The Lunar New Year is coming shortly! In Malaysia and most countries, it is the year of the rabbit. It is the fourth year in the lunar calendar. Besides the rabbit, there are other animals such as the rat, the ox, the tiger, the dragon, and the snake. Then, the year will continue with the year of the horse, the goat, the monkey, the rooster, the dog, and the pig.
Even though this year is the year of the rabbit, Vietnam is celebrating the year of the cat. Do you know that?
Unlike most countries, Vietnam’s streets are decorated with feline statues and other cat-themed decorations to welcome the lunar new year. But…why is it the year of the cat, instead of the rabbit in the country?
Several theories explain why:
1) Cats hunt rats which become a threat to Vietnam’s agriculture — rice.
2) In the lunar calendar, there is also the year of the rat. Vietnamese consider the rat and the cat to be linked closely. They do not want to observe two years with a similar animal.
3) The Chinese word for rabbit is “mao.” It sounds similar to the Vietnamese word “meo” which means cat.
Thus, these are the several reasons why the country is celebrating the year of the cat!
It does not matter if it is the year of the cat or the rabbit because, from their belief, these animals symbolize good things.
Source: South China Morning Post