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Chinese New Year

Year of the Sheep

Sheep (born in 1919, 1931, 1943, 1955, 1967, 1979, 1991, 2003, 2015, 2027, 2039, and 2051)

For people who have the Sheep zodiac sign, you will find that most are highly attracted to Performing and Fine Arts.  These individuals are creative but also practical.  Known as being talented, Sheep are often focused on anything exquisite and beautiful.  This means the home, workplace, and even personal appearance is well kept and often, stunning.

You will also discover that Sheep always seem to take the right path.  These people have a unique sense called I Shoku-Jui in Japanese, making them a highly admired group of people.  Although the Sheep might deal with romantic relationship problems later in life, they usually work through challenges.  For females under this sign, you often see a longing to be married to wealth or at least dating a rich boyfriend.  If not married, the female Sheep of wealthy parents would be perfectly content to stay.


Positive Characteristics

 

On a positive side, Sheep are charming, elegant, love nature, and as mentioned, are very artistic.  In fact, of all the Chinese zodiac signs, the Sheep has the most talent.  Positive traits associated with this person also include having great manners and being delicate.  Because of their natural charm, this person often has a large number of friends.

 

In addition, Sheep are highly romantic and sweet.  When involved with another person, you will see a little bit of bossiness and laziness but because this person is so gentle, relationships are generally easy.  In the business world, you often see this person going with the flow, following the rules as outlined.  Considered just nice people, Sheep are often respected.

 

Other traits of a Sheep are some levels of whimsy, unassuming, and loyal.  While this person does not typically become wealthy on his/her own, they are attracted to people with money.  In fact, some Sheep will remain single unless they can land a rich partner.  The level of intelligence, artistic ability, and good nature, make the Sheep likable and uncomplicated.

 

Negative Characteristics

 

Typically, the Sheep is a great all-around person, grounded, loving, and sweet.  However, this person also has a few negative characteristics.  For instance, you often see insecurity associated with the Sheep.  Usually, this person has a strong need to be protected, accepted, and loved.  When it comes to firm decisions, the person will draw back in that he/she does not handle complex situations well.

 

Sheep are also big dreamers, which is good but along with this come traits of being a worrier, being anxious, and even pessimistic.  Rather than work hard to earn money, the Sheep would just assume to marry or date money.  You will also see this person overly obsessed with his/her appearance, taking great pain to look perfect.  Most Sheep would never leave home without looking GQ.

 

Career Opportunities

 

You need to keep in mind that this individual often struggles with indecisiveness.  For this reason, he or she will often dig deep to understand things unknown.  With incredible talent, this person often chooses a life in the arts, specifically writing, sculpting, painting, or working as a craftsperson.  However, due to the interest in unknown things, you will also find Sheep working reading tarot cards, selling books, or becoming an astrologer.

 

As mentioned, with determination, the Sheep can be successful in business but to reach the top would be hard.  Instead, finding a rich mate, one who could provide a lifetime of support and a lifestyle of luxury would be preferred.

 

Sign Compatibility

 

When it comes to compatibility, the Sheep gets along best with the Pig, Horse, or Rabbit.  However, other signs that work well include the Dragon, Monkey, and Snake.  Signs that will have conflict with the Snake are the Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rooster, and even other Sheep.


The Dragon Dance is one of the most colorful events associated with Chinese New Years.  Participating dancers hold up the dragon "costume" on poles and perform intricate maneuvers, while lights flash and pyrotechnic devices go off.  The effect of this dance is spectacular, as the serpentine dragon whirls and twirls its way around the crowd.  The tradition of the Dragon Dance goes back centuries, and has deep connections with Chinese culture and mythology. 

The origins of the Dragon Dance stretch back to when peasants in rural China would use it as an appeal to the dragon spirit.  It was believed that performing the dance could halt the spread of epidemics, as the dragon spirit would help to cleanse the air and water.  The dragon spirit is highly revered in China for their wisdom, intelligence, and courage.  In fact, children born in the Year of the Dragon (which comes every 12 years and most recently in 2000) are considered to be very lucky.  From its origins as a healing dance, the Dragon Dance went on to become a popular folk activity.  When westerners first encountered the Dragon Dance around 1000 A.D., it was already a part of festivals and celebrations. 

