Chinese Zodiac

Did you ever wonder what the story behind the Chinese zodiac is? I’ve been digging in the web and try to get an understanding of the whole story but I couldn’t find exactly how these animals come about instead some stories about it.

Chinese Zodiac Folklore
According to one Chinese legend the 12 animals argued as to who would be the first animal in the 12-year cycle. The gods decided to hold a contest in which the animals must cross a river. The first animal to cross the river would be the first on the chart followed by the other animals according to their finish. The rat was the smallest of the animals and was expected by the other animals to finish last. Quickly the 12 animals jumped into the river but unknown to the ox, the rat had jumped on his back. As the ox was about to jump on the riverbank to claim first place, the rat jumped off his back won the race. The pig that was very lazy ended up last. As expected, their peers often tease most children who were born in the year of the pig.

In some story context, cat was in the picture as well. Both the cat and rat were good friends but then the rat betrayed the cat and left the cat out on the race, since then they were sworn enemies.

Besides the west astrology, these animals also represent certain character. So are we a combination of both, since one is base on month and the other is base on year. Are our character bound by these astrology? But somehow we do have some resemblance to the animals we were born on the specific year of. I wonder is that just coincidence or not?



weikhean said...

there are some chinese books that combine chinese zodiacs with horoscopes... perhaps that would be accurate.

Ken said...

I would believe so, but as you know I don't read chinese and I'm losing out a lot here. When I was in Taiwan, the 7 storey bookstores, got almost 1 whole floor that sells just all these astrology books from east to west. Talk about Taiwan, kinda miss Taiwan.

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Copyright 2008 by Ken Ong.
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