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Aug-30-2011 19:58printcomments

Invasion of Rabbits.

Is it the year of the cat or rabbit?

Rabbits and cats
Photos courtesy: Oleg Shirokov

(SIMFEROPOL, Ukraine) - Twelve years have already passed after the last Cat year which we celebrated at the end of the last century – in 1999. And here comes an unexpected metamorphosis. Of course we knew that the year of cat is also the year of hare or rabbit for some Asian people, but nobody expected that rabbit to come to us and pull over by all paws... his competitors.

But maybe it happened because the Cat – as a symbol of year – is the Japanese symbol. And we suppose that does make it the main symbol everywhere, as well as Japan. The result was an economic miracle for the Undersky empire – and even if it the year of Rabbit, with industrious Chinese doing milliards of them and a whole world already reformed – now orientally it is still year of long-eared creature.

From February, 3, 2011 the year of White Hare will come on the Chinese lunar-sun calendar of a 12-year old animal cycle. The rabbit may be almost the same, but finally it is year of Hare! But why are we crowded with images of the long-ear pet? It seems, obtaining a photo of wild hare is far more difficult – it is a forest beast and it is necessary to hunt and catch him, which is not easy, and you can't always tell if a rabbit is nearby. Take great photos of these creatures when you have a chance.

The origin of the Chinese horoscope is linked to the name of Buddha. Before Buddhism, Chinese conducted the more difficult system of chronology. 'Hare' in Chinese is Mao - But this also the name of famous Chairman Mao!

Legend tells how a hare turned on his place, that it has a contest with a dragon and won. A dog also was dissatisfied and bit a hare, for which it was punished, getting a place in the end of a turn before a pig. All other animals also got their places as a result of hard competition.

In another legend it was hard for Buddha to understand exactly who was before him. While a buffalo and tiger argued for a right for championship, the animals that ran swiftly were the hare, or rabbit, or cat. These animals divided a fourth year between them.

12 animals figures are featured in the emperor's fountain in a court at the Yuanminyuan palace. This was considered as the one of the best fountains of the world.

But in October, 1860 English and French troops burned out the emperor's palace, and all of the ancient monuments were pitilessly stolen, including all 12 heads of zodiacal animals.

While more than one hundred years passed, five figures were successfully return to China. And, on the eve of year of Hare, in Paris Kristis auction, under violation of all international laws, sold the heads of hare and rat.

The famous movie actor Jacky Chan demanded that the bronze rat and hare be returned to China. This act broke the hearts of 1.3 billion Chinese. National property must come home in all countries.

Oriental White Hare – first is a Lunar Hare grinding in an agate mortar medical herb of immortality with nephrite pestle. For all Chinese he symbolizes longevity and industriousness.

According to legend, a hare had nothing to feed wanderer Buddha. And he said: "I will dash in a fire, here and there will be food". Buddha instantly save it from fire, and for the compassion to poor sent a hare to the moon to prepare the medical herb of immortality.

What will be a next oriental year – Cat, Rabbit or of Hare – you decide yourself. Even many sites become confused in it, naming 2011 the year of the Cat in China, and year of the Rabbit in Japan.

That is why numerous prognoses recommend different plans - what to eat and drink in new-year night.

For a cat, for example, fish and milk cocktails are recommended. For long-ears vice versa, a meal must be more vegetarian.

Only one year of the twelve has a mess in the names. But the next one - 2012, is the year in some east calendars (and our Crimean-Tatar is named not the year of Dragon, But of Pisces).


Oleg Shirokov lives in the historic Russian Federation city of Simferopol, Ukraine, which is the capitol of Crimea and quite interestingly, one of Salem, Oregon's four Sister Cities. We look forward to sharing more of his reports from a very distant, artful and romantic part of the world.

Before reporting news, Oleg work as the translator for 15 years, gaining valuable experience in specialized areas such as software localization, hardware, telecommunications and technical marketing. He also worked as the programmer for 8 years, and serves clients as a translator.




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