Last year I told the story of the Rat, the Dog and the Cat and how through sly manipulation the Rat became the first to reach the throne of the Celestial Ruler. In that telling I mentioned that the pig had spent part of the journey wallowing in the mud and need to bath before entering the Heavenly Presence. Given what is known of pigs many, myself included, accepted it as fact. It appears it may have been a rumour spread by a mangy pack of disgruntled – and hungry – wolves.
Before the Celestial messenger arrived to announce the race a marauding wolf had destroyed the fine house the Pig had made himself and his family. Fortunately they were able to escape the wolf’s desire for a feast of pork but there was little left of their home. Pig had just finished rebuilding a new home – stronger and more protected than their previous one – when the heavenly summons was received. Pausing only to assure the safety of his family he trotted off for the Gate of Heaven. When he arrived he was still begrimed with the dirt and dust of his chore. He was a proud pig and had no wish to appear in this state before the Jade Emperor. He stopped to bathe before approaching the Celestial Throne. He was the twelfth to arrive and though late was still granted the honour of decreeing the blessings of the New Year. When he returned home he found that the wolf had once again tried to make a fine dinner of his little family. But he had built true and strong and his family was unharmed. Being a joyful soul the Pig accepted his place as the last of the Twelve Celestial Animals but revelled in being amongst the first in good fortune.
Whatever your horoscope may predict I wish you and yours:
Gung Ha Fat Choy – Gong Xi Fa Ca
*I was reminded by Laurent and by my blog buddy Debra’s post for today that it is not exclusively “Chinese” New Year but a new year for any region that follows the Lunar calendar: Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Taiwan, Thailand, Vietnam, Singapore, Suriname as well as Mainland China. So I have changed to title of the post to honour everyone who is celebrating the arrival of 4717.
On this day in 1905: In Mexico City, the General Hospital of Mexico is inaugurated, started with four basic specialties.