As the coming of Chinese New Year, you should have heard that people give each other the blessing like “Wish you prosperity in the year of Dog”. Or someone might tell you that he or she was born in the year of the Rooster. You must wonder why they are talking about. Is there something special about Chinese culture that you don’t know? So now, we are going to answer for you.
Similar to the Zodiac in western culture, there is “the Chinese Zodiac” in Chinese culture. The Chinese Zodiac consists of twelve kinds of animals, which separately represent a year in the cycle, while the Western Zodiac attributes to twelve months in one year. But what is the origin of the Chinese Zodiac? Here’s a little legend from Chinese culture to tell you.
In Chinese culture, it is said that one day, the Buddha, the God who dominates the whole universe, held a race for the animals on the earth. After the order was given out, each kind of animal was eager for a try and thought themselves would win the champion. Soon, the day of the competition came, and every animal ran as fast as possible. Unfortunately, just closing to the finish line, there’s a big and rapid river. Some animals which didn’t know how to swim chose to quit, but the rat and the cat, cannot swim as well, wanna win the race desperately.
Therefore, it occurred to the rat that they could secretly ride on the ox. However, as cunning as the rat, it pushed the cat into the river, so that’s why rats escape in panic upon seeing cats. Finally, the rat arrived the finish line first, followed by the ox, the tiger, the rabbit, the dragon, the snake, the horse, the goat, the monkey, the rooster, the dog and the pig. As a reward, the Buddha gave each animal a year in the cycle and declared that anyone born in that year would resemble the animal in some way. And that was how the Chinese zodiac came into being.
Because of this, people put these twelve kinds of animals, which represent twelve different types of personalities, into the proverbs to add some delight in our language. For example, we will use “rat” to describe a timid person. Or “A dog is so anxious that it jumps over the wall.” describes that people will arouse their potential or do something beyond your ability while coming upon an urgent situation.
In modern times, people sometimes use the Chinese Zodiac to analyze a person’s fortune or personality just as the astrology in western. This year, 2018, is the year of Dog. Why not see what animal sign you were born under in Chinese culture? Just calculate forwards in the order of the rat to the pig, so that you could analyze your fortune or your personality. Maybe it will turn out to be accurate.
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