Saturday, January 29, 2011

Chinese Zodiac Origins

I have now posted about each animal of the Chinese zodiac, but there is still the story of how this zodiac came to be.

The ruler of Heaven, the Jade Emperor, thought it would be a good idea to have a race to assign twelve animals to the zodiac. At the time it is said that Cat and Rat were good friends, both were also excited about the race who decided to leave early to get a head start. Rat tricked Cat, however which lead the two to be enemies.
The Rat was asked to wake up Cat early the morning of the race, however Rat simply woke up early and didn’t wake up Cat. Cat slept throughout the day and lost the race.

All the animals in the race had to go through a river, with Rat being a poor swimmer asked the Ox to allow Rat to be carried on Ox’s back. Ox agreed and Ox being the fastest getting through allowed Rat to jump off of Ox’s back at the other side of the river, becoming the first animal of the zodiac. Ox came right behind of Rat and took second.

Next in place was the Tiger who went alone across the river, swimming against the strong currents and became third. Rabbit came alone, too, who jumped from stone to stone across the river and was fourth.
Next was Dragon, who was only fifth seeing as Dragon had to stop to make rain to help the people and creatures of the earth.

The Horse came soon after the Dragon with the Snake hidden in the Horse’s hoof and gave Horse a fright when it came out. The fright the Horse got of Snake caused Snake to become sixth of the zodiac while Horse seventh.

Ram, Monkey and Rooster soon came to the end of the race, who used a raft to get across the river. The Jade Emperor declared Ram eighth, Monkey ninth and Rooster tenth. Dog came afterwards after deciding to take an extra long swim in the river for fun and Boar came twelfth due to the poor decision of having a feast and taking a nap during the race.

After this, the placing of the animals was how they were placed within the zodiac. Cat, however, was unhappy at the fact that Rat tricked Cat and was last in the race but couldn’t do anything,  it was from here on that Cat and Rat were enemies.

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