise Lucet, Jean-Jacques Goldman, Christophe Maé, Karim Benzema…

And among the water rabbits (year of birth among the rabbits and which ends in 2 or 3), we find, born in 1963 (60 years old this year): Brad Pitt, Quentin Tarantino, Johnny Depp, Coolio (deceased)Jet Li, or even Stéphane Bern, Emmanuelle Béart, Laurent Ruquier or even Laurence Boccolini.

If you want to know your Chinese horoscope, you can consult our dedicated page on

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Chinese New Year 2023, year of the water rabbit: how to know your astrological sign?

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