Unless you’re living under a rock, decorations resembling the cute, furry animals have popped up everywhere in the last month or so to mark the Year of the Rabbit.

The Chinese Zodiac appears once every 12 years as part of the cycle of animal signs and their ascribed attributes, based on the lunar calendar.

In Chinese culture, an individual’s personality or events in their life are even ascribed to their relationship to the cycle. Practitioners of Chinese astrology will even offer guidance to couples seeking love or marriage for compatibility based on their signs.

While you may recognise the animals and you may know your own Zodiac sign based on the year of your birth, have you ever wondered how the animals were chosen?

After all, the combination of the rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, goat, monkey, rooster, dog, and pig seems like a curious set, and some may even wonder –– why is there no sign of the cat in the mix?

The exact date that the zodiac was created is not known, but it was officially identified during the Han Dynasty, over 2000 years ago.

There are many varieties of mythology behind the creatures TikTok user @realmummyliz broke down one of the stories in a video using animal figurines that even kids will be able to understand along with some hilarious voice impressions.

Here’s how the story goes: one day, the Jade Emperor organised a cross-country race to choose the 12 fastest animals to reach him. All the animals then held a meeting to discuss how to win.

The cat and the mouse were best friends and as the mouse couldn’t swim, the cat came up with the idea of asking help from the ox to cross the river. The ox agreed to help the duo.

On the day of the race, the rooster fell asleep. The ox, mouse, and cat started their journey before sunrise. As the cat wasn’t used to waking up early, it fell asleep halfway through the journey.

Wanting to win the race, the mouse kicked the cat into the river and cheered the ox on. As they were almost reaching the riverbanks, the ox was attempting to climb up onto dry ground, but the mouse jumped and ran straight to the Jade Emperor first and emerged as the victor. Thus, the ox placed second.

Suddenly, the tiger appeared and asked, “Am I the first to arrive?” but the Jade Emperor replied, “No, you’re the third.” Suddenly, the wind blew and there was a storm: the dragon had arrived. But the rabbit hopped onto the dragon’s head, placing fourth and making the dragon fifth in line.

The Jade Emperor said, “Dragon, you can fly, so why were you so slow? You should’ve placed first.” The dragon replied, “I had the task of making rain in another state earlier that’s why I was late.” Suddenly there was the sound of hooves, but a snake came out and scared the horse. So, the snake was sixth and the horse was in seventh place.

The sheep, monkey, and rooster used a log to cross a river together and achieved their rankings in that order. Then, the dog arrived and was asked by the Jade Emperor, “Why were you late? You can swim.” The dog replied that it was delayed because it was frolicking in the water. The pig made it to twelfth place and then the cat arrived but found out that it was too late. That is why cats always hate mice.

Obviously, this is just a legend with no historical basis, but it certainly is interesting!

Watch the video below:

@realmummyliz CNY Zodiac- Macam Mana Di Pilih? How Was It Chosen? let more people know. bagi lebih ramai org tahu #mummyliz #sayalengarorangciakap #cny #chinesezodiac #animals #sejarah #history #emperorjade #jade #maharaja #tuhan #god #mouse #rat #cow #tiger #snake #horse #dragon #rabbit #monkey #sheep #rooster #dog #pig #cny2023 #year #lunarnewyear #lunar #calendar #hellokitty #cat #kucing #peppapig #choisunye #gongxifacai #waze #grab #grabcar #malaysia #beritatiktok #viral ♬ original sound - Mummy Liz ?| Edutainment

Image credit: @realmummyliz