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It’s The Year of Ram

Do you know why 羊 (Yáng) Ram is placed as the eighth animal in the Chinese Zodiac? On the Jade Emperor’s birthday, all the animals in the kingdom were gathered for a “Great Race”. The twelve animals who reached the finish line first would get a zodiac named after them. The racecourse would take about a day to complete and included a fast, flowing river. As the animals prepared to strut their stuff, Rat and Cat asked Ox if he could carry them across the river since they couldn’t swim. “Of course,” said Ox and let them ride on his back. But, just as Ox reached the shore, Mouse pushed Cat into the river, jumped to shore, and reached the finish line first. Then came Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse.

Not long afterwards a raft arrived carrying the Ram, the Monkey and the Rooster. They explained to the Emperor how they had shared the raft that the Rooster had found. The Ram and the Monkey had cleared weeds and pushed the raft to the shore. The Emperor was very pleased that the Ram, the Rooster and the Monkey has worked together. And he named the Ram would be the eighth zodiac animal.

The 2015 Better Chinese Calendar features 12 colorful pictures that describe 12 notable figures of ancient China like 李白 (Lǐ Bái), the greatest Chinese poet of all time, 孙悟空 (Sūn Wùkōng), the Monkey King and 月老 (Yuè lǎo), the god of marriage and love. Learn Chinese with the 12 notable figures and the legend behind them.



Joanne Hsu is a Marketing Associate at Better Chinese. Originally from Taiwan, Joanne came to the States for school and is excited to introduce and share Chinese culture with the world. Please visit our blog if you love Chinese culture and Chinese language teaching or just stop by for some interesting stories about China.

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