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These dodecahedron stress-balls are based on the twelve animals which represent the Chinese Zodiac.
Each animal is numbered to indicate the order of the 12-year cycle, and includes their Chinese character.
Come down to the Chinese New Year Market on Sunday 10th February and purchase one to take home!
[Stress-balls created by Asian Events Trust]
The Chinese Zodiac
The Chinese Zodiac is a cycle of 12 years, where each year is represented by one of the twelve animals. There are many legends and versions how this came about, and this one is based on the Great Race, which is a favourite for many.
Chinese legend said that the Heavenly Buddah (or Emperor), asked all the animals to participate in a Great Race on his birthday. The first 12 animals that arrived to the Heavenly Gate could be given a place in the Zodiac Calendar. They were all excited and each had plans to be the first one to arrive.
Early risers: quick-witted Rat and diligent Ox
The next day, the animals set off towards the Heavenly Gate. Rat got up very early. On his way to the gate, he encountered a swift running river. After waiting some time, Rat noticed Ox about to cross the river and swiftly jumped into Ox’s ear. The diligent Ox didn’t mind and simply continued. After crossing the river, Ox raced towards the Heavenly Gate but suddenly, Rat jumped ahead of him. Rat won first place and Ox was second.
Competitive and Fast: Tiger and Rabbit
Tiger and Rabbit came third and fourth because both are fast and competitive. But Tiger was faster – Rabbit had to cross the river by hopping on stepping stones which slowed him down.
Good-looking Dragon and wise Snake
Dragon swooped in for fifth and Snake was slithered in to claim sixth place.
Kind and modest Horse and Goat
Next, Horse and Goat arrived; they were very kind and modest and each let the other go first, eventually ranking seventh and eighth.
Monkey had fallen well behind, taking a nap in the forest but he caught up by jumping between trees and stones, to become ninth.
Honest Rooster, independent Dog and considerate Pig came in last.
Grateful for their efforts, Buddah commendied them for their strengths for arriving so quickly, and named each year of the Zodiac calendar after them, arranged according to the order of their arrival. The 12 animals and the order of arrival are: Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Goat, Monkey, Rooster, Dog And Pig
Visit Chinese Zodiac New Year for a fun and entertaining 3 1/2 minute video based on this story.