I'm a Horse. What are you?

 January 26, 2009


Chinese New Year is the longest and most important celebration in the Chinese calendar. The Chinese year 4707 begins today. This is the year of the Ox.

Chinese months are reckoned by the lunar calendar, with each month beginning on the darkest day. New Year festivities traditionally start on the first day of the month and continue until the fifteenth, when the moon is brightest.

I read a couple of legends of the Chinese Zodiac, though I will admit my knowledge thereof is pretty much limited to what I can gleen off the paper place mat at the Tai Wah buffet. Here is what I've learned...

LEDGEND 1-Buddha asked all the animals to meet him on Chinese New Year. Twelve came, and Buddha named a year after each one. He announced that the people born in each animal's year would have some of that animal's personality. Those born in ox years tend to be painters, engineers, and architects. They are stable, fearless, obstinate, hard-working and friendly.

LEGEND 2-The Jade Emperor in heaven to decide the order of the zodiac, he invited all the animals to participate in a race. The order of the zodiac would be decided by the order in which animals finished the race. When the competition started, the ox was leading the pack, but the rat jumped on his back. Since the rat was so light and small, the ox did not realize that the rat was hitching a ride. As the ox approached the finish line, the rat leap off his back and was crowned as the first animal to complete the race. After all the creatures finished the race, the order was finalized: rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, goat, monkey, rooster, dog, and pig.
According to legend, those born in a particular year of an animal are said to possess particular character traits associated with that animal.

When we began our Chinese adoption I thought our daughter would be born in the year of the Pig. By the time we got to our log in date I thought the year of the Rat. I bought stuffed animals for each and I am starting to accumulate a rather interesting collection of critters. I am sending out a New Year's prayer tonight that my China daughter will be born, healthy and beautiful in the year of the Ox. One more animal for the collection!

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