Chinese New Year 2015: The Year of the Goat

19 February, 2015 at 17:14 | Posted in Chinese culture | Leave a comment
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By Lily Choo and Tanya Harrison
Epoch Times

This year, Feb. 19 marks the beginning of the Year of the Goat, from which we will enter a new Chinese zodiac year.

Chinese New Year is the most important festival to Chinese people the world over. Like the solar New Year, it represents a time for reflection, for resolutions, and new hope in the year to come.

Chinese New Year celebrations run for about 16 days, from the New Year’s Eve until the Lantern Festival on the 15th day of the first lunar month.

The Chinese lunar calendar incorporates both the lunar cycle and the position of the sun. So, using the traditional Chinese lunar calendar, the first day of the Chinese lunar year may fall anywhere between late January and the middle of February.

Chinese people have used the lunar calendar since 2600 B.C when the mythical Yellow Emperor, or Huang Di, started the first cycle of the Chinese zodiac.

According to legend, Huang Di named an animal to represent each year in a 12-year cycle that includes the rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, goat, monkey, rooster, dog, and pig.

Good Associations And Attribution

The Chinese character羊 (yáng), which generally refers to a goat, sheep, or ram, is considered a symbol of auspiciousness, good luck, and peace. Since ancient times, people have used 羊to symbolize good-naturedness.

羊is among the animals that Chinese people like most. It is generally gentle, calm, and quiet by nature and is a source of many things that benefit humankind.

羊 is close to the meaning of good things. As such, it is used in many Chinese characters to indicate something beneficial.

Here are a few characters related to羊

祥 (xiáng) means good omen or auspiciousness. It has a 羊 on the right.

善 (shàn) means compassion and kindness. There is a 羊on the upper part.

義 (yì) means righteousness and justice. It has a 羊on the upper part, too.

美 (měi) means perfection and beauty. There is also a 羊 on the upper part of this character.

鮮 (xiān) means fresh and tasty. You can find 羊 on the right in the character.

The Sign Of The Goat

The Goat is the eighth sign in the Chinese zodiac. If you were born in 1931, 1943, 1955, 1967, 1979, 1991, 2003, or 2015, your Chinese zodiac sign is likely the goat. It is important, though, to consider the day of your birth in January or February in regard to the first day of the Chinese New Year.

Since ancient times, the goat became closely linked to Chinese people’s livelihood. Its meat and milk are highly nutritious, and its wool makes fabric that is lightweight, soft, and has other good properties. Chinese people also learned to use its fleece to make writing brushes and its skin to keep warm.

Being mostly quiet and calm, goat are considered peaceful animals. Like their animal counterpart, people born in the Year of the Goat are seen as calm individuals. Their personalities are quiet, reserved, and soothing. They tend to be easygoing and relaxed. Hanging in the background, they watch contentedly away from the limelight as others dazzle company. They enjoy life in their own quiet, individual way.

Read more: Chinese New Year 2015: The Year of the Goat


Year of the Horse: What Chinese Say of People Born Year of the Horse

1 February, 2014 at 10:06 | Posted in Chinese culture | Leave a comment


By Ying Wen
Epoch Times

According to the cycle of the five elements in the Chinese Zodiac, 2014 is the Year of the Wooden Horse, which is regarded as a year of quick victories, unexpected adventures, and surprising romances.

Five Elemental Signs Start Dates, End Dates:
Metal horse 30 January 1930, 16 February 1931
Water horse 15 February 1942, 4 February 1943
Wood horse 3 February 1954, 23 January 1955
Fire horse 21 January 1966, 8 February 1967
Earth horse 7 February 1978, 27 January 1979
Metal horse 27 January 1990, 14 February 1991
Water horse 12 February 2002, 31 January 2003
Wood horse 31 January 2014, 18 February 2015
Fire horse 17 February 2026, 5 February 2027

Chinese people believe the horse is one of the most important creatures in the world for mankind to befriend.

The elegant horse symbolizes a strong character with aspiration for straightforward momentum and goals. A horse is known to be one of the quickest animals to learn independence: for example, a foal can stand up less than 10 minutes after birth and begins to walk almost immediately after that.

It is believed that those who are born in the Year of the Horse usually have superior manners, and they pay more attention to their appearance in terms of style and accessories. They tend to be generous and like extravagance.

