(生肖) also know as the Chinese Zodiac in the west. It is a
methodical plan of future actions for each year, relating to an animal
and its attributes, revolving around a 12 years cycle.
are variations of a famous legend explaining how the twelve animals
were chosen, to represent each of the twelve years, in a cycle.
Here is the story.
Jade Emperor had the enormous task of choosing an animal, to represent
each of the chinese zodiac year and in what order of ranking each
chosen animal should be placed. After sleepless nights and
endless head scratching, he decided to organise a race across the
mightiness river in the whole of China. The twelve animals will
be chosen and will be ranked in order of their finishing position, in
With the idea fresh in
his mind, the Jade Emperor quickly dispatched words out, informing all
the animals in the kingdom, to prepare for a race of their lives.
The next morning the cat was the first animal to arrive at the start of
the race. His best friend the rat was the second to arrive,
knowing they were useless at swimming they decided to enlist the help
of the mighty ox. The ox was a fine young gentleman, so he
happily agreed to transport the friends across the rapid river.
the crowd gathered to watch the epic race for glory, the rest of the
animals arrived at the river bank readying for the start of the
race. In total thirteen animals have arrived for the race, the
cat, rat, ox, dog, snake, monkey, tiger, rooster, rabbit, sheep, horse
and the almighty dragon. With his indomitable strength and
relentless endurance, the dragon was odds on favourite to win the race,
to become the leader of the chinese zodiac.
Jade Emperor fires the starter gun, signalling the start of the epic
race. As the animals set off for the race of their lives, the rat
pushed the cat into the river and he had to be rescued by the coast
guards. With the rat on board, the ox powered through the field
and quickly overtook the fierce tiger, even the almighty dragon was no
match against the raw power of the ox. He continued powering
through the field pass the rabbit, pass the snake and finally pass the
By the start of the last straight
to the finish line, the ox was in a commanding lead. Just as he
was about to cross the finish line, the rat cunningly jumped off the
ox's back and pass the finish line in first place. The rat became
the first animal to represent the first year of the Shēngxiào with the
ox second. The tiger managed to claw his way back to third place
after a dismal start, in fourth place was the agile rabbit who hopped
from stone to stone, the almighty dragon only managed fifth place as he
had to stop, to make rain.
The snake hid
in the horse's hoof and jumped ahead of the horse into sixth place with
the horse finished in seventh. Eighth, ninth and tenth goes to
the sheep, monkey and the rooster as they crossed the river on a
home-made raft. The dog only finished in eleventh because he was
late for the race, as he wanted to shampoo his fur, to make it shine in
The lazy pig finished last in
twelfth place because he fell asleep, on the river bank. The cat
didn't even finish the race as he was too angry with the rat and from
then on all rats became the mortal enemy of the cats.