While most Asian countries and diasporas welcomed the Lunar New Year celebrating the rabbit, Vietnam, which observes the equivalent Tết Nguyên Đán, honored a different animal: the cat.
Vietnam shares 10 of the Chinese zodiac calendar's 12 signs, with the differences being the rabbit and the ox, which are replaced in the Vietnamese calendar with the cat and the buffalo.
The diversion is explained by several theories: one grounded in linguistics claims that at some point in history, the Chinese word for rabbit, "mao," was misinterpreted as "meo," the Vietnamese word for cat.
However, this "misinterpretation" is not exactly accurate, according to Doan Thanh Loc, a cultural consultant at Vietnam's Southern Jade Pavilion Cultural Center. Instead, Loc argued it has to do with symbols used to represent "heavenly stems" and "earthly branches" that correspond with each year in the Chinese lunisolar calendar, which Tết is based off of.
"Mao doesn't necessarily mean cat or rabbit. These are just symbols we've used as code for the earthly branches," Loc told NPR.
Another explanation stems from the Chinese and Vietnamese versions of a legend about a race that determined the roster of zodiac animals.
In the Chinese version, the rat and the cat were both on the ox when the rat pushed the cat into the water, leading to its loss. Meanwhile, the rabbit, which had been hopping on stones, luckily landed on a floating log that quickly brought it to the shore and helped it finish fourth.
On the other hand, the Vietnamese version lacked a rabbit by default. Its cat also knew how to swim, an ability that helped it finish the race in fourth place.
Other theories focus on a more direct reverence for the cat.
Nguyen Hieu Tin, an expert on traditional Vietnamese culture, said it comes down to which animal helps with producing food.
"Rice is a huge part of Vietnam's agriculture, but with the threat of many rats in the fields, the cats [that hunt them] are a popular animal for the Vietnamese," Tin told the AFP news agency.
"Another explanation is that the Vietnamese don't want to observe two years with a similar animal. They see the mouse and the rabbit as being closely linked," he added.
A slight variation makes a link to geography: while the Chinese originally lived in the savannas and got close to rabbits, the Vietnamese lived in lowland areas and preferred cats.
"The people of the savanna prefer a nomadic life, close to the wilderness, and they chose the rabbit as an animal that lived in the wild fields," UCLA lecturer Quyen Di told NPR.
Vietnamese people, on the other hand, consider rabbits as "animals that are used for food" while cats are "friends living in their house."
Still, others say the cat simply exudes more power than the rabbit.
"I think the cat is more deserving because the rabbit is too soft. It does not have the power like a cat. I was born in the Year of the Cat also and I'm very proud of that," one Vietnamese said, according to Inside Edition.
Gucci releases Year of the Rabbit special collection for Lunar New Year
KFC Thailand draws backlash over fried chicken incense sticks for Lunar New Year
Photos: 'Reply 1988' cast and director reunite ahead of Lunar New Year
tara calico(2023-01-24 14:32:52Z)
Young woman goes out on her typical morning bike ride and vanishes.REPLY
digoxin 250 mg cost buy digoxin 250 mg pills buy generic molnupiravirREPLY
acetazolamide 250 mg pills buy acetazolamide 250mg imuran 50mg genericREPLY
digoxin sale molnupiravir 200 mg tablet molnupiravir onlineREPLY
buy amoxicillin 1000mg generic buy stromectol 6mg online ivermectin over the counter ukREPLY
purchase coreg generic carvedilol 6.25mg uk elavil pillsREPLY
dapoxetine 30mg us order avana pill purchase domperidone saleREPLY
order alendronate pill furadantin pill order generic ibuprofen 400mgREPLY
buy indocin 50mg for sale tamsulosin 0.2mg cost buy cenforce 50mg onlineREPLY
nortriptyline 25 mg uk buy pamelor 25mg generic paroxetine 20mg costREPLY
order doxycycline 100mg pill purchase doxycycline sale methylprednisolone orderREPLY
order pepcid 20mg pills cost prograf mirtazapine 15mg usREPLY
buy tadalafil 10mg for sale amoxicillin 500mg ca amoxicillin 500mg ukREPLY
order generic ropinirole labetalol cost labetalol 100mg cheapREPLY
nexium drug lasix 100mg usa order furosemide without prescriptionREPLY
fenofibrate for sale online buy viagra 100mg pills sildenafil saleREPLY
minocycline pills neurontin online buy hytrin usaREPLY
order generic cialis 40mg Cialis without rx viagra 50mg priceREPLY
glycomet 500mg ca glucophage 500mg generic order nolvadex 10mg onlineREPLY
order tadalafil 10mg for sale levitra professional non prescription erection pillsREPLY
purchase clomiphene without prescription buy lipitor 20mg sale prednisolone 20mg without prescriptionREPLY
order modafinil pill stromectol 3mg generic oral promethazine 25mgREPLY
buy prednisone 10mg buy deltasone online cheap amoxil without prescriptionREPLY
accutane 10mg usa ampicillin canada buy ampicillin pillsREPLY
ivermectin 6mg for humans for sale stromectol 12mg cheap buy generic deltasone 5mgREPLY
fildena 50mg oral pregabalin 150mg price finasteride brandREPLY
isotretinoin 10mg price isotretinoin for sale azithromycin costREPLY
ventolin canada generic augmentin 375mg buy augmentin online cheapREPLY
prednisolone pills lasix 100mg canada lasix canadaREPLY
generic provigil 200mg modafinil 200mg cheap buy lopressor 100mg genericREPLY
cheap doxycycline 200mg cost levitra cost acyclovir 800mgREPLY
order avodart 0.5mg dutasteride price buy orlistat without a prescriptionREPLY