The Most Successful Chinese Zodiac Signs & The Fascinating Legend That Determined Them So

Ad failed to load

Are you ready for the Year of the Dog? Friday, February 16, will mark the start of the Lunar New Year. It's a time for colorful parades, fireworks, and of course, pouring over what the new Chinese zodiac year will bring. In Chinese culture, a person's zodiac sign is a pretty big deal. It is commonly believed that the year of your birth heavily influences your personality traits, physical attributes, and mental abilities. It is even believed that your zodiac sign predicts your success in life and love. So what are the most successful Chinese Zodiac signs according to experts?

The Chinese zodiac is based on a 12-year cycle, with each year tied to a different animal that is linked to distinct characteristics. To fully understand your zodiac sign, you must know The Legend of the Great Race. In the tale from ancient China, described Lunar New Year Houson, the Jade Emperor declared that the first 12 animals to finish the race would have a calendar year named after them. During the race, the animals had to swim across a river, and even though the rat couldn't swim, he used his wits to convince the friendly ox to let him ride on his back. As soon as they had safely crossed to the other shore, the sneaky rat jumped off and sprinted across the finish line, winning the race. That is why the Rat ranks first on the calendar.

Ad failed to load

The other animals to finish (in order) were the ox, the tiger, the rabbit, the dragon, the snake, the horse, the goat (or sheep), the monkey, the rooster, the dog, and lastly, the pig, according to Gaia. So if you consider the results of the race, it would be easy to assume that the Rat, the Ox, and the Tiger would be seen as the most successful signs. But not so fast!

It is actually the Dragon that claims the top, most coveted spot of 'Most Successful Sign'. When Chinese fathers have sons, they hope they will be born in the Year of the Dragon — a sign linked to courage and intelligence — reported Forbes. What's more, after analyzing the wealthiest 400 American's birth dates (and zodiac signs) Forbes determined that a whopping 11 percent were born in Dragon years, far more than any other Chinese zodiac sign.

But, in Chinese culture, the Rat and Ox come in second and third, respectfully, in terms of successful signs. Here's a closer look at the three most successful signs —the Dragon, the Rat, and the Ox — and what personality traits are commonly associated with each.

Ad failed to load

The Dragon: 2012, 2000, 1988, 1976, 1964


Those born under the "Lucky" dragon sign tend to be powerful, kind-hearted, successful, innovative, brave, healthy, courageous and enterprising, according to

Interestingly, birth rates in Asia go up in years of the Dragon. Because the dragon is the most revered and auspicious symbol in the Chinese zodiac, some women even opt to give birth early, via C-section, to ensure their offspring are born in dragon years, according to

Lucky numbers for those under the Dragon sign are 1, 6, and 7.

The Rat: 2008, 1996, 1984, 1972, 1960


Though most people find rats repulsive, the Chinese zodiac holds this animal in higher esteem. The Rat sign represents wisdom and is linked to the personality traits of intelligence, charm, wit, and ambition, according

Lucky numbers for those under the Rat sign are 2 and 3.

The Ox: 2009, 1997, 1985, 1973, 1961


The Ox symbolizes diligence and industriousness in Chinese culture. If you're born under the Ox sign, you're typically considered hard- working, honest, creative, ambitious, cautious, and patient, according

Lucky numbers for those under the Ox sign are 1 and 9.

Not sure what zodiac sign you are? You can click here to find out. May 2018's Year of the Dog bring you success, health, and prosperity!

Check out Romper's new video series, Bearing The Motherload, where disagreeing parents from different sides of an issue sit down with a mediator and talk about how to support (and not judge) each other’s parenting perspectives. New episodes air Mondays on Facebook.

Ad failed to load
Must Reads

5 Parenting Habits That Increase Your Chances Of Successfully Potty-Training Your Child

From starting solids to learning to walk, every childhood milestone presents its own unique set of challenges — but this is especially true of potty training. Indeed, the very thought strikes fear into the heart of many a toddler parent, particularly…
By Jacqueline Burt Cote

Getting Pregnant Might Mean Losing The Plus-Size Body I Love

For the last two years, I haven’t been my body’s biggest champion. I’ve gained 50 pounds. The stress of helping a parent get sober, a house purchase, and a new job got the best of me. But now, at 36, with talks between my husband and I about having a…
By Loren Kleinman

7 Hilarious Differences Between Having A Baby In Your 20s Vs Your 30s

I was 24 when I had my daughter. And even though that pregnancy was neither expected nor pleasant, I was optimistic. Sure, I guess your 20s are "supposed" to be about finding yourself, finishing college, starting your career, and navigating less-than…
By Candace Ganger

Babies "R" Us Was The First Place I Went When I Found Out I Would Be A Mom

For years I struggled to have a baby, and the sight of toys and layettes made my heart hurt. For me, Toys "R" Us and Babies "R" Us were a complete no-go zone, a reminder of everything I was missing out on. My mom would walk the long way around Target…
By Becky Bracken

