Why the Year of the Cat, not the Rabbit, is being celebrated in Vietnam
In Vietnam, where the Year of the Cat is about to begin, Lunar New Year takes on a slightly different appearance than it does in China.
During the Vietnamese New Year, also known as Tet, streets are lined with feline statues and shops are brimming with decorations with a cat theme.
Vietnam shares 10 of the 12 zodiac signs with China, including the rat, tiger, dragon, snake, horse, goat, monkey, rooster, dog, and pig.
However, the Vietnamese revere the buffalo over the ox and the cat over the rabbit.
There are numerous explanations for why the Vietnamese chose the cat.
According to Nguyen Hieu Tin, a specialist in traditional Vietnamese culture, the solution may be found in the rice fields that farmers prize.
According to what he told AFP, “Rice is a huge part of Vietnam’s agriculture, but there are a lot of rats in the fields, so the cats (which can kill them) are a popular animal for the Vietnamese.”
Another reason is that the Vietnamese do not wish to spend two years observing the same animal. They see a strong connection between the rabbit and the mouse, “Tin stated.
Another possibility is that the Vietnamese derived their own meaning from the Chinese term for rabbit, “mao.” This sounds like “meo,” which means cat in Vietnamese.
In Vietnam, it is believed that the Year of the Cat will bring prosperity and ease of travel.
Hoang Thi Huong Giang, an office worker in Hanoi, a city filled with traditional orange kumquat trees and pink blossoms in preparation for Tet, claimed that she had never given much thought to the reasons why the Vietnamese honored a different animal of the zodiac than the rest of the world.
However, she believes that people like her who were born in the Year of the Cat have it easier than most.
Giang exclaimed with pride, “It seems to be true that those who are born in the Year of the Cat are frequently more active, hardworking, and easy to get along with.”