My thoughts on the Chinese New Year

It’s the time of year when China has reached the start of the New Year. It does sound strange, but the times are so different in each country; for instance, when I went to Australia at the age of 12, the country was nine hours ahead of England and it was our summer vacation, despite it being winter in Aussie. There was also a humorous reference in that Thunderbirds episode (Lord Parker’s ‘Oliday) where Scott, Virgil and Brains are returning home from a rescue mission that occurred in Italy and they contact Jeff, stating; “we’ll be home for breakfast” and Jeff’s like “breakfast? It’s 2am” and they point out that they got the times in the different locations mixed up. And who can possibly forget that Simpsons one (Bart Vs Australia) where they arrive in Aussie and Homer asks Lisa what time it is there. Because of the different times in each country, they don’t all commence with the same season, which explains why China celebrates their New Year later in January.
And speaking of the Chinese New Year, here’s where
I first heard about it. I was eight and at elementary school when our teacher told us all about the tradition. She also read a story about the origin of the celebration. The story began where 12 animals; a dog, dragon, hare, horse, monkey, ox, pig, ram, rat, rooster, snake and tiger, were squabbling over which one was the best animal and which one would win some prize for best animal or something. So in an attempt to cease them from bickering, a Chinese emperor arranged for a swimming race across the river. Whoever won got the prize. The animals agreed and the race commenced. During the race, the ox was in the lead and the rat was struggling to swim. So it cheated and climbed on the ox’s back, thus taking the lead. The rat won the race and got the prize and these are the rest of the finishing positions starting with the 2nd place; ox, tiger, hare, dragon, snake, horse, ram, monkey, rooster, dog and pig.
Since the story, each year has represented an animal. If a year was the year of the rat, the next one would be the year of the ox, then the tiger and so on. After the year of the pig, it goes back to the start. I was born in 1990, which was the year of the horse. I didn’t know that until I was eight. I was pretty disappointed when I found that out. I’ve got nothing against horses whatsoever or any other animal, except wasps (I have a history). But at the time, I was more into the more vicious animals. I had hoped to be born in the year of the dragon or tiger or the rat as it won the race. But then, one can’t choose when to be born. It all depends when your mother’s pregnant. Being born in the year of the horse doesn’t seem bad though. Personally it makes me feel stronger, considering you can ride on it and take power over people not riding on horses. Maybe it’s the medieval movies I watched in my life.
Last year, 2016(!), was the year of the monkey, which means that 2017 is the year of the rooster.
Happy Chinese New Year everybody!


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