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The Chinese zodiac: Which animal are you?

Updated: 2016-02-02 14:23:22

( Ecns.cn )

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The Chinese zodiac. [Photo/Ecns.cn]

The Chinese zodiac, or shengxiao, refers to the circle of 12 animals that measure the cycles of time. Signs or animals are determined by the lunar year in which you were born.

Legend has it that a god beckoned all animals to bid him farewell before his departure from Earth. Only 12 of them, namely the rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, goat, monkey, rooster, dog and pig arrived, with each given a place of honor in a year based on the order of arrival.

Why is there no cat?

It's a pity for cat lovers, but here's the story. At that time, the cat and the rat were good friends. The cat said to the rat: "We should arrive early to sign up, but I usually get up late." The rat then promised to give the cat a wakeup call. But on that very morning, the rat was too excited to recall the promise. The result was that the cat was too late for the party.

So the rat was the fastest runner?

Of course not. But he was the smartest. The rat thought up a good idea. He made the ox carry him on condition that he sang for the ox. When the ox was almost at the finishing line, the rat slid in front, and became the first lucky animal of the Chinese zodiac.

The Chinese zodiac remains popular in some East Asian countries such as China, Vietnam, Japan, the Philippines, Thailand and Mongolia.

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