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Lower Murray Philatelic Society

Zi (Rat)

Imaginative, generous, successful, popular, curious

· Feb 10, 1948 – Jan 28, 1949

· Jan 28, 1960 – Feb 14, 1961

· Feb 15, 1972 – Feb 2, 1973

· Feb 2, 1984 – Feb 19, 1985

· Feb 19, 1996 – Feb 6, 1997

· Feb 7, 2008 – Jan 25, 2009

· Jan 25, 2020 – Feb 11, 2021

  


The Chinese Zodiac

Chinese New Year, also known as Lunar New Year or Spring Festival, is China's most important festival. It is also the most important celebration for families and a week of an official public holiday.

Chinese New Year 2020 falls on Saturday, January 25, 2020, beginning a year of the Rat.

The Chinese Zodiac Legend

When the Jade Emperor – the Emperor of Heaven and Earth – decided it was time his earthly subjects were given the means to measure the passing of the seasons, he turned to the animal kingdom for help. Each year in the calendar’s 12-year cycle would be marked with an animal.

The news was met by eager ears, but there was a problem. There were far more than 12 animals, and each wanted a place in the zodiac.

The emperor decided he would hold a race to determine which of the animals he would include. The animals, anxious to have their names written among the stars, were tasked with swimming over a river with a particularly swift current. The first 12 to make it across to the emperor would win a spot.

For some, the task was easy; others needed to get a little help from their friends.

The rat and the cat, excellent friends but inept swimmers, enlisted the help of the good-natured ox. They asked if they could ride on its back so all three could cross the finish line together. The ox heartily agreed, and the plan was set.

The unlikely trio set out to win, and, though the ox was slow on land, it was a strong swimmer and made up time in the water, soon pulling ahead of the others.

The cat and the rat were overjoyed that their plan was working, but the rat had its sights set on glory. It pushed the cat into the water and, once safely on the shore, leaped from the ox’s back and scurried across the finish line to claim the first place in the zodiac, with the ox lumbering behind to take the second.

In their wake came the tiger. Tired from fighting the strong current, it was relieved to take third place.

Soon after, the rabbit came bounding through in fourth place, though it didn’t escape unscathed. While hopping from stone to stone in the river, a misstep plunged it into the river; luckily, it was able to climb onto a floating log and a gust of wind propelled the vessel to the riverbank.

Next came the dragon, soaring effortlessly through the clouds to land at the Jade Emperor’s feet. The emperor, confused by the dragon’s failure to win (it did have the advantage of flight, after all), asked the dragon to explain what had happened.

The dragon, ever so charitable, was delayed by his efforts to extinguish a fire in a farmer’s field and to blow the troubled rabbit across the river to shore. Touched, the emperor inducted the dragon as the fifth animal of the zodiac.

At this point, the horse came galloping out of the water, well on its way to claiming the next spot, only to be startled when the snake came slithering up. The horse reared in shock as the snake calmly crossed the finish line to claim the sixth place and relegate the horse to seventh.

A short while later, the sheep, monkey and rooster walked ashore. The three had worked together to cross the river in a raft. And, though they arrived together, the monkey and rooster felt the sheep deserved eighth place for being such a calming influence when they had panicked during the arduous journey. The sheep took eighth place, while the monkey and rooster were ninth and 10th respectively.

Not long after, the dog came charging out of the water to 11th place. As the best swimmer of the group, the others thought the dog was a sure winner, but it was having too much fun playing in the water to worry about the race.

The eleven winners waited alongside the emperor, eager to see who would earn the final spot. Their answer came in the form of a loud grunt. The pig, left hungry by the treacherous crossing, had stopped on the riverbank to search for food. Belly full, it had taken a quick nap, only to wake in fright, worried there would be no spots left to claim.

The poor cat, washed up on the wrong side of the river, looked on in despair as the emperor and his 12 champions celebrated. Bitter with betrayal, the cat swore vengeance.

Its ancestors have been enemies to rats ever since.

This is an updated version of a story created by Ciaran McEneaney.

  

The Chinese Zodiac Calendar

Which one are you???

