Wednesday ushered in the Chinese New Year and the year of the Snake. The legend states that people acquire the traits of the animal of their birth year.
People born in the year of the snake are allegedly endowed with tremendous wisdom and are deep thinkers. They are good looking people but are often vain. They rely on their own judgement, and just like the animal — are often on guard.
There are twelve animals that make up the Chinese Horoscope. Each animal is assigned to a year making a 12-year cycle. After five of these cycles pass, there will have been a complete 60-year cycle.
Two different legends explain the history of why animals are chosen for the years, and why they are in their specific order.
One story goes that Buddha called upon all the animals in the world to bid him farewell as he prepared for his departure from Earth. However, only twelve animals came. He rewarded them by naming a year after each of them in the order they arrived.
Another story explains that the Jade King, bored in Heaven, called upon his advisors to bring him 12 different animals. Invitations were sent informing the animals to come to attend the gathering. When they arrived, the animals stood in no particular order, but the smallest animal, the rat, hopped on the ox’s back and started to play the flute. The king was impressed, and gave him first place, and then proceeded to rank each of the animals, thereby creating a horoscope.