12 Zodiac Animals: Difference between Vietnamese and Chinese Zodiac Signs

Zodiac animals are a set of twelve numbered animals to determine the time (day, hour, month, and year), and signs.

This cyclic system has been used in East Asian cultures, including China, Vietnam, Korea, Japan, Malaysia, and Singapore.

Many Feng Shui books recorded that 12 zodiac animals were originated in China, also known as the sexagenary cycle (can chi). Starting is a rat, and the ending is a pig.

In this article, Vietnamdrive would like to introduce you to 12 animals in Vietnamese and Chinese zodiac signs with their legend, order, and horoscope.

12 zodiac animals
12 zodiac animals in Vietnam. Photo: vnforum/Le Minh

12 animals in Chinese vs Vietnamese zodiac signs and their order

12 animals of Vietnamese and Chinese zodiac signs are nearly the same. There are two different ones, ox and rabbit in the Chinese zodiac become a buffalo and cat in Vietnamese one.

What are animals in the zodiac signs?
Oriental culture chooses the top of 12 animals for zodiac signs, including Rat, Ox (in China) or Buffalo (in Vietnam), Tiger, Rabbit (in China) or Cat (in Vietnam), Dragon, Snake, Horse, Goat, Monkey, Rooster, Dog, and Pig.

Why is the rat ranked very high?
The rat has the top rank, the first one out of twelve zodiac animals. It is because all mice are intelligent, which most people want to have in life. So, mice can present their wishes.

Does the zodiac animal influence the characters of a person?
Yes, it does. According to oriental culture, each animal represents each year, so each person has a specific zodiac animal. Following the feature of zodiac animals, the Feng shui master can predict characters, even the obstructs in life, and how successful one person can get.

Here is the table of 12 Chinese zodiacs vs Vietnamese to compare easily:

Chinese ZodiacVietnamese ZodiacZodiac in Vietnamese Language
RatRatTí = Con chuột
OxBuffaloSửu = Con trâu
TigerTigerDần = Con Hổ
RabbitCatMão = Con Mèo
DragonDragonThìn = Con Rồng
SnakeSnakeTỵ = Con rắn
HorseHorseNgọ = Con ngựa
GoatGoatMùi = Con dê
MonkeyMonkeyThân = Con khỉ
RoosterRoosterDậu = Con gà
DogDogTuất = Con chó
PigPigHợi = con heo

Counting the time of a day with zodiac animals

Besides using for years, the zodiac animals are also used to count the time of the day.

Check the time for each animal below to know when the zodiac time is.

  1. Rat (or Mouse) has time from 23 – 1: 00 am. This is considered the time when the mouse is the most active.
  2. Buffalo has time from 1:00 am – 3:00 am when the buffalo starts going to plow.
  3. Tiger has time from 3:00 am – 5:00 am, when tigers are very aggressive, and the most dangerous.
  4. Rabbit in Chinese zodiac or cat in Vietnamese zodiac has time from 5:00 am – 7:00 am when the cat goes to sleep.
  5. Dragon fits from 7:00 am – 9:00 am, according to legend, when the dragon hovered, and it created rain.
  6. Snake fits from 9:00 am – 11:00 am when snakes do not often harm people.
  7. Horse covers the time from 11:00 am – 1:00 pm. Horses are highly positive.
  8. Goat covers the time from 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm. Goats eat grass without affecting the ability to regrow plants.
  9. Monkey covers the time from 3:00 pm – 5:00 pm when monkeys like howling.
  10. Rooster has time from 5:00 pm – 7:00 pm when the chickens come back barns.
  11. Dog has time from 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm. Dogs must look after the house.
  12. Pig has time from 9:00 pm – 11:00 pm when pigs sleep well.

So, you know how the zodiac is. Next, we go to the horoscope and feng shui for 12 zodiac animals.

Finding your year in 12 zodiac animals

As you know, each year is represented by a zodiac animal. Thus, each person also has a specific zodiac animal which depends on which year he/she was born.

