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Asia Minute: Welcoming Vietnam's Year of the Cat

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Hau Dinh/AP
A woman looks at lanterns at the traditional Lunar New Year "Tet" market in the old quarter of Hanoi, Vietnam, Friday, Jan. 28, 2022. (AP Photo/Hau Dinh)

Across Vietnam, people are getting ready to celebrate the Year of the Cat.

That's a difference from the traditional Chinese Zodiac, which is heading into the Year of the Rabbit.

But in Vietnam, there is no rabbit in the Zodiac — instead, there's a cat.

To find out why, a few Vietnamese zodiac sources offer some potential explanations.

Some have said that the Vietnamese words for cat and rabbit sound very similar.

However, others argue for a theory that the rabbit was somewhat useless to early Vietnamese farmers, but cats could kill rats — helping to preserve crops, and thereby earning the number four spot in the animal rotation of the zodiac.

Those born in the Year of the Cat are said to have sound judgement, along with creativity and ambition.

However, astrologers point out that those born under the sign of the cat may exhibit some characteristics that could sound familiar to fans of felines.

Zodiac cats are said to be self-indulgent, can be stubborn and are subject to mood swings.

For more information on the Year of the Cat, read here.

Bill Dorman has been the news director at Hawaiʻi Public Radio since 2011.
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