Happy New Year to you all.
I bet your thinking, ‘that was weeks ago!’
Well the Chinese calendar runs slightly differently to the usual celebrations.
All over the world Chinese people and their families will be celebrating the first day of their new year. With sore heads, full bellies and presents galore; it isn’t that different to our way of celebrating.
The story behind it is much more interesting though.
Legend states that a once great Emperor decided that he wanted to create a way to declare time had passed. He came up with the idea of a calendar based around 12 cycles which began on his birthday. He pondered on how to name these years and finally decided he would ask a selection of animals to pass a challenge and would name each year after the victors.
The challenge was simple. Which animals could cross a fast running river to the opposite island the quickest.
The animals all lined up on the banks of the river and the race began.
The rat and the cat were aware they weren’t strong swimmers so they asked the ox if he would carry them across. He agreed and off they began.
The tiger was quick to follow.
Once the ox had almost reached the bank to claim his victory, the rat double crossed the cat and ox. He pushed the cat into the river and she was swept away and then the rat bounded off the ox onto the river bank to claim first place. The ox dutifully accepted this loss and won second place.
The tiger struggled through the rapid currents to claim third place.
The rabbit knew he would meet his end if he swam the great river so he found some stepping stones to hop onto to reach the river bank. However they stopped just short and he began to panic. Then as if by magic, a log came past which allowed the rabbit to hop across to safety and claim fourth place.
In the sky, a great dragon was swooping down to land on the island. When asked why he had taken so long to cross the dragon explained he had seen the rabbit in distress and puffed a great wind to edge a log down the stream allowing the rabbit to reach safety. Admiring his kindness the Emperor declared the dragon had won fifth place.
The horse had crossed the mighty river and was galloping to the Emperor to accept sixth place when the snake, who had coiled herself around the horses ankle; sprung forward, scaring the horse and allowing the snake to steal sixth place. Quick to recover the horse took seventh.
Whilst the other animals raced ahead the ram, monkey and rooster had been working together collaborating their abilities to use a wooden raft to float across the river. Their teamwork paid off and they finally reached the end of the race together. The Emperor was hugely impressed and declared the ram in eight place, the monkey in ninth and the rooster in tenth.
The next animal ashore was a boisterous dog. The Emperor asked why one of the most able swimmers had taken so long to cross. The dog explained he had stopped for a play in the water and thus he was delayed. He was gracious and loyal to the Emperor and accepted eleventh place.
The last animal to cross the line was the pig. He admitted he had found a delicious snack and had stopped to eat. The Emperor admired his honesty and declared the pig twelfth.
Now I know it’s a legend. But honestly, I really like the idea of a bunch of animals racing each other!
The Chinese believe that the year we are born into will also shape our personalities too. I was born in 1989, the year of the snake. This suggests that I am intelligent and wise, yet sometimes say very little. We love materialistic things and will endeavour to look and feel the best at all times. We are regarded as the most intuitive people.
I can definitely agree with some of those things!
So I bet after all that reading your wondering if I actually did my nails.
Of course I did!
Using 2 Barry M nail polishes and a Bundle Monster stamping plate, I created this Chinese new year themed design.
To create this look I began with 2 coats of Barry M Blood Orange.
Once my base had dried I added a quick layer of Sparklea’s Liquid Lea-tex around my cuticles to help with the clean up process.
The images I applied are from stamping plate BM-XL29 from Bundle Monster.
To get the smooth application I used Bundle Monster’s monocle stamping set and Barry M Gold Foil effects.
Once it was all dry, I added a layer of Glisten & Glow’s HK Girl top coat.
I really love how this design turned out. The red and gold work so beautifully together. I love how even the small lines on the stamp are visible and clear too.
Although I have no real connection to China I felt painting my nails in honour of the celebrations was a really nice way to take part.
I hope that my long and detailed account of the history behind the Chinese Zodiac wasn’t too boring!
And for anyone who may not be aware of what zodiac animal they are, here are the details.
Thank you all so much for reading!
#barrym #chinesenewyear #yearoftherooster