The rooster takes the tenth position in the Chinese zodiac before the dog and after the monkey. It is the only two-legged poultry to have this honor.
As the legend has it, the rooster was originally not a choice to be enrolled in the list by the Jade Emperor, whose judgment was simply based on the contributions to the human beings when selecting among the four-legged livestock without considering the poultry.
Being very competitive, the rooster felt envious, especially when he saw the success of the horse. He went up to the horse and asked him about the secrets. The horse told him: It’s not difficult if you try very hard to help people with all you can. The rooster thought for a while before he was suddenly enlightened.
Since he was gifted with a beautiful voice, he could do something with it. He went back home and thought about the needs of people’s life and came up with the idea that he could wake people up at dawn so that they could go to work early. Ever since then, he kept singing early in the morning as a wake-up call and he never failed his duty.
Besides, the rooster also helped people eliminate bugs and worms in the fields that destroy the crops. The people were very much moved and reported his contribution to the Jade Emperor, who picked up a flower and crown it on the head for his hard work. The Jade Emperor even changed his mind and gave an opportunity to the rooster to join in the Great race. This is a great reward for his hard work and persistence! The rooster felt grateful for the Jade Emperor and prepared himself for the participation.
He knew he could not compete with four legged animals but he decided to do something so that he would not be the last in the race.
On the day for the order of the 12 animals, the rooster invited the dog to go together and they went neck and neck for some time. When they were approaching the South Gate of the Heaven, the finishing point of the race, the rooster started to fly to get ahead of the dog. That’s how he got the tenth place while the dog got the eleventh place. Of cause, the dog was so mad at the rooster that he would fight the rooster every time they met, even today, but anyhow, the rooster got the tenth position!
The image of the rooster often carries with it the good qualities as faithfulness, virtuousness, and auspiciousness as its Chinese name shares the same sound with "ji" (in English, auspiciousness) . It often appears in manners of paper cuts, paintings, etc. on important festivals and occasions to add a tone of happiness and good luck.
People born in the year of the rooster are thought to be courageous, faithful, and hardworking. They are skillful and careful in what they do and are likely to be successful if they work as a restaurant owner, a publicist, a soldier or a world traveler.
The rooster promises good harmony with a snake and an Ox, but it often has a trouble with a Rabbit.