Blessings to all for a well and happy New Year, which according to the Chinese Zodiac is the Year of the Ox!
There are several origin stories for the Chinese Zodiac animals; one story that is based on Buddhism has it that Buddha summoned all of the animals of the earth to come before him before his departure from this earth, but only twelve animals showed up. To reward the animals who came to him he named a year after each of them, the years were given to them in the order they had arrived. The Ox would have been first, but the rat, who was riding on his back, jumped off and presented himself to Buddha first. One of the professions said to be typical of persons born in the Ox Year is military.