Pangu wrote:So what do you think, or more importantly, what do you know?
linguoboy wrote:Pangu wrote:So what do you think, or more importantly, what do you know?
Isn't the current theory that the zodiac was introduced to China from Southeast Asia? The terms for the earth branches are opaque in Chinese (i.e. they have no meaning apart from their use in the zodiac) but supposedly have plausible Proto-Tai etymologies.
If that's the case, then perhaps the question should be, "Why did the Chinese substitute rabbits for cats?"
Pangu wrote:Chinese zodiac was actually a Vietnamese invention... lol
hāozigǎnr wrote:But that paper doesn't seem to explain how cat became hare, or how hare became cat.
It's probably irrelevant, but it should be noted that in Chinese the buffalo 水牛 is only considered a particular kind of cow 牛.
hāozigǎnr wrote:I don't have papers to quote, but can only tell Chinese folk legends. My father's version said that originally the zodiacal animals were 13, and there was a race in the early morning to establish the animal orders.
At that time the cat and the rat were good friends, and promised each other that they would participate together at the race.
But that morning, the rat didn't call the cat, instead he went to race alone very early and won the 1st place.
The cat waited for the rat the day long, but the rat didn't meet him, so he was excluded form the zodiac for not having participated to the race.
That's the reason why cats hate rats and mice.
The most widespread version doesn't mention the cat, but says that the rat climbed on top of the ox, who runs very fast, and when the ox almost arrived, the rat jumped ahead and won 1st place.
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