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Lunar New Year 2019, the year of the Pig!

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Happy new year everyone!

And for that reason, I would like to tell the legend of how the 12 Chinese zodiacs were put into place!


Once upon a time, before the zodiacs were put into place, the Jade Emperor of the heavens made a new decree, stating that the years of the calander would be named after each animal that came to him in that order.


The first to react were the Rat and the Cat, both eager to become the earliest years of the calander, but to arrive at the Jade Emperor, they would have to cross a large river. Both the Rat and the Cat were bad at swimming, and would probably drown in the stream.


Therefore, when they noticed the Ox beginning to enter the river, they both jumped up on the back of the Ox, getting a ride over to the other side. But right as they were nearing the other side, the Rat pushed the Cat into the river, letting the Cat be dragged away by the strong current of the river, drowning it (this is supposedly why cats hunt rodents according to Chinese legends). As the Rat and the Ox came to the other side, the Rat quickly jumped off the back of the Ox and sprinted through the heavenly gates, reaching the Jade Emperor first, gaining the first year in the calander.


After the Rat came the Ox, slowly walking through the heavenly gates, arriving at the feet of the Jade Emperor as the second, scoring the second year of the calander to be named after the Ox.


The Tiger, strong and vigilant, came third through the heavenly gates, arriving at the Jade Emperor. The Tiger, supposedly the strongest and fiercest of all the animals, explained that the current was a bit stronger than it used to, resulting in the Tiger coming third, scoring the third year to be named after the Tiger.


Just as the Tiger finished explaining, the Rabbit came jumping through the heavenly gates in a sprint only a Rabbit could produce. The Rabbit had skipped from rock to rock over the river, only narrowingly getting over without getting dragged away by the current. This scored the Rabbit the fourth year of the calander to be named after it.


In fifth place came the mighty Dragon, and this made the Jade Emperor ponder. Why didn't this great flying beast not get first place? The Dragon explained, saying that it had to stop at a village to give their crops rain. And when it soared over the river, it saw the Rabbit struggling to get back up on the rocks it had skipped across, and with a mighty breath, the Dragon pushed the Rabbit up onto the shore again. The Dragon was awarded the fifth year of the calander to be named after it, even though the Jade Emperor would have wanted to give it a better spot because the goodness the Dragon had displayed.


In what seemed like sixth place, the mighty Horse came galopping towards the heavenly gates, but what it had not realized, was that the Snake had hid itself on the Horse, and as the Snake would show itself, the Horse was startled and fell to the ground in shock. Quickly taking the opportunity, the Snake slithered to a sixth place through the heavenly gates.


Disappointed that it had been tricked by the Snake, the Horse reluctantly walked through the heavenly gates and arrived at the Jade Emperor to score the seventh year to be named after it.


After a while, the Goat, the Monkey, and the Rooster had crossed the river with their collective powers. The Rooster had found a raft, the Goat dragged the raft from one side to the other, and the Monkey pushed all the weeds away for the raft to safely pass over the river. Happy with the teamwork displayed, the first to get an award was the Goat, scoring the eighth year ...


the Monkey the ninth year ...


and the Rooster the tenth year.


As the eleventh to go through the heavenly gates and arrive at the Jade Emperor, the Dog came. Even though the Dog was supposed to be the best swimmer and the best runner og the animals, it was too busy having fun in the river, resulting in it arriving this late.


And as the Jade Emperor was about to end the race for the calander, loud "Oinks" were heard as the Pig went through the heavenly gates, arriving at the Jade Emperor. The Pig had gotten hungry half way through the race for the calander names, so it had taken a break to eat. After eating, the Pig had become to full that it took a nap. As the Pig woke from the nap, it rushed to the heavenly gates, just narrowingly getting the 12th year of the calander to be named after it.


This is of course just one of the many iterations of the legend regarding the 12 zodiacs in the Chinese Lunar calander. Some don't even mention the Cat, because of how the Cat hadn't been introduced to China by India at the time of the creationg of the Lunar Calander with its Zodiacs. Some iterations tell different ways of how the animal to over the river and up to the Jade Emperor, but they all have one thing in common, the order of the animals.

I hope you liked reading this!


Edited by Macradon

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