Welcome the year of the horse

As the Chinese welcomed the year of the horse, I wish all my readers a Happy, Healthy and Prosperous New Year.

Chinese zodiac calendar

chinesezodiacchartThe Chinese zodiac is a calendar system originating in the Han dynasty (206-220BC), which names each of the years in its 12-year cycle after an animal: the rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, goat, monkey, rooster, dog and pig, in that order. According to the system, the universe is made up of five elements – earth, water, fire, wood and metal – which interact with the 12 animals, resulting in the specific character of the year ahead. Thus, 2014 is the first year of the wooden horse in 60 years.

People born in the year of the horse are said to be a bit like horses: animated, active and energetic – they love being in a crowd. They are quick to learn independence – foals can walk minutes after birth – and they have a straightforward and positive attitude towards life. They are known for their communication skills. They are also known to be energetic and witty. The most compatible partners for them are those born in the years of the tiger, goat or dog.

If you were born in the year of the horse, you are in good company. Fellow members of the horse club include Genghis Khan, Mongol ruler; Franklin D Roosevelt, the 32nd president of the US; Louis Pasteur, a 19th-century scientist; Neil Armstrong, the first man on the moon; the American singer Aretha Franklin; and the model Cindy Crawford.

According to Feng Shui experts, years of the wooden horse are associated with warfare. For example: the battle of Dien Bien Phu, which ended with the defeat of France by the Vietnamese, happened in 1954; and 1894 saw the start of the first Sino-Japanese war.

But that is all history and is behind us. Let’s hope that this year of the wooden horse will peace and prosperity to all.

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