The size of the dragon used in the Dragon Dance varies greatly based on the skill of the performers and their resources.  Most dragons have between nine and 25 sections, each of which is about five or six feet long.  Some talented dragon dance teams have produced dragons with more than 40 sections, which results in the spectacular sight of a dragon more than 200 feet long!  The length of the dragon is supposed to bring good luck, and so communities work hard to produce the longest dragon possible.  Most dragons' robes are made of sequined, richly colored fabric that cover the dancers' bodies from the waist up, although a few dragons are made with dancers waving long colored fabrics on poles in undulating patterns. 

The dragon's head is usually equipped with a gaping mouth, which is sometimes able to open and close.  Since the Dragon Dance is most often performed at night, the mouth is often the source of flames, fireworks, or bright lights, while the body of the dragon will also be lighted or will have sequins that reflect light in the area.  One of the traditions of the Dragon Dance is grabbing money offered by spectators.  As the dragon moves through the crowd, it will try to catch money in its mouth.  If the spectator wants to offer a large denomination bill, they hold it high in order to challenge the dancers' skill and agility.  In some cases, money has been held from first story windows, and the dragon dancers have stood on each other’s shoulders to climb the wall.  Whether money is offered or not, though, the Dragon Dance is a spectacular sight and a must-see for anyone attending a Chinese celebration.


The description of this trade route to the west as the `Silk Road' is misleading. In fact, no single route or road was taken. In crossing Central Asia, several different branches developed, passing through different oasis settlements. The name `Silk Road' is relatively new in historic terms, and was actually coined by a nineteenth century German scholar named von Richthofen

It is often thought that the Romans had first come in contact with silk on one of their campaigns against the Parthians in 53 B.C. It is said that the Romans learned from Parthian prisoners that silk came from a mysterious tribe in the east, who they referred to as the silk people, or `Seres.'  Caravans heading towards China carried gold and other metals, ivory, precious stones, and glass to trade. In the opposite direction, besides silk, furs, ceramics, jade, bronze objects, lacquer, and iron were carried.  The most significant commodity carried along this route though, was not silk, but religion. Buddhism came to China from India, along the northern branch of the route and Christianity also made an early appearance on the scene. 

Prosperous as the Silk Road was, it was always influenced by the political atmosphere of the day. A stable political environment meant that trade went smoothly, a turbulent state of affairs meant that trade was hindered. The height of the importance of the Silk Road occurred during the Tang dynasty in the seventh century, when, at that time, many favorable policies were adopted that encouraged trade.

The later demise of the Silk Road was caused by the development of a trade route by sea from Europe to Asia. It was becoming easier and safer to transport goods by water rather than overland. Ships had become stronger and more reliable, and the route passed through promising new markets in Southern Asia. The overland problems of `tribal politics' between the different peoples along the route and the presence of middlemen, all taking their cut on the goods, took their toll on the Silk Road, and prompted many traders to choose the sea routes.  

As trade with the West subsided, so did the traffic along the Road, and all but the best-watered oases declined. The grottos and other religious sites were long since neglected, now that the local peoples had espoused new religions, and the abandoned towns and sites became buried deeper beneath the sands.

Renewed interest in the Silk Road only emerged among Western scholars towards the end of the nineteenth century, when archaeologists sought the Silk Road's treasures from the past. But, on May 25th, 1925, a student demonstration in the port of Shanghai resulted in a riot and the British opened fire, killing a number of rioters. This created a wave of hostility towards foreigners throughout China, and effectively brought the explorations of the Western archaeologists to an end. The Chinese authorities started to take a much harsher view of the foreign intervention, and organizing archaeological trips became very difficult. The Chinese demanded that all artifacts be turned over and this effectively ended foreign exploration of the region. The treasures of the ancient Silk Road are now scattered in museums in about a dozen countries. The biggest collections are located in the British Museum and in Delhi, India. 