New Moms Have Two Options: Be "Sad & Fat" Or "Desperate & Thin"

As the line goes, the worst thing you could say about me, I've already thought about myself. In the early postpartum period with my son, it was: "I am overweight, lonely, and heartbroken." It was four days after I brought my son into the world, and I…
By Danielle Campoamor

6 Fascinating Facts About Spring Babies: You Could Have A Leader On Your Hands

Does the season in which you are born affect you or are all seasons pretty equal? It turns out that there are many ways in which the your child's birth season could give you an insight into things to come. Whether you are expecting a baby in the next…
By Shari Maurer

Kids Will Love These TV Shows & Movies Coming To Netflix In April

It's that time of the month again: as March draws to a close, Netflix gets ready for a little bit of spring cleaning. Though some TV shows and movies will have to find homes elsewhere, their departure makes room for all kinds of exciting new media. A…
By Megan Walsh

I'm A Stay-At-Home Mom &, Face It, These 11 Stereotypes Are Totally True

Hello, friends! It's me, your resident stay-at-home mom. You know, there's a lot that's said about me and my kind, and the vast majority of it is not even remotely true. For example, this whole "we're lazy, vapid, unambitious, anti-feminist, backstab…
By Jamie Kenney

The Pressure To Worry About The Gap Between Kids Is So Bad For Moms

"Two under two is absolutely crazy," a friend recently told me upon hearing the news that I was expecting a second child. "Why would you do this to yourself? Seriously, why?" However harsh her words, she was only echoing the same feelings I'd been ba…
By Marie Southard Ospina

To Be Honest, I Couldn't Survive Motherhood Without My Job

The decision to work outside the home once you've become a parent can be a complicated one. Some people don't really have a choice, and go back to work because they're either a single parent or can't sustain their family on one income. Some choose to…
By Priscilla Blossom

I Feel Guilty That My Kid’s Dad Is A Better Parent Than Me, & That’s BS

I was scared, and he was sure. I was clueless, and he was well-researched. I was making mistakes, and he was picking up the pieces. From the moment I found out I was pregnant until just last night, when I threw my hands up in the air and left the alw…
By Danielle Campoamor

These Millennial Parents Are Taking Gender-Neutral Parenting To An Entirely New Level

A woman on the subway looks at my bulbous shape and asks, “What are you having?” I take a deep breath and throw a glance to my 5-year-old. “I’m having a baby,” I say to the woman. “No, no” the woman says laughing as she pushes further. “Are you havin…
By Madison Young

My Daughter Is Obsessed With Being "Pretty" & I'm Way Past Terrified

Last week, when I picked up my daughter after school, she immediately wanted to know if I liked her hair. "Is it pretty?" she asked. Her hair was pulled up into two ponytails that were intertwined into thick, long braids. A shimmering pink and purple…
By Dina Leygerman

7 Things No One Tells You About Having A Baby In Your 20s, But I Will

I was 24 when I found out I was pregnant with my daughter. The pregnancy was a surprise, since I was on birth control (side note: antibiotics and birth control don't mix), but my partner and I decided to continue with the pregnancy and committed to m…
By Candace Ganger

7 Things I Wish My Partner Had Said To Me In The First Hour After Giving Birth

I don't know if it was the buzz of the surrounding machines, the non-existent cry of our son as the doctors tried to resuscitate him, or the fact that I'd already been through labor and delivery once before, but I knew something was missing after I h…
By Candace Ganger

Moms’ Groups Weren’t For Me, Sorry

I go to my moms’ club everyday of the week, but not usually on weekends. My moms' group is a place I can always count on finding fellow mothers who understand the daily struggles and triumphs of parenthood and of juggling life’s responsibilities. Dep…
By Samantha Taylor

I've Had 3 Miscarriages But *Please* Keep Telling Me About Your Pregnancy

I can feel the tension the moment my friend announces her pregnancy. I can hear the forced nonchalant attitude she's willing herself to exude as she fishes for the ultrasound. I know why I was the last to learn that she was expecting; why she keeps l…
By Danielle Campoamor

7 Early Signs You're Going To Need An Epidural, According To Experts

Even if you've constructed an elaborate birth plan, it's impossible to control every aspect of labor and delivery. Complications can occur, proactive measures might be necessary, and your mind is subject to change when those damn contractions really …
By Candace Ganger

11 Essential Products To Pack In Your Hospital Bag, According To OB-GYNs

The minute you go into labor (or think you're going into labor), chaos ensues. You and your partner are likely to get a little frantic, just like in the movies, so you most definitely want to have a hospital bag packed before the day comes. This prec…
By Abi Berwager Schreier

7 Photos You *Must* Take In The First 6 Months Of Motherhood

In my experience, becoming a mom is like becoming an amateur photographer. There's just something about the need to capture every single coo and sorta-smile that leaves you obsessed with all things photography. I know I couldn't stop taking selfies w…
By Candace Ganger