Chinese New Year: The Year of the Monkey

Chinese New Year

February 8, 2016 – The Year of the Monkey

The Chinese animal zodiac is shengxiao in Chinese and means “born resembling”.  It is a repeating cycle of 12 years, with each year being represented by an animal and its corresponding attributes. There are many stories about how these animals came to fruition, but common belief is the animals simply represented dates on the calendar.  It is said the Jade Emperor created a race of animals and the first twelve to win the race would be chosen.  Prior to the race, the cat and rat were best friends.  The rat promised to awaken the cat so they could arrive at the race early.  The rat forgot and ran into the tiger, horse, ox and other animals that ran much faster.  So the rat offered to sing for the ox if the ox would carry him across the river.  The ox agreed assuming he would automatically win the race.  The rat slid of the ox at the end and ran ahead to become the first lucky winner of the race.  The other animals arrived and that is why they follow the rat on the zodiac calendar in the order of Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Goat, Monkey, Rooster, Dog, Pig.  The cat overslept and was too late to participate and hated the rat from then on.  This is why every time they meet, the cat will chase the rat.

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