There exists a fable that the Cat was considered to be one of the zodiacs in the Chinese calendar system.


As the story goes, the Jade Emperor invited all living things to participate in a race across the river so that he could decide and place one after another to mark time. Knowing his disadvantage given his small size and a poor swimming abilities, the Rat look towards the Ox. The intelligent Rat first convinced the unsuspecting Ox that their collaboration would certainly assure them of the finishing line first. Taking advantage of its sheer strength, the Rat rode on the back of the Ox and upon the finishing line, jumped ahead of the Ox to take the first place.

Another twist to the story was how the Rat actually manipulated to leave the Cat out of place in consideration of his own chances in the twelve animal zodiac system. As the best of companions, both the Rat and the Cat were equally excited and determined to win the race. Knowing his limitations, the Cat knew he must rest to conserve the energies to put up a good fight against the formidable lineup for the race. The Cat entrusted the Rat to wake him up in time for the race while he went into a restful sleep. When the time arrives, the Rat conveniently left the Cat napping while he sneaked himself out for the competition.


Ever since, the image of the Rat is one of a smart but sneaky and manipulating animal. The relationship will forever be immortalized as the Cat chasing the Rat for an unsettled score.


In reality, do you know that the symbolism of the Cat actually exists in a calendar system ?


Vietnam, given its proximity and influence with China and its culture, adopts a similar lunisolar calendar system.


While most of the calaulation, system, methodology and rebuses relating to Chinese culture and heritage remain intact, the phonetics crisscrossing between the two languages can be blurred. One such interpretation seems to touch upon the fourth zodiac sign of the Rabbit in the Chinese calendar.


The Chinese character for Rabbit [兔] is 'tu' (in the fourth consonant) but the classical or archaic Chinese word for it is [卯] 'mao' (in the third consonant), which is commonly used to describe the Rabbit in metaphysics terms.


As with some other Chinese characters, the Vietnamese relied upon phonetics to express complicating words into hybrids or compounds of phono-semantic versions for daily use.


It is believed that the character [卯] used to describe the Rabbit was then compared to a similar sounding character of the Cat or 'Con Meo' (the 'Meo' suspiciously sounding like a 'meow' of a Cat) in Vietnamese.


Since the beginning of the Vietnamese zodiac system, the fourth animal symbol of the Rabbit in the Chinese system is the equivalent of the Cat in Vietnam.

Updated: Mar 9

3rd February 2021 at 11.00PM marks the start of the Year of the Metal Ox. The Lunar New Year shall take place on 12th February.


First stop. The day before any 24 divisions of the solar calendar is classified as a 'Day of Extinction'. 3rd February being the Arrival of Spring, forms one of these 24 divisions. Transitional energies take place and the day before it, 2nd February 2021, falls to its lowest when it comes to Yang energies. Simply put, this puts 2nd February, which also marks the end of winter, an inauspicious day to carry out major activities, all throughout the good part of the day of 3rd February. Avoid important activities such as renovations, commitments, official openings and start of any milestones in life.


Next, what do people do when it comes to the beginning of the new year ?


Hopes, wishes and prayers. There are good reasons to celebrate and it is an appropriate time, as in any culture and practice, to renew our motivation to create a better life for everyone. It is therefore a day to head to your respective places of worship asking for pardons and prayers. It's a great day to reflect, meditate and forgive.


In light of what we are currently going through, there is also a need to know what the next twelve months will bring us. This will sharpen our vision and create better decision making processes for us to improve our lives.


Because it is a year of the Metal Ox, the buzzword is Repetition. It means that what has taken place in year 2020 may happen again in 2021, perhaps in different modes, styles and impact. Repetition also leads to Discovery and by this, vacicnes could dramatically improve on their efficacies.


Be ready to take on the Year of the Metal Ox with confidence and optimism. If you can, do all it takes to achieve as much as possible in the first half year. There is a chance that restrictions can be repeated by June or July if numbers of control are not achieved. Personally, all must be prepared with contingencies of up to six times equivalent of our monthly expenditures and requirements. Stay safe, do not be complacent, practise hygiene, follow the rules and hopefully, we will be travelling again by Christmas.



REMOVE DAY (除日).


There are days when we wish for some things to just go away, situations to end, be rid of or simply disappear. The act of removing things out of our lives involves more than careful planning, our best efforts, a good strategy and perfect execution. The final nail could be just the time to do it. An appropriate day such that the stars are synchronised so that stale energies make way for new life.


The image of a REMOVE DAY is one that makes way for renewal. Cleansing and getting rid of unwanted things in life are common usage for this day.


More technically, REMOVE DAY comes with the Sun Star(太陽), the primary source of all Yang energies which overcomes all that are Yin which represents darkness, the passive and the shadows. Coupled with the Relief God(解神)who provides solutions to problems and recurring issues in life, this day forms the basis as the prime choice when it comes to our prupose of a new start and a beginning towards a better life altogether.


What could it be that renders us to banish its exixtence ?


As in most things in life, these are the main issues.

  1. It's Personal. It could be a personal relationship with another. Perhaps you have been finding an opportunity to free yourself from an abusive partner. It could also be a case of a business partner gone wrong. Maybe you have been waiting for an appropriate time to let go of your underperforming and unrepentant team member.

  2. Things we do and our bad habits. You know you need to get off that couch and start exercising. It's common to be in our comfort zone and there are times when conscience gets the better of us. If it is the case of a strong mind with a weak flesh, using a Remove Day to stay away from snacks and sugar may prove effective.

  3. Where's the Money ? Not everyone is financially savvy. But it is a personal responsibility to manage our own finances and savings. 2021 is unique. It's a year of recovery for what was lost time, lost opportunities, lost profits and lost savings. How do you start and perhaps find some motivations to stay in positive territories and healthy bank balances ? Clear your debts, or at least draw them down, before the Chinese New Year. In cash or in kind to return a favour done for you.

  4. I don't have a choice. Yes, You do. People who feel controlled, contrived and manipulated have the freedom to move forward. The problem is your own fear within you. It's the fear of failure that is stopping you from achieving the things you deserve in life. Have you been under the pressure and unreasonable bahaviour of your boss, superior or supervisor ? Choose a Remove Day to tell them to stop. Sure, you may not be able reason out some people but let this offer you enough inspiration and courage to seek alternatives and get lucky with another job, an additional income or new channels of opportunities.

  5. There is no support. Support means capital. Financial, Human and Emotional capital. Many of these capitals are derived from your perosnal intelligence, capacity and attitude towards life. Resources are best optimised when they are self created and self preserving. Get rid of the idea that you need help from others (although it is not a bad thing) to succeed in life. A Remove Day is a day of resolution (has your New Year Resolution fizzled out of steam ?) to remind yourself that 2021 is a year of discovery waiting for you to dig up that jewel buried underground.

How and where do you find such days ? They are found in the simple reference in the Chinese Almanac (eBook) which can be purchased on this website.