American artist Duke Riley will re-enact the legend of the race that resulted in the choosing of the 12 animals on the Chinese zodiac, in Shanghai, on Sunday, April 15.
Set to kick off at 4 pm, the river race and performance will take place at Caogang River in the water village of Zhujiajiao on the outskirts of Shanghai. Riley is known for staging epic water-based battles and performances.
According to Chinese mythology, the Jade Emperor initiated the zodiac in order to organize the measurement of time. The first 12 animals to cross the mighty river in a competitive race would each receive a year of the zodiac.
The rat and the cat, both poor swimmers, persuaded the gullible ox to carry them across. As the ox began to lead the pack, the rat pushed the cat overboard and jumped off the ox to win the race alone. Hence, the first year of the zodiac was bestowed upon the cheating rat.