• Happy Lunar New Year: The Year of the Snake


    by Winston Chua

    SAN MARINO – Shaolin monks made a public appearance for a special Lunar New Year celebration performance at Carver Elementary School to honor California’s number one school district.

    Lunar New Year is the Year of the Snake and Carver hosted a lion dance and spectacular martial arts demonstration performed by world-renowned martial arts champion Phillip Sahagun and Kung Fu Heroes.

    Year of the Snake
    Although 2013 is the Year of the Snake, it was the rat who won the famed race long ago in Asia, according to one tradition that recounts the origins of the zodiac.

    The competing animals lined up along the river bank, where the rat jumped on top of the head of the ox to cross the bank to finish the race. The poor ox had been tricked into second place and the second year of the zodiac was named after him.

    An exhausted tiger clawed his way into third place, followed by the rabbit, who hopped on stepping stones and found a floating log that carried him to shore.

    In fifth place? The dragon, who though he could fly, was held up making rain for the people and animals to drink. For his kindness, the dragon was given the fifth year.

    In sixth place was the horse…no wait, it was the snake, who sneakily came out from the horse’s hoof to put the horse in seventh place.
    Taking an easier ride to eight ninth and tenth place on a raft were the goat, monkey and rooster. These were lauded by the Jade Emperor for working together. Next animal to finish? The dog, who despite being one of the best swimmers, wanted to bathe instead of win the race.

    Rounding out the final 12 competitors was the boar, too hungry to race and so tired it fell asleep. Missing the cut? The cat, pushed into the water by the rat and not able to have a year named after it.
    Which animal are you? Start from 2013 and work backwards. January and February birthdays may take the animal of the prior year.

    Don’t see your birth year? Subtract 12 until you match your year:
    2013 – Snake (‘01, ‘89) Charming, good thinker.
    2012 – Dragon (‘00, ‘88) Confident, hardworking and always strive to be at the top.
    2011 - Rabbit (‘99, ‘87) Affectionate, gentle with strong family ties.
    2010 – Tiger (‘98, ‘86) Sensitive, emotional and adventurous.
    2009 – Ox (‘97, ‘85) Born leaders, determined
    2008 – Rat (‘96, ‘84) Ambitious, clever and devoted.
    2007 - Boar (‘95, ‘83) Honest, peace-loving, friendly
    2006 – Dog (‘94, ‘82) Faithful, honest, ready to serve.
    2005 – Rooster (‘93, ‘81) Hard-working, strong-willed and confident
    2004 – Monkey (‘92, ‘80) Clever but mischevious
    2003 - Goat (‘91, ‘79) Elegant, artistic, good-natured
    2002 – Horse (‘90, ‘78) Hardworking, independent

    Tribute to the Snake

    The preceding was a broad overview of what each zodiac figure represents. Here is a more in-depth look at those who were born in the years of the Snake: 2013, 2001, 1989, 1977, 1965, 1953, 1941, 1929 and 1917.

    The Chinese zodiac breaks down further characteristics of snakes depending on the specific year he or she was born.
    Snakes are known as the seducers of human beings; unlike the Biblical symbol of something demonic or like a devil, the snake is an oversexed, normal human being who makes decisions quickly and firmly.

    If you were born in 2013 or 1953, you are a water snake, characterized by the color black. You are a calm, shy, cautious and low-key type of person. You won’t attack a person unless you are disturbed or hungry. Born in 1917 or 1977? You are a Fire Snake, you can be loud and smother other people with your opinions. 1929 or 1989? You are an Earth Snake, you don’t like to be ignored and you possess a strong, charismatic presence and charm. Born in 1941 or 2001? You are a Metal Snake, you’re calm, cool and collected.
    Does this sound like you? Sound accurate? Email your thoughts to wchua@sanmarinotribune.com.

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