The Chinese New Year is a very important holiday in Mainland China, and for Chinese communities all over the world. Not only does it mark the beginning of the lunar new year, but the Chinese New Year – also called the Spring Festival – is a very important time of reunion, especially for Chinese workers and business people, many of whom may be only able to return home once per year.
2015 is the Year of the Goat, or more specifically, the Year of the “Yáng (羊).” The Chinese character Yáng can refer to either sheep or goat, and is also not specific to either sex. Therefore translations such as the “Year of the Ram” and “Year of the Sheep” are also perfectly acceptable. However, I myself prefer and generally use the term “Goat.”
Chinese astrology contains 12 animals (Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Goat, Monkey, Rooster, Dog, and Pig), and those born in the year corresponding to a certain animal are believed to be endowed with specific traits (e.g. strengths and weaknesses) tied to that animal. For example, while those born in the year of the Goat are believed to be calm, kind, filial and clever, they are also thought of as worrywarts, timid, indecisive and weak-willed. For those interested in Chinese astrology, it is commonly thought that knowing one’s birth year (and associated animal) is a guide not just to likely strengths and weaknesses, but also to careers, financial prospects, future relationships, health, and a number of other elements.
Again, best wishes to you all in 2015, the Year of the Goat, and may all your hearts’ desires come true!