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Legend has it that Buddha invited all the animals to compete in a race. The first twelve animals to finish the race would be honored with being animal of the year, in the order that they finished. Twelve animals to represent each year within the lunar calendar cycle. This illustration, done in the chinese paper cut style, features the rat.
In order of race finish: rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, goat, monkey, rooster, dog and pig.