Generally, they are free-spirited, liberated, and always on the move, yearning for the freedom to roam. Their attitude toward everything is positive and straightforward. As independent as the horse, they don’t like to be suppressed and they don’t easily accept help from others.

Usually open-minded, it is easy for them to make a wide range of friends. Their eloquence and talent of persuasion make them natural leaders. Being cheerful and kind, they can also get along easily with other people. Gifted with insightful comprehension, they often seem to know what others are thinking.

People born in the Year of the Horse have a wide variety of interests, such as drama, music, sports, etc. They are usually very athletic and sports-oriented.

Being highly diligent and creative, they often progress directly towards their goals. They learn new skills easily and quickly. Their personality makes them excellent business people who can take on an amazing volume of tasks and complete them with equally amazing accuracy.

However, once difficulties and frustrations arise, they can be impatient and tend to shift direction easily. They dislike doing things alone and are most satisfied when they are embraced, acclaimed, and admired by others on a team.

Horse people are high-spirited and witty. At critical moments, they have a flair for making the best of a situation, which makes them quite impressive.

Furthermore, they can easily acquire wealth but not necessarily keep it because they are always changing their minds and strategies.

Due to their open and loose nature, they are not, however, good at keeping secrets. Another significant shortcoming is that they are inclined to invade others’ privacy.

As impulsive as a horse can be, they like to try everything without thinking and often fall short. Fortunately, they are optimistic people and never surrender to feelings of failure. Therefore, they are able to eventually achieve their goals.

Generally speaking, they have incredible talents and know how to respond quickly and deal with things effectively. Since they are quite aware of their innate talents, they are often arrogant, selfish, and ambitious, and have blatant disregard for others. Thus, they will likely not feel sorry once they get what they want, even when it’s at others’ expense. This personality trait is their biggest stumbling block.

As for romance, they can express their sentiments directly. Often emotional, their feelings are easily hurt, yet they can sacrifice everything for true love. This characteristic is one of the factors that make their romantic relationships fragile.

Due to the seemingly contradictory nature of the personality traits of this sign, Horse people can be endearing and at the same time infuriating.

The Wood Horse is fortunate, though, in that this “wood” element balances the best and the worst characteristics of Horse people. The element of wood makes them more stable so that they are less capricious and less prone to emotionality than their other Horse counterparts.

That is how the Chinese see those born under the Sign of the Horse.

via Year of the Horse: What Chinese Say of People Born Year of the Horse


Chinese New Year 2014: Year of the Horse

26 January, 2014 at 07:09 | Posted in Chinese culture | Leave a comment

By Lily Choo
Epoch Times

The Chinese New Year in 2014 is celebrated on Friday, Jan. 31, marking the beginning of the Year of the Horse in the Chinese zodiac.

According to the traditional Chinese lunar calendar, the first day of the Chinese lunar year may fall anywhere between late January and the middle of February. It is the most important festival of the Chinese people.

The Chinese lunar calendar incorporates both the lunar cycle and the position of the sun. According to legend, the calendar dates back to 2600 B.C., when the mythical Yellow Emperor started the first cycle of the Chinese zodiac and named an animal to represent each year in the 12-year cycle.

The 12 animal signs are rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, sheep, monkey, rooster, dog, and pig.

The Sign of the Horse

If you were born in 1918, 1930, 1942, 1954, 1966, 1978, 1990, 2002, or 2014, you were born under the sign of the horse.

The horse is one of the Chinese people’s favorite animals and has become closely linked to people’s lives. It provided a quick and useful mode of transportation before the invention of vehicles.

One of the ways the horse serves human beings is to give people a ride to their destination. Therefore, the horse is not only a symbol of travel, but also a sign of speedy success.

The horse ranks seventh among the 12 animals of the Chinese zodiac. People born in the Year of the Horse are highly animated, active, and energetic. They are typically very elegant, independent, gentle, and hardworking.

Their most striking characteristic is their strong self-confidence. Thus the Year of the Horse is a time for all people to go forward confidently in the direction of their goals and dreams, just as the horse gallops at top speed toward its destination.

