Восточный календарь, его символы и обычаи удачно прижились на российской земле, каждый Новый год именно с китайским календарем мы консультируемся: что надеть на себя в новогоднюю ночь, какие блюда приготовить, какие события нас ожидают в будущем.
А знаете ли вы, почему именно то или иное животное соответствует очередному году? Каков порядок и какова периодичность? Почему именно так, а не иначе?
Мы с Наташей записали видео, которое дает ответы на эти вопросы. В старые добрые времена, когда животные еще умели разговаривать, Нефритовый император (Jade Imperor) устроил соревнование по плаванию для животных. По результатам этого соревнования каждому году из 12-летнего цикла был выбран свой талисман.
Давайте вспомним, как это было!
Но, прежде, чем вы начнете смотреть видео, хочу подать идею школьным учителям. По-моему, эту историю прекрасно можно превратить в инсценировку с вашими учениками, подумайте над этим! Если не в этом году, то к следующему Новому году можно будет не спеша подготовиться!
Как обычно, мы добавили к видео субтитры, которые вы можете активировать или убрать, нажав специальный значок внизу справа. Для тех, кто предпочитает смотреть видео без субтитров, размещаем полный текст того, что говорит Наташа, ниже.
Hello everyone! Natasha is here again!
Today I am going to speak with you about the forthcoming Chinese New Year.
As you probably know, the Chinese zodiac follows a 12 year cycle, each of the years being named after an animal.
There are several legends about how the Chinese Zodiac animals were chosen.
I am going to tell you one today.
The race for the Chinese zodiac.
Once upon a time, long ago, in China, the Jade Emperor decided there should be a way to measure time. On his birthday he told the animals that there should be a swimming race. The first 12 animals to cross the fast flowing river would be the winners and they would be granted a year of the zodiac named after them.
All the animals lined up along the river bank. The rat and the cat, who were good friends, were worried because they were poor swimmers. Being clever they asked the strong ox if he would carry them across the river.
'Of course' said the ox. 'Just climb on my back and I will take you across.'
The rat and the cat jumped up and were very excited when the ox took the lead.
They had almost reached the other bank when the rat pushed the cat into the water leaving him to struggle.
Just as the ox was about to win the race, the rat leapt on his head and jumped onto the river bank to finish first.
'Well done,' said the Jade Emperor to the proud rat. 'The first year of the zodiac will be named after you.'
The poor ox had been tricked into second place and the second year of the zodiac was named after him.
Shortly after the ox, the exhausted tiger made his way to the river bank to claim third place. Swimming across the river had been an enormous struggle for him against the strong currents. The Emperor was so delighted with his efforts that he named the third year after him.
Next to arrive was the rabbit, who hadn't swum at all. He had hopped across on some stepping stones and then found a floating log which carried him to the shore.
'I shall be very happy to call the fourth year after you,' the surprised Jade Emperor explained.
Just then a kind dragon swooped down to take fifth place. The Jade Emperor asked, 'Why didn’t you win the race, when you can fly?'
'I needed to make some rain, because some people and animals needed water to drink,' the dragon explained. 'Then I saw a little rabbit on a log in the water and I blew a puff of wind so that the log would float to the river bank.'
'Well that was very kind of you. You will have the fifth year of the zodiac named after you,' the Jade Emperor said.
The next thing the Jade Emperor heard was the sound of the horse’s hooves. Just as he was thinking the horse would be the next animal to arrive, a sneaky snake wriggled out from around one of the horse’s hooves.
The horse was so surprised that he jumped backwards giving the snake a chance to take the sixth place in the race.
The poor horse had to be satisfied with seventh place.
Not long afterwards a raft arrived carrying the goat, the monkey and the rooster. They explained to the Emperor how they had shared the raft that the rooster had found. The goat and monkey had cleared weeds and pushed the raft to the shore.
The Emperor was very pleased that the animals had worked together. He said the goat would be the eighth zodiac animal, the monkey the ninth and the rooster the tenth.
The next animal to finish was the dog.
'Why are you so late when you are one of the best swimmers?' asked the Jade Emperor.
'The water in the river was so clean that I had to have a bath on the way,' explained the dog.
His reward was to have the eleventh year named after him.
There was one place left in the zodiac and the Emperor wondered when the last winner would come.
Finally he heard a grunt from the boar.
'You took a long time to cross the river,' said the Emperor to the boar.
'I was hungry and stopped to eat,' explained the boar. 'After the meal I felt so tired that I fell asleep.'
'You have still done well,' said the Jade Emperor. 'The last year of the zodiac will be named after you.'
As for the cat who had been pushed into the water by the rat, he finally crawled out of the water but was too late to have a year named after him. He felt very cross with the rat and since then cats have never been friends with rats.
From that day to now, the Chinese Zodiac has followed the same cycle of 12 years, named after these twelve animals.
So this is the story. I hope you found it interesting.
I just want to say ‘Happy New Year to you!’ and leave you to celebrate. May all your wishes come true. Goodbye!