Visiting Ukraine in the New Year period, you should know that many Ukrainian women take New Year preparations very seriously. Though Ukrainians are Christian and follow all Christian and even some heathen traditions, Asian culture gets more and more popular and more and more Chinese traditions become widespread here as well as in other countries.
Have you heard the beautiful legend explaining the origin and the meaning of the Chinese horoscope signs? Long time ago, Chinese emperor decided to create the convenient way of measuring time and animals should be designated as calendar signs. So on his birthday he invited all animals and organized the race and twelve animals who would arrive first would be selected. All the animals that heard the announcement wanted to arrive the first to visit God. Careless Cat happened to forget the time when to visit God and asked Rat. “God is very busy on New Year’s so the greeting starts on the following day,” said clever Rat that purposely told Cat the wrong date. Cat thanked Rat and went happily home. On New Year, Ox left slowly before dawn. Rat who saw Ox had left, quietly jumped on Ox’s back. Unaware of Rat Ox arrived at God’s house. The gate was closed and no one seemed to have arrived yet. “I’m first!” thought Ox. After a while, the sun rose and the gate opened. At the moment Rat jumped off the back of Ox and ran towards God, beating Ox. Stunned Ox arrived second. Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Sheep, Monkey, Rooster, Dog, and Pig followed along. Poor Cat that was deceived by Rat paid a visit to God for the New Year’s greeting the following morning. Missing a day, Cat was not included as the 12 Chinese zodiac animals. That’s why cats chase rats madly.
Twelve most important animals in ancient people’s life were selected to vividly represent the Twelve Earthly Branches (the duodecimal cycle in Chinese calendar).
The symbol of the upcoming 2017 year is Red Fire Rooster and it predetermines general description of the next year. Shops are full of souvenirs and stuff with this Chinese symbol. And be sure that many women have already bought a red dress for the New Year celebration or decorated their New Year trees with rooster toys in red color in Chinese tradition style. They believe that it will cajole animal of the year, though according Chinese beliefs everything is vice versa – red colors should be avoided.
Also some people will not cook chicken for their tables… so not to angry the Rooster. According to Chinese traditions, the animal symbolizes the year and can tell a lot about what people should wait in the upcoming year. So some people in Ukraine already discuss what this animal will bring them. Many women also believe that the year you were born in and its Chinese sign can also predetermine your character, personality and even destiny. And of course these women also can pay attention to sign compatibility between partners.
In general people in Ukraine love not only follow their own traditions, but also happen to adopt customs from other cultures. At present times of globalization this Chinese tradition travels from country to country. But how it happened that some Ukrainian people gladly adopted some of Chinese traditions? With the ties between our countries strengthen, many Chinese and Asian people come to Ukraine to work, usually to launch trading business, they bring their traditions here which assimilate with ours willy-nilly. They could be the first to start selling goods with Chinese symbols of the New Year, using easy marketing trick and shouting that putting this symbol on your New Year Tree will bring you luck, love, success or money. Having and what is more – believing in their own superstitions, Ukrainian people easily adopted new one as the new exotic way of partially forcing the responsibilities for their own lives onto some symbols or animals. And with every year this tradition assimilates deeply in people’s minds.