A Chinese illustration of- and character for a rabbit over a space background

After the wild Year of the Tiger, the Chinese zodiac delivers a softer, quieter animal to rule over the next twelve months. The Rabbit is about as far from the Tiger as you can get and this will be reflected in a more peaceful, relaxed year. When it comes to love, the pouncing of the lustful Tiger is replaced by the cuddling of the comfortable Rabbit. If you had a year of party time passion, expect a big burnout if you try to go too far too fast in the year ahead. What worked for the hungry tiger in pursuit of flesh does not work for the passive rabbit in need of companionship.

Like western astrology, Chinese astrology has twelve signs. But instead of these signs being based on the monthly change in the Earth’s relationship to the Sun, the Chinese zodiac is marked annually by the New Moon in the western zodiac’s sign of Aquarius. Some years it occurs in late January and others in mid�February. Regardless of the timing, though, the change in the Chinese zodiac signals a significant change from the previous year, just as the western zodiac plots differences between month-long periods of time. We carry the traits of the Chinese animal of our birth year, but the mood of the general populace at large shifts over time and tends to correspond with the traits assigned each Chinese animal.

The New Moon on February 5 signals the start of the Year of the Rabbit. It will last until January 23, 2012 when the Year of the Dragon commences. When it comes to love, the Chinese zodiac is a good predictor of coming opportunities. Meeting and getting together with a love interest might dominate your year or be better put off until next year’s Dragon or even the Snake that follows. This is a docile year with energy favoring the domestic and the safe. Read your Chinese animal below to see if the Rabbit will be bringing you the love of your life or just another lost opportunity.

“Happy New Year!” in Chinese

新年快乐! Pronounced “Kung hei fat choi”, this is the traditional Chinese salutation given on Chinese New Year. Loosely translated, it means “Congratulations and be prosperous”.

  • Rat ( 鼠 ) 1924, 1936, 1948, 1960, 1972, 1984, 1996, 2008

    This is not a great year for you to get married, but it is fine to extend a relationship and see if the tension within it is because of you, your mate or the circumstances of the world. If you are thinking of splitting up with a lover, do not be guided by fear. Balance practicalities and dreams, but only dwell on the positives.

  • Ox ( 牛 ) 1925, 1937, 1949, 1961, 1973, 1985, 1997, 2009

    Gossip, blind dates, matchmakers, even your parents suggest a possible new partner for you; this quiet little Rabbit sure creates a tornado of romantic possibilities. Finding a compatible partner in this flurry of activity will be tough, but the more chances you take, the better your odds of scoring are. Maybe mother does know best.

  • Tiger ( 虎 ) 1926, 1938, 1950, 1962, 1974, 1986, 1998, 2010

    Calming down from too much overdrive last year, the tiger is actually better suited to find a partner during the Rabbit’s reign, especially if you are looking for someone who is financially comfortable. Settling down shortly after meeting this person is favored. If you go back to your partying ways, though, look to be flying solo soon.

  • Rabbit ( 兔 ) 1927, 1939, 1951, 1963, 1975, 1987, 1999, 2011

    Your year is here. You can be yourself and be applauded for it. Your wardrobe choices and sense of style will be reflected around the country and world, so don’t be surprised. Do not back off, either; when the runway models copy your look, announce to whomever is listening that you set that trend in motion. You will attract the man you want when you dominate a party.

  • Dragon ( 龍 ) 1928, 1940, 1952, 1964, 1976, 1988, 2000

    The coolest parity for a Dragon lady is a man who listens and takes charge. You will have many opportunities to find the perfect partner from the highs and lows of society and your love of variety will be sated. A blast from the past looms large in your love decisions.

  • Snake ( 蛇 ) 1929, 1941, 1953, 1965, 1977, 1989, 2001

    You will attract attention once the year of the Rabbit arrives, and at first the casual flirtations and party invitations will be exciting. But the popularity of the Rabbit will be like Rabbits breeding and your routine will be shattered with a new set of social obligations. Enjoy the attention!

  • Horse ( 馬 ) 1930, 1942, 1954, 1966, 1978, 1990, 2002

    Lovers come out of the past to claim your memory. Are you too excited about moving forward in life to look back at what was? The longer you stare into the abyss of yesterday the more likely the chance that it reaches out and pulls you back in. You have many opportunities ahead in love if you break old habits in the year of the Rabbit.

  • Sheep ( 羊 ) 1931, 1943, 1955, 1967, 1979, 1991, 2003

    Love is all around the Sheep in the year of the Rabbit. Getting out of town, though, might prove beneficial, as you can see who bothers to follow you. A love interest in hot pursuit is often a turnoff, as most girls want to engage in a sophisticated seduction instead of being chased. But now is the time to end your suspicion of his love at first sight and get closer.

  • Monkey ( 猴 ) 1932, 1944, 1956, 1968, 1980, 1992, 2004

    After the tension and misery of the year of the Tiger, you are in for a passionate dose of what the Rabbit has to offer you. Look for soulmate possibilities to emerge from the mist, but understand that a search can deliver a lot of leads. The road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom, so there really is no overdoing it in the year ahead.

  • Rooster ( 雞 ) 1933, 1945, 1957, 1969, 1981, 1993, 2005

    Finding an answer to the tension is as simple as waiting for the Dragon to come in 2012. Make this a year of volunteering to help others and let the time pass as you lose yourself in the lives and dreams of others. The spotlight of love and commitment is coming your way after the Rabbit has had his day.

  • Dog ( 狗 ) 1934, 1946, 1958, 1970, 1982, 1994, 2006

    A lot of work and effort will go into the plans you make with a lover. Perhaps these are wedding plans and maybe they are just complicated party invitations. Whatever it is, you will find out how the two of you work together and in that struggle, you will at least learn what the limits of love are, if there are any.

  • Pig ( 豬 ) 1935, 1947, 1959, 1971, 1983, 1995, 2007

    The Pig and the Rabbit have a love of cuddling that makes your search for affection successful this year. Hold out for your dream lover or at least a good kisser, as the Rabbit delivers someone who is a great physical and social match for you. If you two enjoy the same things, you will enjoy each other for years to come.