Chou (Ox)


Confident, honest, patient, conservative, strong


-Jan 29, 1949 – Feb 16, 1950


-Feb 15, 1961 – Feb 4, 1962


-Feb 3, 1973 – Jan 22, 1974

 

-Feb 20, 1985 – Feb 8, 1986


-Feb 7, 1997 – Jan 27, 1998


-Jan 26, 2009 – Feb 13, 2010


-Feb 12, 2021 – Jan 31, 2022

  

Yin (Tiger)


Sensitive, tolerant, brave, active, resilient


-Feb 17, 1950 – Feb 5, 1951


-Feb 5, 1962 – Jan 24, 1963


-Jan 23, 1974 – Feb 10, 1975


-Feb 9, 1986 – Jan 28, 1987


-Jan 28, 1998 – Feb 15, 1999


-Feb 14, 2010 – Feb 2, 2011


-Feb 1, 2022 – Jan 21, 2023

Mao (Rabbit)

 

Affectionate, kind, gentle,ഀ compassionate, merciful


-Feb 6, 1951 – Jan 26, 1952


-Jan 25, 1963 – Feb 12, 1964


-Feb 11, 1975 – Jan 30, 1976


-Jan 29, 1987 – Feb 16, 1988


-Feb 16, 1999 – Feb 4, 2000


-Feb 3, 2011 – Jan 22, 2012


-Jan 22, 2023 – Feb 9, 2024

Chen (Dragon)


Enthusiastic, intelligent, lively, energetic,

innovative


-Jan 27, 1952 – Feb 13, 1953


-Feb 13, 1964 – Feb 1, 1965


-Jan 31, 1976 – Feb 17, 1977


-Feb 17, 1988 – Feb 5, 1989


-Feb 5, 2000 – Jan 23, 2001


-Jan 23, 2012 – Feb 9, 2013


-Feb 10, 2024 – Jan 28, 2025

Si (Snake)


Charming, intuitive, romantic, highly perceptive, polite

 

 

-Feb 14, 1953 – Feb 2, 1954

 

-Feb 2, 1965 – Jan 20, 1966

 

-Feb 18, 1977 – Feb 6, 1978

 

-Feb 6, 1989 – Jan 26, 1990

 

-Jan 24, 2001 – Feb 11, 2002

 

-Feb 10, 2013 – Jan 30, 2014

 

-Jan 29, 2025 – Feb 16, 2026

Wu (Horse)


Diligent, friendly, sophisticated, talented, clever

 

 

-Feb 3, 1954 – Jan 23, 1955

 

-Jan 21, 1966 – Feb 8, 1967

 

-Feb 7, 1978 – Jan 27, 1979

 

-Jan 27, 1990 – Feb 14, 1991

 

-Feb 12, 2002 – Jan 31, 2003

 

-Jan 31, 2014 – Feb 18, 2015

 

-Feb 17, 2026 – Feb 5, 2027

Wei (Sheep)

 

Artistic, calm, reserved, happy, kind


 

-Jan 24, 1955 – Feb 11, 1956

 

-Feb 9, 1967 – Jan 29, 1968

 

-Jan 28, 1979 – Feb 15, 1980

 

-Feb 15, 1991 – Feb 3, 1992

 

-Feb 1, 2003 – Jan 21, 2004

 

-Feb 19, 2015 – Feb 7, 2016

 

-Feb 6, 2027 – Jan 25, 2028

Shen (Monkey)


Witty, lively, flexible, humorous, curious


-Feb 12, 1956 – Jan 30, 1957

 

-Jan 30, 1968 – Feb 16, 1969

 

-Feb 16, 1980 – Feb 4, 1981

 

-Feb 4, 1992 – Jan 22, 1993

 

-Jan 22, 2004 – Feb 8, 2005

 

-Feb 8, 2016 – Jan 27, 2017

 

-Jan 26, 2028 – Feb 12, 2029

 

You (Rooster)


Shrewd, honest, communicative, motivated, punctual


-Jan 31, 1957 – Feb 17, 1958

 

-Feb 17, 1969 – Feb 5, 1970

 

-Feb 5, 1981 – Jan 24, 1982

 

-Jan 23, 1993 – Feb 9, 1994

 

-Feb 9, 2005 – Jan 28, 2006

 

-Jan 28, 2017 – Feb 15, 2018

 

-Feb 13, 2029 – Feb 2, 2030

 

Xu (Dog)


Loyal, honest, responsible, courageous,

warm-hearted

 

-Feb 18, 1958 – Feb 8, 1959

 

-Feb 6, 1970 – Jan 26, 1971

 

-Jan 25, 1982 - Feb 12, 1983

 

-Feb 10, 1994 – Jan 30, 1995

 

-Jan 29, 2006 – Feb 17, 2007

 

-Feb 16, 2018 – Feb 4, 2019

 

-Feb 3, 2030 – Jan 22, 2031

Hai (Boar/Pig)


Sincere, tolerant, hard-working, honest, optimistic


-Feb 8, 1959 – Jan 27, 1960

 

-Jan 27, 1971 - Feb 14, 1972

 

-Feb 13, 1983 - Feb 1, 1984

 

-Jan 31, 1995 - Feb 18, 1996

 

-Feb 18, 2007 - Feb 6, 2008

 

-Feb 5, 2019 – Jan 24, 2020

 

-Jan 23, 2031 – Feb 10, 2032