Year of the Rabbit: Chinese Zodiac Meaning and Years

A young Eastern cottontail rabbit facing from left. the rabbit is outdoors in the green grass. Age rabbit is gray and brown.

Written by Kristin Hitchcock

Updated: May 25, 2023

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Year of the Rabbit infographic
Year of the Rabbit infographic

The Rabbit is the fourth sign in the Chinese zodiac. The 12 different animal signs go in a specific order, with each new year being the next animal in the sequence. The sequence follows Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Goat, Monkey, Rooster, Dog, and Pig.

However, Chinese zodiac signs follow the Chinese New Year – not the western calendar. The Chinese New Year also differs yearly, based on the lunar calendar. Therefore, you can’t go off of just the year. You must consider the exact date, especially when discussing the year’s first two months.

When Is the Year of the Rabbit?

Wangjiang Pavilion during Spring with peach blossoms in Chengdu, Sichuan, China, overlooking the Jinjiang River with residential and office buildings in the background

The Chinese New Year is based on the lunar calendar.

Here is a table describing the exact dates of the rabbit zodiac sign:

Rabbit YearDate
2023January 22, 2023 – February 9, 2024
2011February 3, 2011 – January 22, 2012
1999February 16, 1999 – February 4, 2000
1987January 29, 1987 – February 16, 1988
1975February 11, 1975 – January 30, 1976
1963January 25, 1963 – February 12, 1964
1951February 6, 1951 – January 26, 1952
1939February 19, 1939 – February 7, 1940

What Does It Mean to be a Rabbit Sign?

If you were born in one of the years of the rabbit, then Chinese astrology would predict you to be elegant, gentle, and quiet – much like a rabbit. However, rabbits are also skillful, quick, and responsible. They don’t let others down and try to help wherever they can. They’re kindhearted – sometimes to a fault.

Often, others feel comfortable around rabbit signs. They’re easy to be friends with and tend to become people’s “unofficial therapists.” However, rabbits should be careful not to take too much weight onto their shoulders.

Because they’re usually the helpers, they can have difficulty asking for help when needed.

Rabbits are predicted to be very resilient. They’re dependable and keep pushing forward until they accomplish their goals. They often aren’t as goal-oriented as other signs, though. Rabbits tend to be far more people-oriented than anything.

People with this zodiac sign often have great attention to detail, which makes them good academics. For this reason, they often do well in school.

Rabbit Chinese Zodiac Sign: Types of Rabbits

Giant rabbit eating

If you were born in one of the years of the rabbit, then Chinese astrology would predict you to be elegant, gentle, and quiet.

There are several types of rabbit zodiac signs. Each zodiac sign is modulated by an element – wood, fire, earth, gold, or water.

Wood rabbits tend to be lively and clever. Their quick-witted nature can earn them a lot of friends. However, they may have trouble with empathy.

Fire rabbits are more flexible than others. Their flexibility can leave them with some unique views, however. They tend to be quite smart, likely because they spend a lot of time thinking about different ideas.

Earth rabbits have more ambition than other rabbits. They’re straightforward, hard-working, and frank. Often, they may be more goal-oriented than other rabbits. They can be too work-oriented, though not all their goals may be directly tied to work.

Water rabbits adjust readily to new situations and embody flexibility. The water element is similar to the rabbit sign, so those born during these years often express rabbit characteristics in an extreme manner. These individuals may be extremely empathetic and gentle – sometimes to a fault. They may be too flexible and willing to compromise their views to mesh well with others.

Gold rabbits tend to be very kind and lively. They’re enthusiastic and very people-driven. They tend to be extroverts.

Year of the Rabbit Chinese Zodiac sign: Luck

Each Chinese zodiac sign is related to certain colors, numbers, flowers, and directions. Those with the rabbit sign will find certain things lucky. Here are some things that those of the rabbit sign may find lucky.

