HOPpy Chinese New Year!
Quick! Chinese New Year is coming soon on Sunday the 22nd of January. This year is the rabbit's time to shine; this year is certainly something to be HOPtimistic about.
So.. how did the Chinese New Year happen, you may be asking?
The story goes that a jade emperor wanted a way of measuring time, so on his birthday he asked animals to line up for a swimming race. He told them that the first 12 across the line will have a year of the zodiac named after them. When the race started, the rat and cat teamed up and asked the ox to take them across, to which he obliged. When the ox was ahead, the rat betrayed the cat and pushed him in and jumped through the finish line, making the rat the winner. The ox came second. The tiger struggled and eventually came close; his perseverance shocked the emperor who named him after the third year.
Incoming, the rabbit hopped onto to a log which carried him over the line. The next to arrive was the dragon. The emperor asked why he didn’t come first if he could fly? To this, he responded, “I had to make rain for animals and plants on the way, as well as blowing a puff of wind for the rabbit to help him.” Amazed by his selflessness, the emperor named him after the fifth. Then, the horse came running for sixth until a snake had wrapped itself around his hoof, jumped off and took sixth. The horse came seventh. The goat, monkey and rooster shared a raft they found; the goat was eighth, the monkey was next and the rooster tenth. The dog trotted along and came eleventh. Finally, it was the boar who took a nap on the way.
How do people celebrate the new year, I hear you ask? According to the tradition, it started with Nian (a Chinese dragon-like monster), who would go around and attack villagers and sometimes eat them. Eventually, it was found out that he feared loud noises and the colour red. Now, every year, people set off firecrackers and decorate their houses in red for the new year.
Happy new year!
I hope you have a hop-pingly brilliant year!