Today, the Silk Road is increasing in importance once again. The construction of roads and the discovery of large oil reserves under the desert is encouraging development. The area is rapidly becoming industrialized. The trade route itself is also being reopened, and trading is being encouraged by the recent trend towards a `socialist market economy' in China. Since China opened its doors to foreign tourists at the end of the 1970s, tourism is recognized as a lucrative commodity. This has encouraged Chinese authorities to strive to protect the remaining historical sites and restoration of many of the sites is underway.

This ancient trade route has seen many changes since its birth before Christ, through its brightest days in the Tang dynasty, until its slow decline approximately seven hundred years ago. Once again though, because of changes in the political climate, the Silk Road may yet see international trade again, but on a scale never thought possible in the days of traveling by camels and horses.

Unlike the westernized style of zodiac, the Chinese zodiac actually dates back to 2500 BC during the reign of Emperor Huang Ti.  This particular zodiac calendar provides an annual look into activity based on the moon’s cycles.  Beginning with a lunar year, which can begin anytime from late January to the middle of February, each calendar consists of five cycles, each being 12 years. 

For each of the 12 years, the Chinese zodiac includes animals, which has a very interesting legend.  It is believed that before Lord Buddha left the earth, he summoned all of the animals to come before him.  However, of all the animals, only 12 showed up to bid him farewell.  In honor of these 12, Lord Buddha named a year after them.  The belief is that the animal associated with each year rules over it.  Therefore, the lifestyle and personality of the person born under that animal sign is strongly influenced by that particular animal, being supported by the old Chinese saying, “This is the animal that hides in your heart.” 

During an excavation in 1955 of a tomb dating back to the Tang Dynasty, a set of zodiac figurines were found, each carefully made from pottery.  Interestingly, these figurines were created with the body of a human but the head of each of the 12 animals.  During the North Zhou Dynasty, which was from 557 to 581 AD, a very popular practice was to determine a person’s year of birth using the zodiac signs.  You would even find the coordinating zodiac on eating utensils and grave headstones. 

The 12 animals that showed up in front of Lord Buddha included the rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, sheep, monkey, rooster, dog, and pig successively.  The story is that the cat spoke with his friend the rat.  They agreed that whichever one of them awoke in the morning first would be responsible for waking the other so they could go to Lord Buddha together.  Unfortunately, the rat broke his promise to the cat, arriving alone.  Shortly thereafter, the remaining 11 animals showed up and by the time that the cat awoke, the meeting had concluded.  The legend is that because of this, cats resent and kill rats.  To give you a better idea of how the Chinese zodiac works, consider the following: 

Rat (born in 1912, 1924, 1936, 1948, 1960, 1972, 1984, 1996, 2008, 2020, 2032, 2044) – First animal in the cycle, considered aggressive, suspicious, ambitious, quick to anger, power hungry, hot-tempered, critical, as well as generous, honest, charming, imaginative, and generous.  It is common for people under the Rat zodiac to be publicists, writers, or critics.  The Rat coordinates well with the Monkey and Dragon, but the Horse should be avoided.

Year of the Rat Page

Ox (born in 1913, 1925, 1937, 1949, 1961, 1973, 1985, 1997, 2009, 2021, 2033, 2045) – Powerful, unyielding, stubborn, but also born leaders, great parents, typically successful, upright, inspiring, conservative, and easy-going.  Typical careers would include a surgeon, military personnel, or hairdresser.  The Ox gets along with the Snake and Rooster but the Sheep should be avoided.

Year of the Ox Page

Tiger (born in 1914, 1926, 1938, 1950, 1962, 1974, 1986, 1998, 2010, 2022, 2034, and 2046) – Fighting animal, which is aggressive, unpredictable, emotional, yet charming, sensitive, courageous, and capable of giving immense love.  Somewhat of a risk taker, while also carefree.  Excellent positions include anything with supervision, an explorer, matador, or racecar driver.  Love tendencies are strong between the Horse and Dog but the Monkey should be left alone.

