In Chinese legends, Nüwa (女媧) is the goddess who created the world. She created the animals on different days, and human beings on the seventh day after the creation of the world. According to Questions and Answers on Rites and Customs (答問禮俗說) by Dong Xun in Jin Dynasty, the days on which different animals were created are:
- First of zhengyue : Chicken
- Second of zhengyue : Dog
- Third of zhengyue : Boar
- Fourth of zhengyue : Sheep
- Fifth of zhengyue : Cow
- Sixth of zhengyue : Horse
- Seventh of zhengyue : Human
- * zhengyue – 正月 is the first month in the Chinese calendar.
By Book of Divinationan (占書),an earlier of publication by Dongfang Suo in Western Han Dynasty, on the eighth of zhengyue was the creation of cereal. Hence, Chinese tradition set the first day of zhengyue as the “birthday” of chicken, the second day of zhengyue as the birthday of dog, etc. And the seventh day of zhengyue is viewed as the common “birthday” of all human beings.
In some overseas Chinese communities in Southeast Asia, such as Malaysia and Singapore, it is also the day when tossed raw fish salad, yusheng, is eaten for continued wealth and prosperity. For many Chinese Buddhists, this is another day to avoid meat, the seventh day commemorating the birth of Sakra, lord of the devas in Buddhist cosmology who is analogous to the Jade Emperor.
So…. HAPPY BIRTHDAY everyone!