Monday, January 30, 2006

Happy Chinese New Year

Kung Hei Fat Choy!

sometimes also known as
Gong Hay Fat Choy

Chinese Legends about Year of the Dog

The Chinese zodiac dates back more than 3,000 years. There are various legends as to how the twelve animal signs arose.

According to one version, the twelve animals quarreled one day as to who should head the cycle of years.

The gods were asked to decide and proposed a contest: whoever reached the opposite bank of the river first would be lead the cycle, and the rest of the animals would follow according to their finishing order.

The twelve animals gathered at the river bank and jumped in. Unbeknown to the ox, the rat had jumped on his back. As the ox was about to reach the bank, the rat jumped off the ox's back, and won the race. The pig, who was lazy, came last. That is why the rat is the first year of the animal cycle, the ox second, and the pig last.

Another story has it that Buddha named a year after each animal and declared that people born under that sign would take on certain characteristics of the animal.

According to Chinese folklore, people born in the year of the dog have a deep sense of loyalty, are honest and hate injustice. Dogs fight for equality and freedom, making them good leaders -- although they do have an acute desire to please.

Famous dogs include pop stars Jennifer Lopez and Madonna, business tycoon Donald Trump, former U.S. President Bill Clinton and current U.S. President George W. Bush, along with his father. South Korea's President Roh Moo-hyun, born in 1946, also comes under the sign of the dog.

Dogs can be stubborn, defensive, and vicious if provoked. They strive to be the top dog and will do anything to stay there.

Being born in the Year of the Dog usually signifies friendship with people born in the years of the rat, ox, snake and pig. But there could be difficulties with people born under the signs of the dragon and horse -- such as China's President Hu Jintao (horse), Premier Wen Jiabao (another horse) and former premier Zhu Rongji (dragon).
Source here.


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