Year of the Tiger Page

Rabbit (born in 1915, 1927, 1939, 1963, 1975, 1987, 1999, 2003, 2036, and 2047) – Affectionate, talented, pleasant, value security, enjoy tranquility, sometimes too sentimental and superficial, cautious, and generally successful in business.  The rabbit would make an excellent actor, lawyer, or diplomat.  The best life partners would include the Sheep or Pig but not Roosters.

Year of the Rabbit Page

Dragon (born in 1916, 1928, 1940, 1952, 1964, 1976, 1988, 2000, 2012, 2024, 2036, and 2048) – The Dragon is highly intelligent, gifted, unfaithful, loud, garish, popular, successful, enthusiastic, although also stubborn.  Typically, the Dragon would be a priest, politician, artist, or some type of leader.  Very compatible with the Snake or Rooster but the Sheep should be avoided.

Year of the Dragon Page

Snake (born in 1917, 1929, 1941, 1953, 1965, 1977, 1989, 2001, 2013, 2015, 2037, and 2049) – People under this sign are clever, determined, passionate, intense, romantic, charming, and wise, but also tend to be vain and guided strongly by intuition.  The Snake will win money but should avoid being stingy.  The best jobs for this sign would be a writer, philosopher, teacher, fortuneteller, or psychiatrist.  The snake coordinates will with the Ox and Rooster, but not the Pig.

Year of the Snake Page

Horse (born in 1918, 1930, 1942, 1954, 1966, 1978, 1990, 2002, 2014, 2026, 2038, and 2050) – The Horse is friendly, intelligent, popular, cheerful, but also has an impatient, cunning, and selfish streak.  This person is typically a scientist, politician, poet, or adventurer.  The Horse goes well with the Dog and Tiger but not necessarily the Rat.

Year of the Horse Page

Sheep (born in 1919, 1931, 1943, 1955, 1967, 1979, 1991, 2003, 2015, 2027, 2039, and 2051) – Sheep are creative, passionate, artistic, elegant, honest, and warmhearted, but also timid, disorganized, pessimistic, and vulnerable.  The best career for the Sheep would be an actor, beachcomber, or gardener.  The Sheep is very compatible with the Rabbit and Pig and the Ox should be avoided.

Year of the Sheep Page

Monkey (born in 1920, 1932, 1944, 1956, 1968, 1980, 1992, 2004, 2016, 2028, 2040, and 2052) – Very intelligent, clever, inventive, and entertaining, the Monkey can also be discouraged easily and live dangerously.  Often distrustful of other people, they will guard against many situations.  The great thing about being a Monkey is that they will succeed in anything they want to do.  The best compatibility comes with the Dragon or Rat, not the Tiger.

Year of the Monkey Page

Rooster (born in 1921, 1933, 1945, 1957, 1969, 1981, 1993, 2005, 2017, 2029, 2041, and 2053) – The Rooster is hardworking, courageous, eager for more knowledge, strong decision-makers, very skilled, and great with details.  However, the Rooster is also arrogant, shrewd, eccentric, and sometimes, reckless.  The perfect career for a Rooster would be a restaurant owner, military personnel, publicist, or world traveler.  This sign gets along best with the Snake and Ox but the Rabbit should be far away.

Year of the Rooster / Cock Page

Dog (born in 1922, 1934, 1946, 1958, 1970, 1982, 1994, 2006, 2018, 2030, 2042, and 2054) – People born under the Dog are honest, quiet, generous, intelligent, and very loyal while also being a bit stubborn.  They tend to worry about everything, have a sharp tongue, and like to place fault on others.  However, people under this sign are also very successful, making them great candidates for business, teaching, or working as a secret agent.  Tigers and Horses are the best match while the Dragon should be handled with caution.

Year of the Dog Page

Pig – (born in 1923, 1935, 1947, 1959, 1971, 1983, 1995, 2007, 2019, 2020, 2031, and 2043) – Very honest, sincere, tolerant, kind, and affectionate, the Pig is also short tempered and impulsive.  Since people under this sign are eager for knowledge, they tend to be successful, especially when it comes to finances, entertainment, or the legal field.  The best match would be the Sheep and Rabbit but Pigs and Pigs do not do well together.

Year of the Pig Page


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