Chinese New Year Animals List: 2011 Hits the Jackpot

Jeanne Sager
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rabbitPoor Chinese New Year. It may be celebrated by millions of folks in Southeast Asia, but over here in America, if you rush into work today shouting, "Gong Hay Fat Choy!" as your Lunar New Year greeting, you're going to get a nasty look from that chick in accounting. Don't take it personally oh bean counting co-worker, we're not commenting on the size of your rear end.

That's just how you say happy new year in Cantonese. Perhaps you'd prefer the Mandarin greeting? Gong Xi Fa Cai? Either way, it sounds like you could really use a move into the Year of the Rabbit. Chinese tradition says it's "a year in which you can catch your breath and calm your nerves." It's like a gift to the spa from the Chinese!

Frankly, after all this Year of the Tiger bluster (we're looking at you, Tiger Mom), I'm relieved to bid 2010's muscular mascot goodbye. I like rabbits. They're cuddly. Fluffy. Nothing says comfy like a stuffed bunny rabbit in a toddler's arms (I read once that they're not far behind teddy bears in popularity).

The palatable choices to come out of that ancient Chinese dude who came up with the list of Chinese New Year animals to honor year by year are few and far between. Check them out:

  • Rat
  • Ox
  • Tiger
  • Rabbit
  • Dragon
  • Snake
  • Horse
  • Sheep
  • Monkey
  • Rooster
  • Dog
  • Boar

Ooh boy, I'm taking a bunny with a wiggling nose over a plague-carrying rat trying to sneak into my house any day of the week. Ditto the slithering snake with that forked tongue. I'll run him over with my lawnmower before I celebrate him (sorry PETA, you have permission to drive all the snakes from my yard any time you want).

Don't like rabbits? You're stuck with them until January 23 of next year, when we'll usher in the Year of the Dragon. But you might as well wallow in your misery with some good Chinese New Year eats anyway. Don't let that rabbit food go to waste; there are 15 more days of celebrations to get through.

Are you celebrating the Chinese New Year? What's your favorite animal on the list?

 

Image via little blue hen/Flickr

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