Is the Year of the Cat the Same as the Year of the Rabbit?

In 2023, the Chinese New Year begins on 22 January and will last until 9 February 2024. While most of Asia celebrates the Year of the Rabbit, Vietnam celebrates the Year of the Cat. 

New Year is celebrated on the same date in both China and Vietnam. In China, it is called Chinese New Year and in Vietnam, it is typically celebrated as Lunar New Year. 

How the Cat managed to replace the Rabbit in Vietnam’s Chinese zodiac remains unclear. In both the Chinese and Vietnamese zodiacs there are 12 animals, and the 4th animal is the Rabbit, in the Vietnamese zodiac the 4th position is occupied by the Cat. 

In China, the story says that the Buddha invited the animals to participate in a river race, and the first 12 to reach the shore will appear in the Chinese zodiac. 

The cat and the rat, who were close friends at the time, decided to walk on the back of a bowl because they couldn’t swim. But as they approached the finish line, the rat pushed the cat into the water – and so the rat won, making the cat and the rat enemies ever since. 

In Vietnam the story is different. Emperor Jade, a Taoist god, organized the race. During the race, the cat is the one who won his place among the 12 animals of the Chinese zodiac.

 Another explanation would be that most Vietnamese people are farmers, and the rabbit has nothing to do with Vietnamese farmers.

Instead, the cat has always been a good friend to farmers, trying to kill the rats that threaten their crops. 

At the same time, the Vietnamese year of the Cat also symbolizes tenderness, gentleness, and kindness. 

The Year of the Rabbit or Cat includes all people born in 1903, 1915, 1927, 1939, 1951, 1963, 1975, 1987, 1999, 2011 and 2023. If you were born in one of these years, you’ll want to discover everything there is to know about the strengths of both signs:

What is the Cat Zodiac Known For?

Sensual and delicate, the Cat knows how to get under anyone’s skin to get what she wants. She is mannered and refined, giving the impression of fragility and proclaiming her sensitivity and need for beauty and harmony. 

 It stands out for its elegance and freshness. But it’s much stronger and tougher than it looks. And extremely sneaky. Perhaps only the Monkey can match her in dissimulation. She carefully creates an impeccable public image, likes to be admired, to be patted on the back, and praised.

She wants to be loved and wants to have as many friends as possible. But she doesn’t keep her claws hidden for anything. If criticized or exposed for her true, often two-faced feelings, she will lash out and attack mercilessly like a cat. The person born in the Year of the Cat can risk everything because she will always land on her feet.

What is the Rabbit Zodiac Known For?

The Rabbit is tactful and an excellent diplomat. Whenever he can, he avoids direct confrontation and conflict. He has the gift of social speech and is highly valued for his intelligence, refinement, and good taste at all times. But the real reason Rabbit tries hard to be liked is to achieve his own interests, and he almost always succeeds.

The Rabbit knows how to put his qualities to good use and how to get out of delicate situations. He has the ability to easily spot obstacles in his way and avoid them with agility.

The Rabbit is very cautious and is always careful to take care of himself. Although he gives the impression of leading a modest life, he knows how to respect himself and ensure a comfortable, peaceful life. In this way, he manages to maintain his health and live to old age.

The Rabbit has taboos and can’t stand to be disturbed or interrupted. In general, he is very conscientious and meticulous. The Rabbit also possesses a very well-developed practical sense, particularly in the area of trade.