New Year Traditions

Chinese New Year, also called Spring Festival, is the most important of the traditional Chinese festivals. The celebration usually lasts 15 days, from New Year’s Day to the Lantern Festival, which is the 15th day of the first month of the Chinese lunar calendar.

There are many traditions and customs associated with the Chinese New Year. Families thoroughly clean their house in order to sweep away any ill fortune and to make way for good luck. Windows and doors are decorated with delicate red paper cutouts and poetic couplets—pairs of corresponding lines of poetry that express people’s joy and hope for the New Year.

Fireworks, firecrackers, red packages, the lion dance, the dragon dance, and lanterns with riddles are other common customs and traditions observed during the Chinese New Year period.

Very importantly, many families gather for a big family reunion dinner on New Year’s Eve, and the Chinese people also pay visits to their relatives as part of the New Year celebration.

New Year Wishes

The arrival of the Year of Horse is a time to reconcile differences, let go of all grudges, and sincerely wish everyone peace, health, and happiness. Here are some of the most popular New Year wishes:

Lucky/Auspicious Year of the Horse! (馬年吉祥, mǎ nián jí xiáng)
Instant success when the horse arrives! (馬到成功, mǎ dào chéng gong)
Take the lead upon the horse!  (一馬當先, yī mǎ dāng xiān)
Peace and good health in the Year of the Horse! (馬年安康, mǎ nián ān kāng)

via Chinese New Year 2014: Year of the Horse

Chinese New Year 2013 – The Year of the Snake

5 February, 2013 at 09:54 | Posted in Chinese culture | Leave a comment
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Epoch Times Staff

While saying farewell to the celestial dragon, we welcome the intelligent snake. Chinese New Year in 2013 falls on Sunday, Feb. 10— it is the Year of the Snake.

Chinese New Year, also known as the Spring Festival, starts on the first day of the first Chinese month (and ends with the Lantern Festival, which is on the 15th day and is the most important festival for the Chinese people).

The Chinese New Year is celebrated by eating special New Year food, setting off fireworks, visiting friends and relatives, delivering red packages as good wishes, and hanging lanterns. Many Chinese people regard 2013 as a good year because it is right after the auspicious Year of the Dragon.

The Chinese calendar differs from the Western (Gregorian) calendar and the beginning of the Chinese New Year changes every year, with dates ranging between late January and late February. The Chinese zodiac is a rotating cycle of 12 years, with each year being represented by an animal.

The Snake, also called Junior Dragon by Chinese people, is the sixth sign of the Chinese Zodiac, which consists of these 12 animal signs: Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Sheep, Monkey, Rooster, Dog, and Pig.

Zodiac signs The year of your birth

Rat 1924 1936 1948 1960 1972 1984 1996 2008
Ox 1925 1937 1949 1961 1973 1985 1997 2009
Tiger 1926 1938 1950 1962 1974 1986 1998 2010
Rabbit 1927 1939 1951 1963 1975 1987 1999 2011
Dragon 1928 1940 1952 1964 1976 1988 2000 2012
Snake 1929 1941 1953 1965 1977 1989 2001 2013
Horse 1930 1942 1954 1966 1978 1990 2002 2014
Sheep 1931 1943 1955 1967 1979 1991 2003 2015
Monkey 1932 1944 1956 1968 1980 1992 2004 2016
Rooster 1933 1945 1957 1969 1981 1993 2005 2017
Dog 1934 1946 1958 1970 1982 1994 2006 2018
Pig 1935 1947 1959 1971 1983 1995 2007 2019

People born in the Year of Snake share certain characteristics: cute, charming, aware, elegant, mysterious, cunning, and passionate. It is said that they are great mediators and good at doing business.

Please read more about the characteristics of the people born under this Chinese zodiac sign in a subsequent article “What Chinese say about people born in the Year of the Snake.”

With the arrival of the Year of the Snake, many people will post a variety of New Year wishes. The most popular ones are “Keep good health in 2013” and “Gathering with family in 2013,” among others.

via Chinese New Year 2013 – The Year of the Snake | Culture | China | Epoch Times

Related articles: The Year of the Snake

Happy New Year of the Dragon!

