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Tomorrow(7 Feb) we celebrate the Lunar New Year often known as Spring Festival. The time of the year which signifies celebration and merriment for millions of Chinese people all over the world. The Chinese calendar has a twelve year cycle and one of the most important characteristics of Chinese New Year calendar is that it names each of the twelve years after an animal.

Tonite we send off The Pig and welcome in the Year of the Rat. In the Lunar Calendar, there's a cycle of 12 animals. The Rat is the first animal of the cycle.
Read more about the 12 animals ->

Tradition says that Lord Buddha had called for all the animals to come to him before he departed from the earth. When the cat got to know about the news, he told rat about it and the two animals decided to go together the next day. However, the next morning the rat did not wake up the cat. Therefore, the cat could not make it to the gathering on time and did not get a year. This is why there is no year of the cat and this is one of the reasons why cats hate rats.

The rat made it first to the assembly and received the first year. Though the rat did a lot of trickery to reach first to the congregation. At first he tricked the ox to let him ride on its head. The ox agreed and they went together. Just when they were about to reach to the assembly the clever rat jumped off the ox's head and got through the finish line first. This is why the year of the rat is the first year in the cycle and the year of the ox is the second.

This is probably the reason why the first of the twelve years is the Year of the Rat then followed by the year of Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Sheep, Monkey, Rooster, Dog and Pig.

But only twelve animals came to offer Lord Buddha farewell and as a token of appreciation he named a year after each of the twelve animals in the order they arrived. In this way each year got linked with an animal. People born in that year are believed to share different traits.

44 Divulge:

ellen b. said...

Happy New Year to you! Enjoy...

Sandy Carlson said...

Happy New Year! That's fun.

jams o donnell said...

Happy New year. Have fun!

etteY said...

Happy New Year!! Thank you for visiting my blog :)

princess said...

"Gong Hey Fat Choy" to you, too. Love those cute bugsies!

ellen_heartbeats said...

Blessed New year!...got you thru kyky's blog..I will add you to my link...hope you do the same thing..

Melissa said...

Happy New Year!! Happy WW, too!!

ZJ said...

Cute rats!!
Happy New Year of the Rats :D

Utah Mommy said...

Awww! cute mice! My son said look mom! That's mouse! lol! So i told him mice because they're two of them. Happy WW!
Totally Worn Out
The Future Pianist

si kiky said...

happy lunar year, sure it will be empty in busy orchard road tomorrow :)

Yen said...

Happy New Year to you!!!:)

Mama Duck said...

Happy New Year - great photo!

**"Liza"** said...

Happy new year to you!!

Gabriel said...

Happy New Year, Napaboaniya!

Thanks for dropping by. Have a great WW!

My post: Ergonomics.

Kristin said...

Wow happy new year! Look so different and so beautoful!!

Shari said...

Cute picture. I'll have to show it to my kids.

stephanie said...

I would love to be back in Singapore during the new year. In which mall did you take this photo?

Happy Year of the Rat :)

♥Shabem-®♥ said...

Hope you will have a great celebration. Happy New year!

Shelia said...

I have a beautiful large Chinese wall calender that depicts the 12 years and each of the animals hanging on my kitchen wall. It was a gift and I love it!

Happy New Year! :D

js said...

i'm born in the year of rat too. that means i'll be 24 this year. i feel so old.

Kong Hei Fatt Choy, Elaine. Chok fook nei long ma ching san.

OneLuvGurl said...

My son is a pig & I am a monkey!

Mine is here. Happy WW! :)

[s][e][x][y][i][n][r][e][d] said...

Gong Xi Fa Cai to you!!!
And happy WW!!!

Gandalf & Grayson said...

Bubye Piggies!

Eve said...

Happy New Year. Enjoy your year of Rats. ;)

Heart of Rachel said...

That's a wonderful photo and I enjoyed reading the post. Kung Hei Fat Choi!

We're excited to welcome welcome the New Year tonight. We have some Tikoy to eat, pasta and something sweet.

J@n!ce said...

That's so coincident that we chose the same pic to my our greeting to welcome the Year of the Rat.
May you & your family have good health & prosperity :)

Cheers...

poor man's nicole richie said...

Gong Xi Fa Cai or Kung Hei Fat Choi which ever applies = )


Our Chinatown here is also busy for the festivity. I witnessed a dragon dance this afternoon from our office building.
I love Tikoy!
Morning Sniffles

CRIZ LAI said...

May 2008 Year of Brown Earth Rat brings you lots of Good Health, Happiness and Prosperity! Gong Xi Fa Cai!

Robert said...

Having just adopted a daughter from China, you think I'd know some of this. Thanks for the lesson, and the picture.

Juliana RW said...

That is cute rat :D

Visit My WW : Candid Camera Thanks

Gong Xi Fa Cai!

lisa marie said...

That's the most wordy wordless wednesday I've seen so far. :) Very informative. :)

I will be celebrating my grandma's birthday on the 7th. :)

Neen said...

Happy New Year!

the teach said...

Ling, Happy New Year to you and your whole family! Festivities start tomorrow in Main Street here where I live! Thanks for visiting my WW post!

cynematic said...

Gong xi fa cai!

Lucky Chinese gold @

P i l l o w b o o k

Cynematic

Corey~living and loving said...

what a colorful and fun photo. :)
Thank you for visiting my blog as well.
happy WW!

Carver said...

I hope you have a happy new year celebration. I don't participate in wordless wednesday but wanted to wish you well as you end the Chineese calendar year. Also, thanks so much for visiting me and for your comment on my good news. Take care, Carver

Natalie said...

Happy Chinese New Year!!!

C. R. Morris said...

I knew that but I didn't know that the right way..like you just said. So, Happy New Year!!! And thanks so much for sharing!

byrningbunny said...

Cute! Happy New Year!

Amanda said...

great photo

Melanie said...

Happy New Year to you!!

Our Happy Happenings

Livin' With Me

mama meji said...

Happy New Year!

julie said...

To celebrate the start of a New Cycle, here is something for you:

http://teacherjulie.com/2008/02/08/awards-from-bang/

eastcoastlife said...

祝您在2008里有:
"鼠"不尽的快乐!
"鼠"不尽的收获!
"鼠"不尽的钞票!
"鼠"不尽的笑容!
"鼠"不尽的幸福!
"鼠"不尽的美满生活!

Happy Lunar New Year!!

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