Vietnamese Zodiac Elements: 12 Signs & Their Meanings

Vietnamese zodiac elements play a crucial role in the culture and are intricately linked to the lunar calendar. Similar to other Asian countries, the Vietnamese zodiac consists of 12 animal signs, representing the 12-year cycle of the lunar calendar. When Vietnamese people inquire about someone’s age, they may receive an answer such as “I am a buffalo” instead of a numerical age like 21, 22, or 34. This is because an individual’s zodiac sign holds significant importance in Vietnam, as it can determine the course of their life.

In the following article, let’s discover what Vietnamese zodiac elements are, their origin, and their meanings in Vietnamese culture.

What are Vietnamese Zodiac Elements?

Vietnam Zodiac can help to predict one person’s astrology based on their date of birth. It is divided into 12 different elements, in accordance with 12 animals over a round of 12 years.

1. The Rat Sign

The Rat Sign

The Orient shares certain characteristics, including the role of animals in their daily lives. One such animal is the mouse. Although considered a pest worldwide, it plays a vital role in the food chain. In lands where agriculture is paramount, mice are not only animals but also cultural symbols. Thus, the mouse occupies the first position among the 12 zodiac elements, revered for its intelligence and resourcefulness. People born under the rat sign are imaginative and generous. If you work with a “rat person,” do not underestimate them, as they may appear innocent but are calculating every step to achieve their goals and conquer their rivals.

2. The Buffalo

The Buffalo Sign

The zodiac culture of China and Vietnam has a noticeable difference in this element. In China, the ox holds great significance in agriculture, and the climate is suitable for them to function fully. However, in Vietnam, a buffalo is the most valuable asset for the common people, and even for a village leader, their buffalo herd is the most crucial property to safeguard.

The word “Happiness” in ancient Vietnamese had many elements that involve the rice plant and rice fields. As Vietnam has a small farming economy, it’s easy to understand why buffalo is considered a cultural symbol. It not only provides rice but also a sense of security for the Vietnamese people.

Individuals born under the “buffalo sign” are known for their strong personalities and natural leadership skills. However, the path of a buffalo’s life is rarely smooth and often requires overcoming obstacles to achieve success. If your buffalo partner seems overly serious, don’t worry as they possess an extremely warm heart that can be fully opened by a passionate lover.

3. The Tiger Sign

The Tiger Sign

In Vietnam, the tiger is revered as a sacred animal and regarded as the king of the forest due to the country’s vast mountainous and forested areas. Its image is even incorporated into the architecture of pagodas and temples, making it a holy deity in Vietnamese belief.

Individuals born under the tiger sign are known to be courageous, intelligent, and daring. They are expected to accomplish extraordinary things and achieve great success in life. However, as strong personalities are often viewed unfavorably in society, some tigers face numerous challenges and lead difficult lives. Tiger women in Vietnam may encounter difficulties in finding a suitable partner due to their strong personalities. Nonetheless, they place a high value on motherhood and prioritize the upbringing and protection of their children, sometimes to an overwhelming degree.

4. The Cat Sign

The Cat Sign

Domestic pets such as dogs and cats are beloved all around the world, and this is no different in the East or West. However, in Vietnam, cats seem to be more popular as pets compared to dogs. This is primarily because cats are highly effective in protecting rice from pests. As a result, cats have become more integrated into Vietnamese society, sharing both joys and sorrows with their owners.

Individuals born under the cat zodiac sign tend to possess characteristics similar to those of cats, such as being gentle yet mysterious. They are friendly and sociable, yet they keep a certain air of enigma around them, which adds to their charm. Whether they will have a happy or unhappy life is hard to predict, as fate is influenced by many factors. However, cat people are often deep thinkers with a wealth of inner thoughts and emotions.

5. The Dragon

The Dragon Sign

The ancient Chinese scholar Wang Xu once famously said, “Taming a dragon? Impossible!” It is widely known in both Chinese and Vietnamese cultures that the dragon is a mystical creature. However, according to an ancient document from the Mường people, a minority group in the northwest region of Vietnam, dragons were once real animals that lived underwater and fed on carrion. Over time, the dragon was deified and became the most revered of all the holy animals in the East.

People born in the Year of the Dragon are said to be naturally gifted but can also be arrogant and insensitive. As a symbol of royalty, the image of the dragon is often associated with palaces and the robes of kings. It is believed that those born in the Year of the Dragon will never live in poverty, and at the very least, will be financially comfortable. Wang Xu also noted that if a dragon person can find a balance between their grand ambitions and the mundane details of life, they can achieve true perfection.

