The Snake (蛇) is the sixth of the 12-year cycle of animals that appear in the Chinese zodiac. The Year of the Snake is related with the symbol of the Earth Branch 巳.
According to one legend, there is a reason for the order of the 12 animals in the 12-year cycle. The story goes that a race is held to cross a great river, and the order of animals in the cycle is based on their order at the end of the race. In this story, the Snake gives not being the best swimmer by cutting a hidden ride on the Horse's hoof, and when the Horse is about to cross the finish line, jumps, destroys the Horse, and thus replaced it with sixth place.