The Story of Chinese Zodiac Signs

Chinese Zodiac

The Chinese Zodiac is a pseudoscientific based on the lunar calendar. It has similarities with Western Astrology but is different in how they get the classification. Both of them have twelve parts and each part have their own characteristic. Today we want to dive more into Chinese Zodiac Signs!

It’s less than a month to Chinese New Year and the Chinese Zodiac (生肖 shēng xiào) play an important part in it! We know that this year will be a Tiger Water but have no idea what’s the origin of it. So here is the story of the beginning of everything!

The “Great Race”

This is a folk story that is well-known as the “Great Race”. So, once upon a time, the Jade Emperor held a race for animals in the world. The Jade Emperor (玉皇) is the supreme ruler of Heaven and the first emperor of China.

One day, the Jade Emperor sent letters to all the animals in his earthly kingdom inviting them to meet him at his palace. To get there, they need to cross a river. The animals that showed up were to be named honorary members of the zodiac.

The next day, the animals start their journey to the palace.

Early Risers, Diligent, and Smart: The Rat & The Ox

The Cat and the Rat were not good at swimming, but they were both quite intelligent. They decided that the best and fastest way to cross the river was to hop on the back of the Ox. The Ox, being kind-hearted and naive, agreed to carry them both across.

As the Ox was about to reach the other side of the river, suddenly the Rat pushed the Cat into the water, and then jumped off the Ox and win first place. The Ox becomes a second place.

Competitive and Fast: Tiger & Rabbit

The third one who makes it is Tiger, then in fourth place is Rabbit. Both of them are fast and competitive, but Tiger was faster. To cross the river, Rabbit needs to hop on stepping stones and floating log, that’s why it is slower than the Tiger.

What makes Tiger cannot get first place because it said the stream is so powerful, more powerful than his power. It was pushed downstream. That’s why the Tiger placed in the third position.

Good Nature Dragon

After that, the Dragon come and was placed in the fifth position. The Jade Emperor was wondering why such a swift airborne creature such as the Loong did not come in first. The Dragon explained that it had to stop by a village and bring rain for all the people, and therefore it was held back. Then, on its way to the finish, it saw the helpless Rabbit clinging onto a log, so it did a good deed and gave a puff of breath to the poor creature so that it could land on the shore. The Jade Emperor was astonished by the Loong’s good nature, and it was named as the fifth animal.

Kind-Hearted Horse & Sneaky Snake

Next, the Jade Emperor can hear the sound of the Horse galloping. Hidden on the Horse’s hoof was the Snake, whose sudden appearance gave it a fright, thus making it fall back and giving the Snake the sixth spot while the Horse placed seventh.

Teamwork: Goat, Monkey, and Rooster

The Rooster cannot swim. Monkey and Goat want to help it! The Rooster found a raft, the Monkey and the Goat tugged and pulled, trying to get all the weeds out of the way. The Jade Emperor was pleased with their teamwork and decided to name the Goat as the eighth animal followed by the Monkey and then the Rooster.

The Easy-Going: Dog and Pig

The eleven place is The Dog. The Jade Emperor was confused since it is the best swimmer and fast. The Dog explained that it is spending a lot of time playing in the water for so long. 

For the Pig, it came the last. The Pig felt hungry in the middle of the race, so it stopped, ate something, and then fell asleep. After it awoke, it finished the race in twelfth place and became the last animal to arrive.

And that’s how we have this Chinese Zodiac Sign now ✨


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