To bring peace and fortune to life, there are many ways to do to get good luck.

We want to introduce you about horoscope and feng shui for 12 zodiac animals, and a simple way to use feng shui trees suitable for each year.

Check which animal belongs to you; please see it in the table:

Years are from 1924 to 1959:


Years are from 1960 to 1995:


Years are from 1996 to 2031:


Legend of the 12 zodiac animals

On the birthday of the Heaven Emperor, he organized running contests for all the animals.

The purpose of the competition was to choose 12 animals which won the race. The big obstacle was going through a dense forest and across a vast river.

Knowing the buffalo was healthy and kind, the cat and rat immediately discuss how to trick the buffalo.

They asked him to hitchhike and promised that let him win. When three of them reached the destination, the mouse jumped forward.

So, the mouse firstly came to the target, and he was the top in 12 zodiac animals.

Next was the buffalo, the cat felt down to be the fourth winners, and the tiger was the third one.

The dragon could fly but only finished on the 5th one. The dragon explained that he took the time to make rain to put out the fire on the road.

While the horse was about to run to the finish, the snake crawled forward. The horse was panic and finished after the snake. So the snake was ranked sixth, and the horse was ranked seventh.

The goat, monkey, and rooster found they were small, so they became the friends to help each other in the race. Therefore, the winner at the eighth is the goat, the ninth was the monkey, and the tenth was the rooster.

The dog came at the eleventh level and finally was the pig. It is because the pig wanted to eat and to sleep, so he was slow. Luckily the pig had reached the finish line at the twelfth.

Then, the Heaven Emperor chose these twelve animals to be listed in the zodiac to remember them.

Horoscope and feng shui plants for each zodiac animal

These characters and feng shui plants are general predictions for people depending on the zodiac.

These features may be different and incorrect for some people.

All information here is for reference and studying as a unique part of Vietnamese culture and oriental life.

1. People of rat year

People of rat year have an instinct for money. They are symbols of hard work, diligence, and thrift.

Sometimes, too tight in the capital makes them not good at financial management.

Feng Shui Tree - Kim Tien
Kim Tien tree (a good fortune)

The people of this age should place a Kim Tien tree (a good fortune) to increase your luck and to seize financial opportunities. This also reduces risks at work.

2. People of buffalo year

Honest, hard-working, straightforward dispositions are the top characters of the people of the buffalo year.

But, because they are so honest, they lack flexible skills in business. Although working hard, money is not much, because they are quite conservative at work.

Feng Shui Tree - Redbuds

Phong lộc hoa đỏ (Redbuds) will be a suitable tree for people of this age. This plant creates a sense of spiritual comfort.

According to feng shui, this tree is also a fortune tree, helping the buffalo-year people to earn more money.

Other plants can use for this age, including tulips and daffodils.

3. People of the tiger year

People of tiger year often have an upright and forceful personality; sometimes, they are stubborn.

These people dare to cope, take responsibility, and have a progressive position at work.

This age is the most ferocious temperament out of 12 animals.

They can take risks to earn money and advance their careers, which can also lead to many difficulties in their life.

Feng Shui Tree - ngu gia bi
Ngu Gia Bi – Photo: vuoncayviet

An Araliaceae plant (Ngu gia bi) is suitable to decorate in the house or office to calm the impatience and impulsiveness of tiger-year people.

This can contribute to good luck to develop better.

4. People of rabbit or cat year

People of the rabbit or cat year have a peaceful, gentle personality; and like simple things.

This age likes to live in peace, so they are very cautious in accumulating assets.

That makes a relatively slow accumulation of money, likely to prosper.

Feng Shui Tree - Lucky Tree
Phat Loc Tree (fortune/lucky tree)- Photo: hoadepviet

This age should prioritize planting Phat Loc Tree (fortune/lucky tree). This tree symbolizes luck and money.

According to traditional culture, odd numbers will be better than even numbers, so these people remember to choose fortune trees with odd numbers of branches.

