So it’s the Year of the Horse and what does that mean to you?
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Dragons and Tigers and Monkeys, oh my, the Year of the Horse begins on Monday, Feb. 3, the first new moon of the first lunar month. The Chinese New Year of 4,712 begins on Friday, Jan.31 and is also known as the Chinese Spring Festival.
Unlike New Years in the United States, where the new year is celebrated in one 24-hour period, with or without hangover, the Chinese New Year/Spring Festival lasts 15 days.
People burn incense and have their fortunes told; they clean their houses, sweeping out any bad luck from the previous year before the new year begins and then don’t clean their homes for two weeks after the new year so as not to disturb the new, good luck they have attracted.
Red is the color
People decorate with a lot of red, considered the color of luck and longevity and place flowers and mandarin oranges in their homes.
They make sacrifices to the Kitchen God, hoping he will put in a good word for them and they visit relatives, bringing red envelopes filled with money or treats for the children. Of course, there are firecrackers to scare away any bad spirits.
On Feb. 3, the Chinese astrological year begins with the Year of the Horse, the seventh sign in Chinese astrology.
The 12-year cycle begins with the Year of the Rat. Following Rat is Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Sheep, Monkey, Rooster, Dog and Boar. People born in the various years are said, by Chinese astrologers, to share certain characteristics.
The horse is considered the characteristic spirit of the Chinese people. Characteristics of a Horse spirit are energetic, intelligent, warm-hearted, bright and able. In ancient China a capable person was called a “Qianli Ma,” — a horse that covers a 1,000 li in a day (one li equals 500 meters.)
If you were born in a year of the Horse — 1918, 1930, 1942, 1954, 1966, 1978, 1990, 2002 or 2014, you might be a good communicator, clever, kind, cheerful, perceptive, talented, flamboyant, earthy and popular. You might also be stubborn, talk too much, impatient, rarely listen to advice and hate to be constrained in any way.
Knowing your astrological sign is not the same as knowing what Chinese astrology means and no one who was polled knew what the Year of the Horse promised for 2014.
Gallop or stand
According to multiple prognosticators, the Year of the Horse, Feb. 3 to Feb. 15, 2015, is a year of highs and lows, either galloping fast and furiously into new ventures or standing at the rails watching the race.
Chinese astrologers predict no middle ground in a Horse Year and that includes global economies. Long term investment, expansion, new business ventures and growth is the trend and taking decisive action without wasting time is the focus, particularly in the first half of the year.
It’s also a year for taking chances, traveling and romance. Astrologers caution against overspending, particularly with impulsive decisions. It’s a year that promises prosperity, if you’re willing to take a fast ride and hold on.
Contact Wendy Schultz at 530 344-5069 or [email protected] Follow @wschultzMtDemo on Twitter.