Long ago, in China, the Jade Emperor decided there should be a way of measuring time. On his birthday he told the animals that there was to be a swimming race.
The first twelve animals across the fast flowing river would be the winners and they would each have a year of the zodiac named after them.
All the animals lined up along the river bank. The rat and the cat, who were good friends, were worried because they were poor swimmers. Being clever they asked the strong ox if he would carry them across the river. 'Of course' said the kind ox. 'Just climb on my back and I will take you across.‘The rat and the cat quickly jumped up and were very excited when the ox soon took the lead in the race.
They had almost reached the other bank when the rat pushed the cat into the river leaving him to struggle in the water. Then just before the ox was about to win the race the rat leapt on his head and on to the bank to finish first.
Shortly after the exhausted tiger clawed his way to the river bank to claim third place. Swimming across the river had been an enormous struggle for him against the strong currents. The Emperor was so delighted with his efforts that he named the third year after him.
Next to arrive was the rabbit, who hadn't swum across at all. He hopped across on some stepping stones and then found a floating log which carried him to the shore.'I shall be very happy to call the fourth year after you,' the surprised Jade Emperor explained.
Just then a kind dragon swooped down to take fifth place.'Why didn’t you win the race, as you can fly as well as swim?' the Jade Emperor asked.'I was held up because some people and animals needed water to drink. I needed to make some rain,' the dragon explained. 'Then when I was nearly here I saw a poor little rabbit on a log in the water and I blew a puff of wind so that the log would float to the river bank.‘'Well that was very kind of you and now you are here you will have the fifth year of the zodiac named after you.'
The next thing the Jade Emperor heard was the sound of the horse’s hooves. Just as he was thinking the horse would be the next animal to arrive, a sneaky snake wriggled out from around one of the horse’s hooves. The horse was so surprised that he jumped backwards giving the snake a chance to take the sixth place in the race. The poor horse had to be satisfied with seventh place.
Not long afterwards a raft arrived carrying the goat, the monkey and the rooster. They explained to the Emperor how they had shared the raft that the rooster had found. The goat and monkey had cleared weeds and pushed the raft to the shore. The Emperor was very pleased that the animals had worked together. He said the goat would be the eighth zodiac animal, the monkey the ninth and the rooster the tenth.
The next animal to finish was the dog.'Why are you so late when you are one of the best swimmers?' asked the Jade Emperor.'The water in the river was so clean that I had to have a bath on the way,' explained the dog.His reward was to have the eleventh year named after him.
Now there was one place left in the zodiac and the Emperor wondered when the last winner would come. He had nearly given up when he heard a grunt from the pig.'You took a long time to cross the river,' said the Emperor to the pig'I was hungry and stopped to eat,' explained the pig. 'After the meal I felt so tired that I fell asleep.''You have still done well,' said the Jade Emperor. 'The last year of the zodiac will be named after you.'
Meaning of the Chinese ZodiacThe Chinese lunar calendar is the longest chronological record in history, dating from 2637 B.C. when the first cycle of the zodiac was introduced. One complete cycle takes 60 years and is made up of five simple cycles of 12 years each. The 78th cycle started on February 1984, and will end on February 2044.The lunar year is divided into twelve months of 29½ days. Every two and a half years, an intercalary month is added to adjust the calendar. The addition of this month every third year produces the Lunar Leap Year.The five elements are Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal, and Water, always being given in that order. It is said to be a productive cycle, that is Wood produces Fire; Fire produces Earth; Earth produces Metal, Metal produces Water, and Water produces Wood, thus continuing the cycle. The balance of these elements and their positioning in a Chinese chart enable the astrologer to tell many things about a person's personality and life.
Very smart and opportunist.Hard working and thrifty.They are also people who know how to make the best of a situation, making it their advantage.May be power hungry, petty or greedy
Honest, patient and conservative. The Ox is most happy when left alone to their devices.Ox is regarded as a dependable creature. You can trust that an Ox will always finish the task laid out to them despite having a slow start.Sometimes too stubborn and traditional.
Tigers are brave and powerful creatures. They are also people who dare to take risks, which of course make them good natural leaders.Rebellious and dynamic. A warrior and center of attention. Quick tempered but considerate. Affectionate but careless.
It is said that those born in the year of the Rabbit are the luckiest of them all. This is because the Rabbit have good characters. They are gentle, talented, friendly and always gracious. These wonderful qualities make them highly popular among their friends.They can be snobbish and prone to gossipSometimes moody and indifferent.
Unique, energetic and overly-dramatic are the Dragons. They also have an interesting imagination.Takes love and adulation for granted.Can be stubborn, irritable and impulsive, hard to get close to.
While many deemed the Snakes are sly and cunning, the Snakes are actually talented and graceful creatures. Philosophical, calm, understanding.They are also wise and subtle in their ways. Often fickle or self-indulgent. Can behave selfishly if crossed, does not communicate well with others.
A Horse's high spirit and energy are engaging. Cheerful, quick-witted and popular.Also good at handling wealth.By nature, those who are born in the year of the Horse love to travel, preferably alone.Talkative. May be hot-tempered at times. Will fall in love easily and fall out of love just as easily.
Intelligent, business minded. Good natured, generous, righteous, sincere.Peaceful and conservativeTend to be pessimistic. Can be undisciplined and irresponsible.Also indecisive and too passive.
Monkeys are fun people to be with because they are confident, energetic and happy.They are adept at a wide range of skills and can be successful in almost any occupation.They think and worry too much.They also know social skills well but can be selfish.
Roosters are generally punctual people, totally reliable and independent.Hardworking, resourceful, talented and confident.Tendency to brag insensitively. Outspoken and loves to attract attention.
Honest, faithful, loyalty and responsibility. Can be prosperous. practical and realistic. Intelligent, straightforward. Protects the interests of others more avidly than his own.They're not that social but will sacrifice everything for family. The Dog is a natural pessimist and a worrier.
Diligent, courageous and hates quarrels. Noble and strongWill always put others ahead of themselves, especially their family.Can be self-indulgent to the point of gluttony. Can also be insecure.Not a deep thinker and rather materialistic
Even though we don’t have any Chinese blood line, my family is very fond of placing lucky charms on our house. My mother are easily attracted with charms that will help with their business and be more successful and wealthy.
They make us buy their products, making them benefit from the Filipino people.Chinese are very opportunistic people.The color red is chosen for two reasons. The first is because red is a lucky color and the second because it is supposed to frighten off the monster who is thought to come on New Years Eve. While the color gold represents wealth. Families also decorate their homes with lanterns and put stickers on things in their homes.