Chickens in Culture


•Chickens are good mothers In Ancient Rome  the term “You were raised by a hen”, was considered a compliment. As is a similar expression  “Mother hen”, which implies a chicken is a good mother as is the reference in the bible in Matthew 23:37  “How often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing.” This is a metaphor eluding to the protective nature of a mother hen who reaches out to gather her chicks under her wings to shelter them and keep them safe.
•Chickens like most animals feature in religious belief and mythology. There is a delightful belief in Islam that when a cock crows it is because he has seen an angel.  In the Hadith, Muhammad commands, “When you hear the crowing of cocks, ask for Allah’s Blessings for they have seen an angel.
•The chicken has a great significance during the Hindu cremation ceremony in Indonesia. A chicken is tethered by his or her leg during the duration of the ceremony so that any evil sprits may be channelled into the chicken rather than the family members who are present. After this ceremony the chicken is returned home and is not treated any differently.
•The cock has become a symbol of both vigilance and betrayal due to the account in the bible where Jesus prophesied Peter’s betrayal ‘I tell you, Peter, before the rooster crows today, you will deny three times that you know me.'”(Luke 22:34)
•In the cult of Mithras, the cock was a symbol of the divine light and a guardian against evil.
•The rooster is a real gentleman so to speak and when he finds something good to eat he often calls his hens to eat first. This considerate behaviour may be the reason the Talmud (Judaism) speaks of learning “courtesy toward one’s mate” from the rooster.
•In many Central European folk tales, the devil is believed to flee at the first crowing of a cock.
•The Rooster or Cock is one of the 12-year cycle of animals which appear in the Chinese zodiac related to the Chinese calendar. The most recent year of the rooster occurred between February 9th 2005 to January 28th 2006. the next year of the rooster is 2017. Those born in the year of the rooster are said to be sociable, shrewd ,very accomplished, outspoken, boastful, courageous, practical but also dreamers, to name just a few of the personality traits which roosters are said to possess.

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