The lucky number for this sign are 3, 4, and 6. All numbers containing these smaller numbers count, like 43. Pink, red, purple, and blue are the lucky colors for rabbits. Plantain lily and jasmine are the lucky flowers, and east, south, and northwest are the lucky directions.

Some things are unlucky, as well. Avoid the numbers 1, 7, and 8, as well as the colors dark brown, dark yellow, and white. The directions north, west, and southwest are also unlucky. However, there aren’t any unlucky flowers to worry about.

Rabbit Relationship Compatibility

female rabbit

People with the rabbit zodiac sign often do well with partners who have the dog zodiac sign due to similar life goals and compatible temperaments.

Some zodiac signs go better together than others. Some signs match up better, which often makes them better partners. Of course, this isn’t always the case. Sometimes, two technically incompatible people get along very well.

Rat and roost don’t make good partners for the rabbit. Rooster and Rabbit get along the least, with everything becoming an argument. Rats and Rabbits can get along, but they also have difficulty agreeing. Dragon and Rabbit may also not get along well due to their differing personalities.

The Goat, Dog, and Pig do make good partners. Dogs and Rabbits often have the same life goals, allowing them to work together easily. Goat does best with an extra person to care for them, and Rabbit can easily fill this hole. Rabbit and Pig have similar personalities, allowing them to get along easily.

Of course, the element matters, too. Sometimes, the element may matter even more than the base zodiac sign, so consider it.

Rabbit Chinese Zodiac Sign: Career Compatibility

Rabbit signs can differ depending on their element, affecting which careers an individual is best suited to. Those that are more goal-oriented may find academic and intellectual careers best. However, more people-oriented rabbits may find teaching, health care, politics, and police work best.

Some rabbits have a creative side, though this isn’t an innate part of this sign. Because of the rabbit’s detail-oriented nature, calligraphy, tailoring, and cooking sometimes work well. Some enjoy the combination of academia and the art of literature and architecture engaging.

Rabbit does a great job with anything detail-oriented. Business consulting, translation, and public relations jobs fit into this category.

Rabbit Health

China Dragon

Chinese zodiac signs include the Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake,


, Goat, Monkey, Rooster, Dog, and Pig.

Often, rabbits have great physical health. If anything does pop up, they tend to notice symptoms immediately due to their detail-oriented nature, allowing them to seek help immediately. Rabbit doesn’t usually put off treatment for health problems, which helps them in the end.

However, Rabbits may emotionally eat or have a challenging relationship with food overall. Some may have trouble balancing their diet, for instance. Sometimes, the issue leads to obesity or other health problems.

Rabbit can sometimes be a bit too detail- and people-oriented. When paired together, this can lead to them reading too far into social situations. While they’re often great at having friends, they may develop social anxiety and depression. They tend to overthink and look too deeply into things.

Depending on their element, rabbits may put too much weight on their work. Some may feel like they don’t have any true friends, especially if much of their time is spent at work.

Having a Baby in the Year of the Rabbit

If you plan on having a baby during the year of the Rabbit, you’re in for a good time. Due to their empathy, Rabbit children are often very attuned to their parents. However, they may also be too sensitive, so they must be cautiously treated. Harch treatments do not work well for these children.

With that said, Rabbit remains one of the most popular Chinese astrology signs. Often, people with this sign have a good and lucky life (though things can always go wrong, of course).

In the Chinese tradition, many parents choose auspicious names for their children to bring them good luck. You may want to consider naming your child something related to rabbits, for instance, or after one of the qualities discussed here. Many parents name their children after plants or a similar earthy name. Often, it is recommended to name the child something safe and stable to give them a proper foundation to reach their goals.

Either way, the year of the rabbit is not a poor time to have a baby in the least.

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About the Author

Kristin is a writer at A-Z Animals primarily covering dogs, cats, fish, and other pets. She has been an animal writer for seven years, writing for top publications on everything from chinchilla cancer to the rise of designer dogs. She currently lives in Tennessee with her cat, dogs, and two children. When she isn't writing about pets, she enjoys hiking and crocheting.

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