Animals chosen for the  Chinese zodiac were the top 12 finishers in a race held by the gods at the beginning of time. Each animal was assigned a year, and ever since then, every 12 years only, the cycle repeats.
The year that you were born, and ever since then the year you are assigned champions your good and other points. The year that you were born but be aware that Chinese years aren't the same as western years. They begin and end in late January or early February so you will be a different animal sign that is listed for four years.
The Chinese also believes that the elements act as the foundation of the universe and so these five elements occupy the center of the wheel.
 Chinese moon years are celebrated as birthday years but dictated by the calendar. Those born  under the New Moon phase are bundles of emotional energy. You have difficulty creating healthy boundaries with others. They are also adventurous and innovative individuals. New moon people like to act first and then think later.
So quit your mooning, sunbeams!