24 January, 2012 at 08:44 | Posted in China, Chinese culture | Leave a comment
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Water-Dragon (born in 1952 and 2012)
Water has a calming effect on the dragon’s fearless temperament. Water makes it easier for the dragon to control their enthusiasm. Unlike the other dragons, who want to be in the limelight, water-dragon has easier to take a step back and reevaluate the situation. Therefore, they take smart decisions and can meet people face to face. But they can do wrong if they do not do research or do not finish one project before starting a new one.

Translated from Vad kineserna säger om drakens år

Born in the Year of the Rabbit?

8 February, 2011 at 11:55 | Posted in Chinese culture | Leave a comment
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By Lilly Wang
Epoch Times Staff

Those of you lucky enough be to born in the year of the rabbit, that is, those of you born in 1927, 1939, 1951, 1963, 1975, 1987, 1999 or 2011, share, according to the Chinese, these admirable traits:

YEAR OF THE RABBIT: Children take part in an early Chinese New Year performance at a shopping mall in Hong Kong on Jan. 25. 2011 marks the coming Year of the Rabbit according to the Chinese Lunar Calendar.

Creative, Compassionate, and Sensitive

Occupying the fourth position in the Chinese Zodiac, the Rabbit is creative, compassionate, and sensitive. Rabbits are friendly, outgoing, and prefer the company of others to be alone. They also prefer to avoid conflict. In confrontational situations, Rabbits approach the matter calmly and take into consideration the other party. Rabbits believe strongly in friends and family and if they lack these bonds, it may lead to emotional issues.

Sophisticated, Courteous, and Stylish

Although Rabbits are most comfortable being home, (their homes are always neat and organized and tend to be conservatively decorated) and that home is where they prefer to entertain, they are also sophisticated, expressive, well-behaved, and stylish. In fact, those born under the sign of the rabbit enjoy learning about cultural issues and about people from other countries.

Good Communicators

Rabbits are articulate and good communicators. Friends and acquaintances seek out their advice. This is why Rabbits make excellent diplomats and politicians. Other good careers for Rabbits include: writing, publishing, acting, fashion designing, the healing arts, administrating and in public relations, and teaching.

Read more: Born in the Year of the Rabbit? | Epoch Times Mobile

More articles: How the Rabbit Became a Heavenly Being

A Legend of the Chinese Zodiac

The Ancient Chinese Calendar

The Year of the Rabbit and its Positive Augur

19 December, 2010 at 23:12 | Posted in Chinese culture | Leave a comment
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By David Wu
Epoch Times staff

People born in the Year of the Rabbit (2011) share certain characteristics: they are mild and generous, gracious and dignified. They are noted for their compassion and strong sense of sympathy. The people born under this sign are alert and persevering, and make good work and life companions.

Read more: The Year of the Rabbit and its Positive Augur | China | Epoch Times


18 February, 2010 at 10:29 | Posted in Chinese culture | Leave a comment
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The Year of The Tiger begins on February 14th 2010. Drama, intensity, change and travel will be the keywords for 2010. Unfortunately, world conflicts and disasters tend to feature during Tiger years also, so it won’t be a dull 12 months for anyone. The Year of the Tiger will bring far reaching changes for everyone. New inventions and incredible technological advances have a good chance of occurring. For all of the Chinese horoscope signs, this year is one to be active – seizing opportunities and making the most of your personal and very individual talents. Everything happens quickly and dramatically in a Tiger year – blink and you could miss an important chance of a lifetime!

Sounds promising and challenging doesn’t it? I found this information here and you can also on that website find out how this year will be for you!

I wish you all succeed in your projects during 2010 and I would like to give you some words of mine on your way: In the energy of the tiger, no fight and struggle, just follow the natural flow in your life and things will go fine… Or as Lao Zi said, “Sages do things but not fight for things”. And if you keep truthfulness, compassion, endurance and benevolence, no matter what, in your heart, your life might turn out even better ~~~~~ It’s a challenge I know, but that’s how your life is going to change in the long run. Why not give it a try? 🙂

More about Chinese astrology: Secrets of the Chinese Calendar: “Musings About Nature, Time, and Life”

Om du vill läsa mer om kinesisk astrologi läs då denna artikel: ”Månkalendern, hemligheterna bakom den kinesiska kalendern”

Mer om 2010:  “Uthållighet viktigt under Tigerns år 2010”

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