The 12 animals of the Chinese zodiac - to tune of "On Top of Old Smokey"
(note: Lunar Year starts on Lunar New Year Day, usually in last half of January
or first half of February. So, if you were born on January 7, 1985, you are not an Ox
but a Rat!)

Check date of Lunar New Year & other festivals        Rats on Rabbit Zodiac Game 

(to tune of "On Top of Old Smokey"




































Play, play-play-play-play



By the way Do you know about the legend of the Chinese
Zodiac? Let me tell tell you about that. Enjoy it!  (thank you, Pascale!)

A long, long time ago the jade emperor wanted to find
a means of measuring timwe, and so he organised a
race,and invited all animal to take part. When they
had all lined up on the bank of the river the emperor
explained that to win the big prize- a permanent place
in zodiac- they would have to be one of the first
twelve to cross the swiftly flowing river and reach a
designated spot on the opposite shore. Their order in
the cycle would be decided by the order in which they
finished the race. And so the race began.

The cat wondered how would she get across if she
afriad of water. At the same time, the ox wondered how
he would cross with his poor eyesight. The rat
suggested that he and the cat jump onto the ox's back
and guide him across. But as they were corssing the
river, the rat snuck up behind the unsuspecting cat
and pushed her into the water. Just as the ox came
lumbering ashore, the rat jumped off and raced over
the line first, closely followed by the ox. By the
time the cat had managed to save herself from drowning
and reached the finishing line it was too late for her
to win any place in the calendar, and so she vowed to
be the enemy of the rat forever after.

After the ox came the tiger, out of breath as she
explained to the emperor how difficult it had been to
cross the river with the strong currents dragging her
downstream all the time . but because she was so
strong she had eventually made it to shore and so was
named the third animal in the cycle.

Just then there was a flash of fur and whiskers,
and out of nowhere appeared the rabbit. He explained
that he had crossed the river by jumping onto a
floating log that had at first moved rapidly
downstream, but had then suddenly been washed to
shore. Thus he became the fouth animal in the zodiac

Coming in fifth place was the dragon, flapping his
great wings and breathing fire into the air. The
Emperor was was interested to know to why such a great
creature like the dragon, who could fly, hadn't
managed to arrive first. The dragon explained that he
had been close to finishing when he saw a poor
helpless rabbit clinging to a log that was being
washed downstream. He therefore stopped and gave a
mighty puff of breath to blow the log to the shore. By
the time this good deed had been done, four of the
other animals had already arrived.

No sooner had the dragon reached the finish line
than the sound of galloping hooves was heard and the
horse appeared. Hidden in the horse's mane was the
snake, who hissed and moved just before the horse
crossed the line. The horse got such a shock that she
reared up and before she could recover the snake had
slithered off her back and crossed the line sixth
place, beating the horse into seventh.

Not long after after that, the sheep, monkey and
rooster reached the bank of the river together. These
three animals had helped each other all through the
race. The rooster had found some logs tied together,
and invited the other two creatures to go with it. The
sheep and the monkey had worked together to clear the
weeds, pulled and pushed and eventually managed to get
to the other side. The cooperation greatly pleased the
Emperor and he promptly declared that the sheep was
eighth, the monkey ninth, and the rooster tenth.

Some time later the dog arrived in eleventh place.
The Emperor expressed surprise that it had taken her
so long despite the fact she was a better swimmer than
most of the animals. The dog explained that it was
precisely her love of the water that had delayed her-
it had been so refreshing that she simply couldn't
resist playing around for a while. Just as the emperor
was wondering if no other animal would reachthe
finish, an oink, oink,oink was heard and of the pig
came weddling into view. To nobody's surprise he
related how he hadn't been able to resist the
temptation of stopping and filling his belly with
acorns. After that had felt the need for a nap, and
had only woken up a short time before. And so the pig
became the twelfth and last animal of zodiac cycle.