《Chinese Tales for Everyone: Myths and Legends_10-生肖》Kong Shiu Loon (53)

Myths and Legends
(10) The Rat and the Ox
 

     Ancient Chinese astrology was a mathematical estimation of cosmic events based on the moon calendar and time. It began in the Han Dynasty about 200 BC. By coincidence, the 12-year Zodiac Cycle (生肖) is an approximation of the 11.86-year cycle of Jupiter, the largest planet of the solar system.
    To enable convenient and interesting calculation, the ancient Immortal Sage decided to attach an animal to each of the 12-year cycle. A person born of a particular year, say, the year of the dragon, will have the dragon as his/her zodiac sign.
     The Immortal Sage had chosen the 12 animals. He began to place them in positions when he heard the rat and the ox argued loudly.

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