The Chinese lunar calendar began in 2697 BC when the Yellow Emperor (Huang Di) became king. The Yellow Emperor is important for Chinese medicine as he is credited for coalescing the Chinese medical knowledge at that time into one volume, The Yellow's Emperor's Classic (Huang Di Nei Jing) which lays out the basic theory of Chinese medicine. This volume is credited with being the world's oldest medical text. Chinese medical practitioners continue to study the this text today to gain a deeper understanding of the medicine.
According to one mythical legend, there is a reason for the order of the 12 animals in the 12 year cycle. The story goes that a race was held to cross a great river, and the order of the animals in the cycle was based upon their order in finishing the race. In this story, the snake compensated for not being the best swimmer by hitching a hidden ride on the horses hoof, and when the horse was just about to cross the finish line, jumping out, scaring the horse, and thus edging it out for sixth place.
Gung Hay Fat Choy
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