Is the year of Goat or sheep?
On Thursday, February 19, 2015 is the Chinese New Year, the longest and most important holiday in the Chinese calendar.
2015 is the year of the Goat, but you may see it referred to as the “Year of the Sheep” too.
The confusion stems from the Chinese character “yang”, which can translate in colloquial Chinese as either sheep or goat.
Those born in 1919, 1931, 1943, 1967, 1979, 1991 or 2003 are goats, who can count their lucky colours as brown, red and purple.
Their characters are supposedly kind and peaceable, while their best months are supposedly August and November and their lucky flowers are primroses and carnations.
Facts about New Year:
There are a number of interesting Chinese New Year facts. Chinese New Year follows the lunar calendar and each of the year is associated with an animal. Given below are some interesting facts on Chinese New Year:
- According to the legends, Chinese New Year started on month 1 during the reign of Xia Dynasty. However, in 221 BC, Qin Shi Huang shifted it from Month 1 to Month 10. Again in 104 BC, Emperor Wu changed it to month 1.
- According to the myth, Lord Buddha once invited all the animals for Chinese New Year. However, only 12 animals had come and Buddha blessed them by naming New Years by the names of those animals. These animals are Pig, Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Sheep, Monkey, Rooster, and Dog.
- Chinese New Year is called Lunar New Year in China.
- According to the tradition, Chinese people age one year together and the on the 7th day of the first month of New Year, Chinese people become one year older.
- On the lantern festival, all the members of the family come down to the street with a lantern in their hands.
- The lantern festival marks the official ending of the festival.
- A fortune cookie, ‘tsujiura senbei' is associated with the Chinese New Year celebrations.
- In Chinese New Year, the married couples present Ang Pow to each other. It is a red envelop that contains even numbered amount of money but the amount should not have a 4 at the end, because 4 is considered equivalent to death.
- China Central Television broadcast a special presentation of Lunar New Year's Eve.
- Bamboo stems were filled with gunpowder and were burnt. The sounds are believed to wipe away all the evil spirits.
- The Chinese New Year is based on the lunar cycles. An entire cycle of the Chinese calendar is completed after every 60 years.
- Chinese calendar is the oldest calendars in the world.
- According to the Chinese New Year traditions, red is the lucky color for Chinese New Year and it is widely used in decorations.