6. The Snake

The Snake Sign

The wet climate of Vietnam provides an ideal habitat for snakes. The relationship between snakes and humans, as well as the medicinal use of snakes, have given this animal an important place in Vietnamese culture. Although snakes are often associated with danger, their venom and skin have proven to be valuable in medicine.

It is not uncommon for people born under the sign of the snake to be lucky. This is one of the most notable features of the snake sign. Additionally, those born under the sign of the snake are often extremely charming. If you fall in love with a snake girl, it may be difficult to escape the relationship.

7. The Horse Sign

The Horse Sign

Horses played a crucial role in transportation in the past in Vietnamese society. With underdeveloped road infrastructure, horses were the primary mode of transportation for both daily life and the army. In a country where three-forth of the land is mountainous and forested, horses were highly respected for their utility in traversing forests and climbing mountains, as well as for their ability to transport people when mail delivery was limited by low-tech transportation.

People born under the horse sign are fated to be constantly on the move. Staying in one place is unbearable for a horse person, contributing to their restless, wandering personality. They are typically very generous and have many friends, whom they treat like siblings. Horse people value their independence, and their confidence helps them achieve success in life.

8. The Goat Sign

The Goat Sign

The goat, born in mountainous areas, enjoys the fresh and open atmosphere and its favorite pastime is grazing on grass and dreaming while sleeping, even during the day. Due to its dreamy nature, the goat zodiac is often associated with poetry. When confronted with the harsh realities of life, a goat person may feel disillusioned and overwhelmed.

Nevertheless, if a goat person recognizes that dreaming is both their strength and weakness, they can use it to their advantage and achieve success in areas such as painting and performing arts.

9. The Monkey

The Monkey Sign

The Monkey Sign

A person born under the monkey zodiac sign has a cheerful and lively personality, which can easily bring a smile to your face. Being an animal that closely resembles humans, monkeys are highly regarded for their intelligence and their eagerness to experience new things in life. A monotonous and unchanging routine can be suffocating for a monkey, while a lively and dynamic life is what really gets them going. The question is, how much can they achieve in life?

A monkey person can excel in many fields, but they are satisfied with what they have achieved and seldom complain about their lives or compare themselves with those who are more affluent. This is what makes individuals born under this zodiac sign truly happy.

10. The Rooster

The Rooster Sign

The Rooster Sign

The rooster has been an essential source of protein for humans and a natural alarm clock to wake people up for work or remind them when to sleep. In Vietnamese culture, the rooster holds great importance as it is considered one of the governing animals of human life and is used in religious offerings at festivals and funerals.

Rooster individuals are often known for their mischievous nature, which can lead to trouble in their lives. They may struggle to control themselves when provoked, but those who can overcome this weakness are expected to excel in many fields. Roosters also prioritize their appearance and style, so if you’re in a relationship with a rooster, don’t be surprised if they spend a lot of time in front of the mirror – it’s just part of their nature.

11. The Dog Sign

The Dog Sign

The Dog Sign

Similar to the cat, the dog is a close friend to the Vietnamese people, and they respect dogs for their faithfulness. A person born under the dog zodiac sign is known for being trustworthy and can be trusted with secrets that one may not feel comfortable sharing with others.

However, dog zodiac individuals often worry unnecessarily, making them nervous and irritable. If you are dating a person born under the dog sign, be patient and give them time to get used to your presence and build trust with you. Trust is crucial for a dog sign holder, and it takes time and effort to build.

Vietnamese culture has seen many dog zodiacs struggle in relationships and marriages, so it is believed that a dog zodiac groom should meet and bring the bride home twice to avoid any future marriage problems.

12. The Pig Sign

The Pig Sign

The Pig Sign

In Vietnam, the pig is highly valued for its economic significance, coming second only to the buffalo in everyday life. Pork remains the most widely consumed meat in the country, from the mountains to the delta regions. The pig’s crucial role in Vietnamese society has resulted in an optimistic zodiac sign that maintains a positive outlook in any situation.

Pig individuals tend not to worry about things, viewing life as a beautiful, rosy-colored existence where food is a top priority. They are known for their unselfish nature and are quick to forgive if one apologizes for any wrongdoing. Despite their natural honesty and over-optimism, pig individuals may not achieve as much success as other zodiac signs. However, this does not bother them much, as they tend to live in their own cheerful, pink-hued world.

