I’m sweet on sweets!

 Guess what? What do you think the orange shape is?

youkan-toraya-hatutori

This is a Yo-kan, which is a Japanese sweet made of bean paste jelly.
This shape shows a rooster’s comb because 2017 is the year of the rooster.

Each year is symbolized by an animal. We called it “Ju-nishi”. Its cycle is completed every twelfth year. The order is a rat, a bull, a tiger, a rabbit, a dragon, a snake, a horse, a sheep, a monkey, a rooster, a dog and a boar. For example, people born in the year of the rooster were born in 2017, 2005, 1993, 1981, 1969, 1957, 1945, 1933, 1921, etc. We can guess the person’s age from the animal of the year of their birth someone. So we sometimes ask it in a roundabout way.
Like this, there are some Japanese sweets in the shape of that the year’s animal. I sometimes enjoy eating some sweets of the year, even if my birth year animal is different.

a rat 🐭      === 2008, 1996, 1984, 1972, 1960, 1948, 1936, 1924, 1912
a bull 🐮    === 2009, 1997, 1985, 1973, 1961, 1949, 1937, 1925, 1913
a tiger 🐯   === 2010, 1998, 1986, 1974, 1962, 1950, 1938, 1926, 1914
a rabbit 🐰 === 2011, 1999, 1987, 1975, 1963, 1951, 1939, 1927, 1915
a dragon 🐉  = 2012, 2000, 1988, 1976, 1964, 1952, 1940, 1928, 1916
a snake 🐍  == 2013, 2001, 1989, 1977, 1965, 1953, 1941, 1929, 1917
a horse 🐴   == 2014, 2002, 1990, 1978, 1966, 1954, 1942, 1930, 1918
a sheep 🐑  == 2015, 2003, 1991, 1979, 1967, 1955, 1943, 1931, 1919
a monkey🐵 = 2016, 2004, 1992, 1980, 1968, 1956, 1944, 1932, 1920
a rooster🐔 == 2017, 2005, 1993, 1981, 1969, 1957, 1945, 1933, 1921
a dog 🐶   === 2018, 2006, 1994, 1982, 1970, 1958, 1946, 1934, 1922
a boar 🐗  === 2019, 2007, 1995, 1983, 1971, 1959, 1947, 1935, 1923

Why is in this order?

One day, a God said, “if you greet me in the morning on New Year’s day, you can become the boss of the year! But only the top 12 animals will qualify.
And then the bull thought “I can’t walk faster than others. I will start to walk New Year’s Eve.”
However, the rat was smart and rode on the bull’s back, jumping off just before the finish line and winning by a whiskerYet the bull didn’t get angry, he thought “I’m satisfied I’m second.”
As for the tiger, he didn’t hear about the race from the god, but learned about it from one of his fellow animals. So he wasn’t sure about what exactly was going on. He eventually joined the race and came in 3rd.
Next came the rabbit, who continued hopping while the other animals were taking breaks, thus he got 4th.
Regarding the dragon* and snake, they got to the goal at the same time. But the snake gave 5th place to the dragon. He respected the dragon because the dragon can fly through training and effort.
After that, the horse and then the sheep reached the goal.
As usual, the monkey and the dog didn’t get along during the race. The bird intervened and stopped their fighting.  The monkey, bird and dog then crossed the line in that order.
Finally, the boar ran only straight, bypassing the god without saying a New Year’s greeting. So he got last place.

Why isn’t there a cat?
The cat asked the rat about the race. The rat told him, “The race will be on January 2nd.”

Note:
* Japanese dragons don’t have wings.
Depending on the countries, the legend theory might have a few different stories.

New word:
sweet on = really like something, crush on

 

 

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