Cultural beliefs play an important crucial role in shaping individuals’ decision-making and behavior. This study uses data from the 2011 and 2013 waves of the China Household Financial Survey to investigate the impact of a specific Chinese spiritual belief, known as the “zodiac year”, on individual risk aversion behavior. The findings reveal a significant correlation between the zodiac year and individuals' risk attitudes, indicating that people tend to adopt more risk-averse behaviors during their zodiac year. Additionally, we explore the influence of Eastern religions and education on the relationship between the zodiac year and individuals’ risk aversion behavior. The results indicate that Eastern religions amplify the impact of the zodiac year, whereas educational attainment has the potential to mitigate the influence of this superstitious belief. This study contributes to the growing body of literature examining the influence of spiritual beliefs on individual economic behavior, providing empirical support for the hypothesis that spiritual beliefs can shape individuals’ risk aversion behavior.