Sunday, December 30, 2012

Celebrate the Chinese New Year: 2013 Year of the Snake

The Queen of Snakes
from The Olive Fairy Tale Book
by Andrew Lang, 1907
Illustration by Henry Justice Ford

The Chinese New Year begins on February 10 and ends on February 24 and 2013 is the Year of the Snake.

“Ancient Chinese wisdom says a Snake in the house is a good omen because it means your family will not starve. This could be taken metaphorically to mean that a Snake could never have a problem with his family starving because he is such a great mediator, making him good at business. Or it could mean that a Snake would be willing to sacrifice his possessions, something the Snake has a lot of, in order to pay for his family’s food.

Any way it is interpreted is representative of the Snake’s character and is a measure of the value he puts on his material wealth. The Snake is keen and cunning, quite intelligent and wise.”

For more information on this sign and the others of the Chinese Zodiac visit

Here are some stories to get your storytelling juices flowing, or in this case, slithering!


The Fairy Tale of the Green Snake and the Beautiful Lily
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

The Girl and the Snake – Sweden
The King of the Snakes and Other Folk-lore Stories from Uganda

The Legend of the White Snake - China
Rabbit Plays Tug-O-War – Native American
The Rainbow Serpent - Australia
The Three Snake Leaves - Grimm

Snake and Serpent Husbands in Folktales – D.L. Ashliman
The Snake and the Pauper – Haiti

The Snake with Five Heads – Native American
The Snake with the Big Feet – Native American

The Snakes Bride – Bhutan
The White Man and the Snake – South Africa
The White Snake – Germany/Grimm
Why Frog and Snake Never Play Together - Africa
Why Mongoose Kills Snakes - Africa



These two sites offer fun snake crafts, coloring pages, activities and more.

CURRICULUM - Reptile Adaptations for grades 4-6.


Snow Snakes – An Ojibwe game for grades 2-8.



Karen Chace 2012 ©

This blog post was researched and compiled by Karen Chace. Permission for private use is granted. Distribution, either electronically or on paper is prohibited without my expressed written permission. For permission please contact me at Of course, if you wish to link to my blog via your website, blog, newsletter, Facebook page or Twitter please feel free to do so; I greatly appreciate your support and personal integrity.