Legend of Vietnamese Zodiac Elements

Are you wondering why these animals are arranged in this order? It is explained in an interesting legend when the Goddess King wanted to determine the time. He organized a race with the participation of all animals and the 12 first across the river would be named in the zodiac system.

The rat got up very early and started at sunrise; however, it was too small to swim well. So, it asked Buffalo to help. When they nearly reach the other side of the river, the Rat jumped off and was the first winner. The Buffalo came second and the Tiger came third. The Cat was also small and jumped to the fourth position only.

The 5th place belonged to the Dragon. Wonder why? It could fly straight across the river to be the winner but it stopped to help others. The Snake crawled over the Horse to take the 6th position and the Horse came 7th.

The Goat, Monkey, and Rooster got together on a raft and crossed the water stream. Upon arrival, they decided to give Goat the 8th, Monkey the 9th, and Rooster the 10th. The next position was Dog, who swam well but was playing in the river. And, the final position belonged to Pig, who stopped to eat and slept along the way.

Age Compatibility

Age Compatibility in Vietnam Astrology

Age Compatibility in Vietnam Astrology

Vietnamese astrology plays an important role in determining the auspicious date and time for significant life events, such as weddings, funerals, construction commencements, and new store openings. It is believed that when a husband and wife marry at the appropriate age, their marriage will be peaceful, happy, and prosperous. The alignment of heaven and earth during these events is believed to bring good luck and ensure success for the new journey. According to the principles of feng shui, people born four years apart are usually compatible, but those born six years apart may not be. To determine which age groups are appropriate, please refer to the picture below:

Fortune Predictions

Vietnam has twelve zodiac animals, which means your year of the zodiac will repeat at the ages of 12, 24, 36, 48 and so on. Ancient superstition says that you may have bad luck in these years and advise you to not do great things. Instead, you should do charity and help other people to avoid bad luck. Another way is to wear a Feng Shui item that is compatible with your age. However, people born in the same year still have a different destiny, depending on their date of birth in the Lunar calendar.

How to Calculate Zodiac Ages in Vietnam

To determine your complete zodiac age in Vietnamese astrology, there are two important factors to consider. Firstly, your age is calculated based on your lunar birth year, which can be a year earlier than your solar birth year if you were born in January or February.

Secondly, even if you and your nephew were born in the same Ox year, let’s say in 1985 and 1997 respectively, your complete zodiac ages would be different because each year in Vietnamese astrology is not only associated with an animal sign but also an element that precedes it. For instance, the year 1985 is known as the At Suu (At Ox) year, while 1997 is the Dinh Ty (Dinh Tiger) year.

In Vietnamese society, the Can-Chi system, which combines the Heavenly Stems (Canh, Tan, Nham, Quy, Giap, At, Binh, Dinh, Mau, Ky) and Earthly Branches (Rat, Buffalo, Tiger, Cat, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Goat, Monkey, Rooster, Dog, and Pig), is used to name the years. The combination of these two sets of symbols creates a cycle known as the Sexagenary cycle, which lasts for 60 years.

In conclusion, Vietnamese zodiac elements play a significant role in Vietnamese astrology and folk religion, representing the diverse traits and attributes of individuals through its 12 animals. Each year is associated with an animal, and each animal has its own unique set of characteristics that are believed to influence a person’s personality, behavior, and fate. Hope this piece of information has helped you understand more about this cultural aspect of Vietnam. And, if you have any queries or concerns regarding the Vietnamese Zodiac elements, feel free to leave a comment or inquire with us.

We are here to help you...

Start planning your tailor-made tour with 1-1 help from our specialists

Alice Pham

Hello, I'm Alice Pham - a travel blogger at IDC Travel. I have traveled to almost places in Vietnam and gained numerous useful experiences. I'm here willing to help you plan the most wonderful trip to our stunning S-shaped country.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published

You might also like

IDC Travel & GolfLux Year End Party 2023 – A Look Back on a Year of Great Success

IDC Travel & GolfLux Year End Party welcomed all company members & their families as well as close partners and guests. This…

14 Days in Vietnam and Cambodia: Ultimate Journey to Southeast Asia

Let’s go for a journey through Southeast Asia, a region where ancient traditions seamlessly intertwine with modern cityscapes. In the heart of…

13 Days in Vietnam and Cambodia: Exploring the Gems of Indochina

Cambodia and Vietnam are unique in terms of culture, religion, history, modern development, and landscapes. In a circuit of 13 days in…

Create My Trip