Key words£ºcalendar£¬animal£¬horoscope£¬Chinese 
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Genre£ºfolklore Topic£ºHoroscope Words:260
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To reward the animals,
the King named a year for each animal.

The Chinese Horoscope

Author£ºUnknown (China) Source£ºwww.englishfree.com.cn  
Date£º2008-5-26 Editor£ºEmma



(Twelve animals, Chinese paper-cut)

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The Chinese calendar contains cycles of twelve years. A different animal represents each year. The first year of the cycle is the year of the rat. After that comes the year of the ox, the year of the tiger, the rabbit, the dragon, the snake, the horse, the goat, the monkey, the rooster, the dog and the pig. After the pig the cycle begins again.

No one actually knows why the Chinese named the years in honor of these animals but there are several interesting legends which explain the cycle of animals. One story is that once, long ago, a Chinese King invited all the animals to his palace to celebrate the New Year. Only twelve animals accepted the invitation and came to the party. The first animal to arrive was the rat and the next was the ox. The other ten animals came soon after. To reward the animals, the King named a year for each animal.

Now many people say that if a person is born in the year of a certain animal he or she is like that animal. Find the year of your birth on the illustration and then read about the animal your year is named for.

Don't be angry if your year is a snake or a horse or a pig. In the Chinese horoscope all the animals are wise and important. No animal of the horoscope is considered dumb or ugly or evil. The Chinese symbols or characters in the center of the illustration mean "birth" and "alike". They are pronounced "sheng" and "hsiao" in Chinese.

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Discussion£º

Why do the Chinese name the years in honor of those twelve animals?

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