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The Punctual and Brave Chinese Zodiac: the Sign of Rooster

A child held two rooster-shaped dolls which signify lucky and exemption from illness and devil
A child held two rooster-shaped dolls which signify lucky and exemption from illness and devil

As the tenth animal appears in the Chinese Zodiac in relation to the Chinese calendar, the rooster is the sole poultry among the 12 zodiac animals. Well known for the epitome of fidelity and punctuality, rooster played significant role in ancient times when there was no clock. The rooster’s crowing served as an alarm which could awaken people to get up and start to work. The rooster is viewed as a creature that carries the symbolic meaning of exorcising evil spirits. People usually sacrifice roosters to worship ancestors or divinities. The rooster is also used to describe someone who is militant or conceited. The year of rooster is represented by the earthly branch character You which means a 2-hour period from 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm when referred to an exact day. This happened to be the time when roosters returned to their nests.

Rooster is the sole poultry chosen to be the Chinese zodiac animal, whereas among various kinds of poultry why it is rooster. As legend told, the Jade Emperor conferred the title of Chinese zodiac only on animals that have made great contribution to human beings. And the rooster as a kind of poultry was far from qualified to be one Chinese zodiac animal. The horse who was a friend of the rooster and had already won a place on the Chinese zodiac comforted depressed rooster saying that it is easy to have people’s respect and adoration as long as you play to your strengths doing goods to people. The rooster woke up early in the morning using his loud and clear crow to awake people from deep sleep making human being feel grateful to him. The Jade Emperor was moved by rooster’s sincerity and made an exception to allow rooster to compete the Chinese zodiac contest. Finally the rooster achieves what he wished to be a zodiac animal ranking the tenth place on Chinese zodiac.

As one of the six domestic animals including horse, ox, goat, pig, dog, and rooster, all of which provide living security to mankind, not only serves as indispensable sacrifice offerings but delicious dishes on common people’s dining tables as well. Intimately related to human beings life, roosters have become indispensable to people. The sign of rooster symbolizes the character traits of motivation, ambition, and pompousness. People born in the year of rooster are considered to be enthusiastic, communicative, capable and warm-heart. And most rooster people appear to be born pretty or handsome. Celebrities such as famous American star Britney Spears, well-known actress Jennifer Aniston and Jessica Alba, and handsome Hollywood actor Matt Damon are all born in the year of rooster.

In Chinese culture, the pronunciation of rooster in mandarin is the same as the pronunciation of lucky in mandarin which makes various kinds of customs be associated with the rooster. The image of phoenix which is crowned as the queen of birds is designed in accordance with rooster. The Han nationality has a tradition to wear a rooster-shaped accessory made of cloth at the beginning of spring which signifies auspicious beginning. In Henan province, it is quite prevalent to exorcize evil spirits by means of killing rooster because all ghosts are believed scaring rooster blood according to the folk culture.

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