Vetstreet. All rights reserved.
Vetstreet does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. See Additional Information ›
Feb. 10 marked the start of the 2013 Chinese New Year and the Year of the Snake. The new year begins on the second new moon after the Winter Solstice and is celebrated for two weeks until the moon reaches its brightest phase. What we love about this most important of the Chinese holidays, in addition to the lively celebrations, is the animals.
Each year in the calendar is represented by a cyclical parade of a dozen animals, also known as the Chinese Zodiac. According to legend, the animals chosen for the signs came about either by invitation from Buddha (one story) or from a race conducted by the Jade Emperor.
In the latter tale, the Emperor announced that the animals chosen to represent the years would be the first 12 contestants to finish a grueling race. The last part of the race was swimming across a treacherous river. The Snake, fearing he would be swept away by the current, discreetly wrapped himself around the Horse’s hoof and hitched a ride. When they got to the other side, the snake quickly dismounted and scared the horse, thereby beating him to the finish line.
The order in which the animals completed the race is the order of the Chinese zodiac — Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Sheep, Monkey, Rooster, Dog and Pig. After 12 years, the cycle repeats.
Just as the Western zodiac attributes certain characteristics to people born under a sign, the animal associated with each Chinese year influences personality. How does an association with snakes translate into human qualities? Just observe the snake and his behavior, and it sneaks right up on you.
No need for “hiss-teria” about ever being called a “snake,” which is actually one of the more popular of the Chinese signs. After all, who doesn’t want to be smart, sexy and powerful? Snakes are also seen as charming and graceful.
Like this article? Have a point of view to share? Let us know!
Take our breed quiz to find your next pet.
Get all the best pet news and information sent right to your inbox!
Thank you for subscribing!
An Indiana shelter with a soft spot for
seniors is making life better for a Golden
Retriever with terminal cancer.
From bringing in your puppy or kitten to
telling your friends about him or her, there
are plenty of ways to make a…
Minimize the risk of a bad trick-or-treat
interaction by brushing up on your dog’s
manners before October 31.
Dr. Jenna Ashton shares how to
determine your pet's water intake and tips
for encouraging him to drink more.
The Schapendoes (aka Dutch Sheepdog)
is known for his incredible jumping skills
and cheerful personality.
Parasites are no fun for dogs. Learn how
to protect your canine from heartworms,
hookworms, whipworms and more.
Check out our collection of more than 250 videos about pet training, animal behavior, dog and cat breeds and more.
Wonder which dog or cat best fits your lifestyle? Our new tool will narrow down more than 300 breeds for you.
If the video doesn't start playing momentarily,
please install the latest version of Flash.
Thank you for subscribing.