Chinese New Year 2016: The Year of the Monkey Explained

By on
Tagged in child care crew

We are sorry to announce that in the next few years, when the children you work with start acting up like little monkeys, the chances are they in fact will be. Today marks the start of the year of the monkey in the Chinese New Year. Also known as the Chinese spring festival, the Chinese New year is symbolised with a 12 year Zodiac cycle. The monkey is 9th in the cycle and will not appear again until 2028.

The monkey is a powerful image in Chinese culture. Often perceived as intelligent, inquisitive, quick witted, but also can be mischievous, irritable and stubborn. This personality can be a common one for young children as they curious about the world and yet are constantly being challenged on their existing perception. As it is Chinese New Year, we want to share with you the story of how the zodiac symbols came to be chosen, so you are prepared to explain why it is the year of the monkey.

The Jade emperor wanted to mark the calendar by designating animals to each year. Only having space for 12 animals, he invited 13 animals into a race to determine the order. The animals invited were the rat ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon (an imaginary Chinese dragon), snake, horse, goat, monkey, rooster, dog, pig and the cat. The rat and the cat were good friends at this time, and the rat promised to wake his friend up on the day of the race so they could sign up early. On the day the rat forgot his promise and went on his own. When arriving at the gathering place, the rat realised he would not be able to win the race competing against the faster more powerful animals like the ox, the tiger or the horse. Instead the rat worked with the ox, who was good natured, and promised to sing in his ear while he ran to help him keep up with the pack. Arriving at the end of the race, the ox was in the lead and was pleased that he would be first in the zodiac list, however at the last moment the rat jumped ahead and won the race instead. By the time the cat woke up, the race was already over, and the zodiac order had been decided. This is why all the animals fall behind the rat in the Chinese zodiac, and why cats hate rats so much.

This story has many variations including ones where the cat bullied the rat, but we like to think that the cat and the rat at least used to be friends.

If we don’t get to speak with you today to discuss upcoming opportunities, or to update your availability, we would like to wish you a Happy Chinese New Year.

To get in contact with Pulse Child Care Crew call us on 02 9965 9444.

Post a comment
Note: We will not publish your email address on the site