top of page

Zodiac Signs In Korean | How Koreans Talk About Age

안녕하세요! koreanstudyjunkie입니다. Today you'll learn about Korean zodiac signs.

Comment below your zodiac sign? I was born on December 14th so mines Is Sagittarius♐️

Koreans use the Chinese zodiac a lot more than what the zodiac signs we may be used to. Can you figure out which animal you are?


What is a zodiac?

A zodiac sign is a star sign. These stars signs are constellations that are named after their form and are then given to people. These stars are called Zodiac Constellations, and there are 12.

별자리 means place or position of the stars. When you are talking about zodiac signs you would use the word 별자리. Here is the list of zodiac signs:

Aquarius ♒

1/20 - 2/18

  • Aquarius in korean is 물병자리

물병 means "Water Jar"


2/19 - 3-20

  • Pisces in korean is 물고기자리

물고기 means "Fish"


3/21 - 4/19

  • Aries in korean is 양자리

양 means "Sheep"


4/20 - 5/20

  • Taurus in korean is 황소자리

황소 means "Yellow/Gold Cow"


5/21 - 6/21

  • Gemini in korean is 쌍동이자리

쌍동이 means "Twins"


6/22 - 7/22

  • Cancer in korean is 게자리

게 means "Crab"


7/23 - 8/22

  • Leo in korean is 사자자리

사자 means "Lion"


8/23 - 9/22

  • Virgo in korean is 처녀자리

처녀 means "Virgin/Person Who Isn't Married"


9/23 - 10/23

  • Libra in korean is 천칭자리

천칭 means "Balance" but it is not used in everyday life


10/24 - 11/22

  • Scorpio in korean is 전갈자리

전갈 means "Scorpion"


11/23 -12/24

  • Sagittarius in korean is 사수자리

사수 means "Marksman/Archer"


12/25 - 1/19

  • Capricorn in korean is 염소자리

염소 means "Goat"


Korean Zodiac ~

The Korean zodiac is a classification scheme based on the lunar calendar and its origin can be traced back to ancient China. Year 2021 is known as the Year of the Metal Ox, and it lasts from February 12, 2021 until January 31, 2022.

The zodiacs in western astrology and Chinese astrology are different, and follow different systems. This is quite interesting, and in Korea, some are very engaged with their zodiacs and what fortunetellers have to tell them about their future according to their birth year, zodiac animal, and more.

Thus, a question you might hear among Koreans is “What’s your Ddi?”, which roughly translates to “What is your sign?”.

띠 in Korean

The Korean zodiac has its roots from ancient China. Each zodiac animal, called 띠, refers to the year you were born, and also a set of characteristics that you might possess. For instance, if you were born in the year of the tiger, you would be a tiger 띠, or 호랑이 띠 in Korean.

Those who are especially interested in zodiacs and astrology will try to guess your compatibility through your ddi using horoscopes and such, but most use it for fun and to guess your age.

One can figure out your age by knowing your ddi, as each animal has its own year every twelfth year, in accordance with the 12-year cycle of animals that follows the lunar calendar.

The Animals

There are 12 animals in the Korean Zodiac.

> Rat

> Ox

> Tiger

> Rabbit

> Dragon

> Snake

> Horse

> Sheep

> Monkey

> Rooster

> Dog

> Pig

As mentioned earlier, the year of an animal repeats every twelve years, and it follows the order of the animals listed above. According to Chinese astrology, each animal has its own specific characteristics, and it is believed that the people born in that year share these characteristics.

It is important to remember that the year of the animals follows the Lunar calendar, as someone who is born in January 2000 would be a rabbit instead of a dragon, as the Lunar New Year in year 2000 was on the 4th of February.

The 12-year and 60-year cycle

The 12-year cycle has each of its animals from the Twelve Earthly Branches (십이지) or (지지). The ancient Chinese, and also other East-Asian countries, used this system to denote time in years, months and days together with another system called the Ten Heavenly Stems (십간) or (천간).

The combination of one of the Ten Heavenly Stems, and one of the Twelve Earthly Branches, in that order, are called (간지), and are used to give name to years.

Each heavenly stem is also associated with a phase, and that stem that is used together with a name of an animal to determine the name of the year. It is worth mentioning that a name for the year in Chinese characters also exists. For example, the year of the Wood Rat would be called (갑자, 甲鼠).

This was much more relevant in the past, as Koreans would use this to date historical events. This is the reason why 2020 is called the Year of the Metal Rat, and 2021 will be called Year of the Metal Ox (People usually simplify the name of the year by just naming the animal).

The year changes every Lunar New Year, which was on the 12th of February in 2021, and each animal is repeated every twelve years. For each year, the heavenly stem and the earthly branch changes, in other words goes to the next stem and branch in the order (see table in separate section).

Since there are ten heavenly stems and twelve earthly branches (animals), a combination of a heavenly stem and an animal repeats every 60 years, thus representing a cyclical concept of time. This is why Korea and other Asian countries, regard a person’s 60th birthday as a special event.


That's the end of this post. It was a lot of information, but I hope you enjoyed and learned something new! See you next time - 다음에 또 봐요!


Rated 0 out of 5 stars.
No ratings yet

Add a rating
Post: Blog2_Post
bottom of page