5. People of the dragon year

Dragon-year people are active and eager to win. They have big aspiration, and always want to be at the top.

It is because of the outwardness and enthusiasm of this age that makes them quite impulsive, quickly causing hatred for others.

The work of dragon-year people is relatively convenient. But, it is often harmed by jealous people, resulting in a loss of money.

Cactus- Feng shui tree
Cactus plants – Photo: vuoncayviet

Cactus will be a feng shui tree suitable for dragon-year people. This plant will neutralize assassination, prevent bad people. Also, Van Nien Thanh (Dumb-cane, Dieffenbachia Peint) is a perfect choice.

6. People of snake year

Among the 12 zodiac animals, the year of the snake is often judged to be mysterious. This age has a personality of adventure and stubbornness.

But, people of this age often do not know how to seize the immediate opportunity. Therefore, job and money are usually not going well.

Feng shui tree - Hoa Dong Tien
Photo: vuoncayviet

People born in the year of snake can plant a gerbera plant (hoa dong tien) to increase good luck, so catch financial opportunities for owners.

7. People of horse year

People at the age of horse are admirable, resilient, and strong. They can make and keep money very well.

However, because of being too careful, there are certain obstacles when making decisions in business. Sometimes, they are greed so that the job may be collapsed and lose.

Feng shui tree - Epipremnum aureum
Epipremnum aureum- Photo: vuoncayviet

This age should look after a pot of Epipremnum aureum (cay trau ba) to attract, gather wealth in one place. This tree also brings good luck to the year of the horse.

8. Goat-year people

People of the goat year have a calm and moderate personality. People of this age have good luck, often are supported by good people.

Most goat-year people have no desire to make money so they cannot prosper.

Be careful! They, sometimes, get under intense pressure in the life because of unexpected things occurred.

Lan Quan Tu- Feng shui tree
Lan Quan Tu (Clivia) – Photo: hoadepviet

Goat-year people should plant a pot of Lan Quan Tu (Clivia) for their support; they can desire more and more money.

9. Monkey-year people

Intelligence, agility, and function are about the year of the monkey.

However, monkey-year people are hurry to make a decision. This makes these people hdifficult to develop in their careers.

Feng shui tree - Tung Bong lai
Photo: hoadepviet

People of the monkey age should plant Podocarpus Macrophyllus (Tung Bong Lai) to bring good luck to themselves.

10. Rooster-year people

People, who were born in the year of the rooster, stand out for their hard work and dedication.

Therefore, many people are helping them; often, they get good luck. However, people of this age often spend and waste a lot of money.

Feng shui tree - Stone Lotus
Photo: hoadepviet

Stone lotus (Sen da) is an appropriate plant for rooster-year people. Stone lotus will help people of this age bring fortune and finance.

It also helps career success and improves the relationship at work, and so get more convenient in practice.

11. Dog-year people

People of the age of dog are honest, kind, upright, and exceptionally loyal. They often do not lose their quality because of money or position.

People born in the year of the dog have good fortune, but they are not good at money management.

Most of them do not know how to seize the opportunity, so it is difficult to prosper.

Feng shui tree - money tree
Photo: vuoncayviet

Kim Ngan tree (money tree) will be suitable for the year of the dog. It helps to balance finance and to avoid wasting money.

12. Pig-year people

People born in the Year of the pig are considered to have comfortable zodiac. Their life is quite sufficient, and money is not too difficult.

Thus, they often spend arbitrarily and are rarely abundant.

Feng shui tree - Sen Da La Thom
Photo: vuoncayviet

Pig-year people should place a pot of Plectranthus hadiensis var tomentos (Sen da la thom – fragrant rock lotus) on the table.

This species will help the pig-year people get better smooth to manage expense as well as to increase wealth.

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    About the author

    The editorial staff of Vietnamdrive is a team of travel experts managed by Mr. Thom who has worked in tourism for 14 years. Trusted by thousands of tourists from all over the world.